This past weekend found us relaxing on unseasonably warm North Carolina shores. Aside from a pretty exciting tandem test ride we took at All Star Bikes in Raleigh (more on this development another day), we left our bikes at home and didn’t exert ourselves, unless you count scrubbing a half a bushel of fresh bay oysters as exertion.
This was the complete opposite experience from a couple friends of ours who happened to be flanking us on the coast. One friend, a fellow Saxapahawg cyclist, was running her first marathon, the Outer Banks Marathon. Another friend was competing in his first Iron Man-length triathlon in Wilmington, the Beach 2 Battleship. They both finished admirably, and I’m very proud of my friends, but I have to admit I’m happy with the way my weekend went – as in, nowhere.
I’m always astounded by the feats that the human body can pull off. I’m comfortable with long distance, self-supported bike tours and century rides like we did last week in Durham. Marathons are another ordinal more strenuous than century rides – 6 hours sitting in the saddle seems like couch potatoeing compared to 3-5 hours running. In fact, judging from this photo we found of ourselves during the Habitat for Humanity Century in Durham, it’s like we’re hardly riding at all:
Furthermore, Iron Mans (I don’t think the plural would be Iron Men since it’s a brand name, right?) – combining three righteous and healthy pursuits at ridiculous lengths (2-mile open water swim, 112-mile bike, then run a marathon) all at once-must actually take a year or two off someone’s life. Who thought that was a good idea?
What’s even more amazing is the media coverage of Beach 2 Beacon Iron Man. By amazing, I mean “amazingly bad, trite, and misguided”, or to put it another way, “typical.” In the luxury of our beach-front, pet friendly motel The Atlantis, we were also enjoying having TV, which is not a current fixture in these Honkers’ household. News coverage of the Iron Man came on, and what “amazed” me was that the focus of the story is to what extent the one-Saturday-out-of-the-entire-freaking-year that the race was held (this being the 2nd such race there ever) was affecting car traffic. Seriously? You have 750 athletes who have been training their bodies for this for months and years, pushing themselves beyond any fathomable understanding, and the media covers people talking about traffic.
Thank you News 14 Carolina for that incisive, human-element reporting.