Friday, May 20, 2011

Family Try-athlon

My wonderful father-in-law turned 60 at the beginning of this month, and all he wanted for his birthday was for the entire family to join him in a triathlon Sprint (that's half-Olympic distances).

The man on the big day.
(I stole this picture from my sister-in-law's blog.  Sorry, Em!)

I love my father-in-law to death, but any request involving running is not one that I'm terribly excited to meet.

The good news was that the expectations were low.  His plans originally included naps in between each leg.  That's my kind of athletic event.

The event was in the works for several months (Eberts are big on planning.  And pre-planning.)  T-shirts were designed and the date was set for May 7.  The rest of the family is in Utah, so they reserved a swimming pool and plotted out a course for the bike and run/walk.  They kept us Oregonians abreast of the plans and as the big day approached we worked really hard to get in shape and get ready talked a lot about our own participation.

The Sprint distances are 750m swim (1/2 mi), 20k bike ride (12.4 mi), and 5k run (3.1 mi).  We were given the completely guilt-free option of adapting each leg in whatever way suited our abilities.  My abilities are thus: I haven't swam a lap since about 1994, I own a bike and sometimes I ride it, and I loathe running but frequently walk our children to school.

Basically, I figured I'd be fine with walking the 5k, except for the fact that I didn't think I'd live through the swim, let alone the bike ride.

The morning of the 7th, though, I discovered the Ironkids triathlon distances (the Intermediate, for ages 9-11, is a 150 yard swim, 4 mile bike ride, and 1 mile run) and, knowing that Vicki really wanted to participate, decided that of course she needed someone to do it with her.  Problem solved, death averted.
I didn't pull the camera out at the pool, but Vicki and I swam our laps first while Chris played with Lexi and Ellie.  150 yards is 3 laps, which is much more doable than the 18 laps required by the Sprint distance.  Even so, I found the backstroke to be my friend.  The crawl stroke, not so much.  Vicki beat me by a long shot.  Once I could breathe again, Chris and I switched places, and we girls played while he swam.

We decided to do our run/walk before the bike ride, since we were already at the high school.  Lexi took off running, did one lap, and decided she was done.

Go, Lexi, go!

She and Ellie spent the rest of the time crawling under the fence, collecting rocks, and playing on the bleachers.

Prison break?  Nope, just two cute kiddos!

Chris, Vicki, and I walked a mile together before Vicki declared herself done and ran off to join her sisters.  At that point, I was "officially" done, too, since I was doing the same distances as Vicki, but I decided to keep Chris company for the remaining two miles.  Because I'm nice like that, but also because I figured that was the one leg of the Sprint I could actually do without dying.

Here's a view of the lovely weather we enjoyed.

It sprinkled on us a little bit, but the heavens didn't actually open until we were completely finished. Small blessings are sometimes the sweetest.

After we finished at the track, Chris took off on his 12-mile bike ride while the girls and I hung out at home.  It took him about an hour, and then Vicki and I took off.

We rode from our house to the Columbia River and back, which worked out to be 5 miles round-trip instead of 4, but we made it.  Vicki had never ridden that far before, and she did a great job!

Halfway point.  I love where we live!

I'm amazed at how much I actually enjoyed this event.  It would have been more fun to do it with the whole family, but we had a blast on our own.  Ron, if you want to do this every year, we're in (as long as we can still walk instead of run)!

Oh, and Happy Birthday!!!  We love you!


  1. Go you! All of you! What a fin idea.

  2. I don't know if my parents have see your pictures yet but they are great. When I told my mom and dad everything you all had done they just got those big satisfied smiles on their faces.

    I am also jealous that a 5 mile ride from your house takes you to the Columbia river.

  3. Also Russ and I thought you should clarify that Chris did the entire Sprint distances. (Not that it really matters, but as one who nearly killed myself to do the same, I think he should get all the bragging rights possible.)


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