Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sev's perspective of Ironman Florida

Other highlights from the MSU team-

Matt Inch finished in 9:28 and snagged the 18-24 slot so we are going to the big island together! We had talked about it all year as sort of a “wouldn’t it be ridiculous if” situation and it actually happened. Unreal. But let the record show that I have my shirt back...

Inch- You really thought you'd never lose to me again?

Anthony Klingler finished in 9:46. He committed to the race and went out hard. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take and he took his shot. He showed major courage out there. Not many people get after it in Ironman and if you do, sometimes it doesn’t work out. He finished in a stellar time and has major upside for his next race. He is now going after Ironman Louisville to get in for Kona 2011. He should get in with a well executed race.

Despite how stupid Kling looks, he is actually in Vet school and doing quite well... I still can't really believe it.

Greg Boyd finished in a brilliant 10:20. He executed his race to a T and got the marathon he didn’t think was possible. He was shooting for 4:30. I told him 4 easy... he hit 3:56...Absolutely spot on. He has had some frustrating Ironman runs and finally drilled it. Love your work, Greggles.

Greg doing things to himself that should be done behind closed doors...kidding... he is putting on his shirt

Eric Tingwall had a huge issue on his bike when he snapped a spoke and his wheel was thrashing his frame. The extent of the damage would have ended 99% of the participants’ days, but Tingwall is a legend. He thought about waiting for wheel support then decided he would just fix it. He trued his wheel on the side of the road, wrapped his spoke around another spoke like a zip tie and finished up. Tingwall also fixed a garbage disposal before the race. He is the epitome of what it means to be a MAN. He is my inspiration.

Tingwall- after showing the disposal what was up.

Mike, Cindy, and Chris Matulis all represented the Matuli well. Kate Salvadore and Josh McCallum also had strong races. Josh's dad also did his first IM! I didn’t get to talk to these guys as much about their races as we all kinda bolted the day after but the Spartan presence was insane.

Cindy had the same smile at mile 16 of the run

We had huge fan support from Michelle Dawes, Iris Lessard, Nancy Boyd, Joe Matulis, the Inch clan, the Klingler clan, Caitlin, Rachel, my dad, and my Aunt, Uncle, and cousin. Sean and Sarah, our friends from the Dominican, came out with their new baby, Sullly. It was incredible to see them.

Sean and Sarah. Sully too! That baby is a legend. He'll probably hate Hemingway to spite Big Daddy

I was feeling the support from people watching from home too and it was awesome to have so much positivity sent my way after the race. My sister and Caitlin really helped me drill it for the last 10k. My sister especially knows how to push the right buttons and I always race better when she is cracking the whip.

Doesn't she look like a master motivator?

My dad also gets major props for bringing an IV and forcing it on me after the race. I recovered and didn't go into the Ironman Wisconsin coma that I was headed for...

MSU KILLED IT. Greg summed it up best when he said something to the extent of, “Well a 10:20 really sounds good but it only was good for 4th in our condo of 5 racers.” We went stupid fast. 2 Kona spots and a ton of epic racing. Overall it was better than I could have hoped.

Dream Team/ Team SeverInch (obviously me and inch) vs. Cream Team (rachel and boyd) playing euchre... Dream team is going to Kona!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Nationals- delayed but still cool

The Collegiate - Issue No. 5

by JP Severin

April 17th saw college teams from around the country converging on Lubbock, Texas, where they were greeted by tornado warnings and hail. It was a storm of Biblical proportions. I met some of the triathletes from Washington who were scheduled for my flight to Lubbock. We were delayed in the Dallas Airport for a day, which made us about as happy as Bob Knight stuck in rush hour traffic. American Airlines sent us packing to a nearby hotel and placed us on a red eye flight the following day. After four hours of sleep we were flying into the eye of the storm. All of our bikes had different plans and didn't make our flight. Perhaps they chose to get a resonable amount of sleep two nights before the race. I can't say I blame them.

Either way, we got to Lubbock no worse for wear and met up with the MSU and U Dub teams. We made friends and schemed about the post race drinking.

Washington and MSU throwing up the W and the M.

It was awesome to see the Michigan State team. We tweaked our bikes at our hotel and jogged around working out the nerves. Our former president and physically challenged world champion, Aaron Scheidies, called to rally the troops. He challenged us to race with passion and smile through the pain, then played the Spartan Fight Song over the phone. After that, Aaron Bachman, our coach and one of our top racers, told the team to focus and give 100% every second of the race. I got a chance to talk to the team as well, and talked about being confident in their training. I told them to lay their hearts out in this race and to take chances because you can't reach your limits without risking blowing to bits.

In 2007 Chris Mccormack was running up on Norman Stadler and finished second 70 seconds behind. People said to him, "if the race were a mile longer, it was yours." He laughed it off saying, "Mate, if the it were a mile longer, I wouldn't have finished the damn race." This really stuck with me. There is no shame in bonking, there is only shame knowing you could have done more. I watched as the team digested what we had said. Pure focus.

