Friday, May 28, 2010

Drama, action and front-row seats

Boy, there’s a great bike race going on in Italy right now. The Giro d’Italia has offered up more drama than Cannes and the Sundance Film Festival put together, and with a killer mountain stage tomorrow and a time trial for the final stage on Sunday – no ceremonial parade into Verona for these gentlemen – it’s not over yet. But it will be over Monday. Where are racing fans going to turn for their excitement next weekend?

Try Lansing, Michigan. Sunday, June 6 is the 4th annual Hawk Island Triathlon. I’ve been involved all four years. Its first year, I just raced. Second year, I joined the organizing committee (my doctor recommended against trying to defend my masters title [like how I slipped that in?] a week and a half after double hernia surgery. Last year, as an out-of-shape, finishing-writing-a-book racer AND committee member AND coach, as my mother and my wife both earned their first triathlon finisher’s medals. And this year, as an again somewhat compromised racer (first weekend after moving day) and committee member. I love this race. Sure, I love it because I’m involved with it. But really, I got involved and stay involved with it because I love it.

Here’s your invitation to get involved and love it. The start list is full, but we still need volunteers to help with everything from setup to handing out water and medals to writing numbers on bodies to marshalling corners to guarding a gazillion dollars worth of racers’ gear to pointing the way and cheering. And believe me, volunteering for this race is no sacrifice. It’s a short race – you don’t need to blow your whole day on it. It’s in and around a beautiful park. The food is great, the appreciation is deep, and you get a front-row seat to some racing that’s a little different from the Giro d’Italia, but no less dramatic.

We get lightning-fast veterans of the sport if you want that kind of drama. And this race is especially beginner-friendly, which is not to say easy. So if you have a taste for watching emotional people accomplish big goals they may once have not thought possible – change their lives, even – we’ve got plenty of that kind of drama, too.

Oh. And now that I’ve teased you with Frazz cycling jerseys that may or may not exist, Frazz and Kiefer swim gear and I are the official swim-cap sponsors, and I ordered a few extra Frazz-themed swim caps -- if you catch my drift and volunteer and ask nice and there are enough left over. And I’m pretty sure there will be.

And yes, I’ll be racing. Look for me Sunday on the official Trizophrenia race bike wearing the orange Team Trout shorts and singlet. Black aero helmet on the bike, bald head off it. And come talk to me Saturday afternoon at early registration (and we need volunteers then, too). I’m there to offer tips to beginners and answers to everyone, and I’ll have a raft of Sharpies if you want to bring a book, or a swim cap, or anything else for me to sign.

And we’ll have so much fun we’ll forget all about the Giro.

To volunteer, e-mail Jerrell Braden, the volunteer coordinator, at Tell him you’re volunteering because you want a Frazz swim cap, and we’ll put your name at the top of the list so we won’t run out of them on you.


Jacqueline Haney said...

Your Mom is doing triathlons?!?!!!!

Jef Mallett said...

When my mother turned 70, she told herself she'd do at least one thing per year that no one expects people in their 70s to do. The Polar Plunge got rescheduled on her, so she went parasailing her first year instead. Then, last year, the triathlon. She was the last one across the finish line -- and she won her age group. Wore her race t-shirt and medal to work the next week, too. Which is especially cool for a church organist.

Jon Ford said...


That bike is AWESOME! Will be racing this weekend as well, in lovely Show Low, Arizona. Planning on talking up the book quite a bit and will bring my copy as well.

Good racing!

David said...

Frazz isn’t a bad strip really, but oh my god how can the guy get away with ripping off Calvin and Hobbes so blatantly. It’s the EXACT same head, just stretched a little. It’s not an “homage”, it’s outright theft of an iconic character design! It’s like if somebody came up with a design that stole Mickey Mouse’s ears! (Oh wait, they did, with Foxy.)

Joanne Emig said...

Jef, if I were in your area and had seen this in time, I would have volunteered. Sounds like an awesome event, and the Frazz gear is priceless!

And your mom rocks! (You do, too, but your fans already knew that.) I love her attitude about being 70s. I'll be 59 next month and I've got plans for turning 60 next year that just *may* include progressing beyond 5Ks and 5-milers all the way to a half-marathon.

btw, giving Frazz and Miss Plainwell a friend based on your mom would be a great touch--just a thought.


Joanne Emig said...

Forgot to ask--may I link your blog to Runner's World Beginner's Forum? We have Frazz fans, triathletes, and all-round great people posting there.