Race morning was about 45 degrees. We rolled up to the race site and groggily got marked, put bikes in transition, and sipped Gatorade. The water was 54 degrees, and it felt like cats were scratching your face when you dipped your head in the water. The sprint race went off and our races represented State in the worst conditions. Several people were dragged off the bike course from hypothermia. It was absolutely ridiculous. Chris Gelinas, a good buddy from MSU, said he couldn't put his bike shoes on because his fingers were frozen in a raptor claw position.

Oscars the Grouch (45 degrees).

Chris Gelinas in a similar pose to how he biked… Much happier than when he was racing.

We all drank 50 Red Bulls before the race and were so amped that we were pulling out each other’s hair.

The Olympic race went off and John Dahlz from California, Nick Vandam from Army, Derek Oskutis from Navy led out of the water. Aaron Bachman, was in the first wave and followed closely about 10 spots back. The bike course was pretty windy and made the splits embarrasingly slow. Dahlz ripped the bike and led by over a minute. He hung on to win by about 20 seconds over Oskutis who ran like a sleek weasel. Our first guy across the line was Matt Inch in 12th. He had a rock solid race and was consistent through the whole day. Anthony Klingler, our forth male, finished strong despite having a chipped bone in his foot. I was proud of his effort as he hit the line looking absolutely demolished. The girls' race saw Jessica Broderick from CU Boulder come out of nowhere to smash the field and heavy favorite Ashley Morgan. Jackie Brosius, an MSU chica I saw on the course, spent all her chips and raced really strongly. The girls all came in around the same time of 2:40 and change, placing them 10th in the nation (out of about 70 teams), which was the highest place ever! The guys took fifth behind powerhouses Navy, Cal, Army, and Colorado. Co-Ed, we took 7th, which was the highest ever!

A MAJOR PRIZE! A MAJOR PRIZE! 5th place men’s team!

Girls' Team looking cute before turning into horrible monsters on the course.

My surrogate team UCLA also had a stellar day with killer races from 19-year-old Brad Jacobs who destroyed the run with a blazing 33 minute 10k. UCLA club president, David Quiros was solid all around and will smash his goal of two hours very soon. Brittany Day took forth overall in the girls' race. She is unbelievably tough and it was great to see her place so high.

The awards ceremony was an absolute spectacle. Every college was attempting to out do one another. Alabama was clad only in Speedos and holsters for the cap guns they were firing off every chance they got. The Army crew were the loud meat heads you expect. California cheered with an exceptional lack of creativity as their results spoke for themselves. Cal Poly grinded on the race director, which was a stroke of pure genius and MSU cheered like the well-oiled war machine we are. Alabama came out on top for their sheer lack of self-respect and funny creativity.

Alabama firing off their cap guns. This team probably needs mood stabilizers. They were absolutely hilarious and by far the most entertaining team.

Meatballs from Army cheering about how much they can bench. We were all very impressed.

The teams dispersed from Lubbock the following day, wildly hungover and sleep deprived. It was my last race as a Spartan and I am proud of the team. We placed well, but more than that, we raced harder than ever. Hopefully, this will become the standard at MSU. We may not be the fastest, but we have a ton of guts and we showed that at Nationals.

Go Green!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Triple T Chronicles, Volume V: The Shawnee Redemption

Greetings and happy Memorial Day, readers. Welcome to the long overdue final installment of the 2009 Triple T Chronicles; I know that you have been waiting with bated breath to hear about the fate of your beloved Spartan racers, so let's get right into the update.
When we last left our intrepid group of triathletes, Saturday evening bedtime was quickly approaching and, while three of the four races of the weekend were in the bag, there was still a decent amount of trepidation about Sunday's challenge. And for good reason; the Triple T website contains the following disclaimer: "Two time Solo Champion, Gordo Byrn, described the last day of the American Triple-T Ohio as the most difficult course he’d ever been on in his career." With this statement from the co-author of Going Long bouncing around inside our skulls, we all slept like fallen angels and awoke early Sunday morning, checked out of our hotel, and headed to the fog of Shawnee State Forest for the final time. The mood in transition on Sunday morning was a smidge different than Friday afternoon (namely lacking in humor, happiness, and talking in general), but after setting everything up and heading down to the beach there was nothing left to do but our cheer and one last race.

When we finished our cheer on Sunday morning, some joker responded with, "Go Buckeyes!" I proceeded to go playfully shove him around a little bit and he popped me in the mouth with his forearm. Typical Buckeye fan behavior.

On Sunday morning of Triple T weekend, the racers cover 69.8 miles (1.2 mile swim, 55.5 mile bike, 13.1 mile run); I won't provide any more description of the race than that because it is impossible to convey the singularly unique place that everyone is in both mentally and physically for the entirety of Sunday's race. One of the bikers I rode with for a little bit probably said it the best; after I said something to the effect of "I forgot that this is a 'do what you can' race", he responded with the following wisdom: "Get to the line, man." There are no words to fully describe the feeling of immense accomplishment, relief, and humility that occur when you finally do get to the line, but it probably comes close to this:

If you don't understand this reference, shame on you.

In the end, the weekend was a huge success; all 14 racers completed every single race and many even won hardware for being top three in their age group. Here are the times and some photos from the final race:

Tim Fredricks ~ 5:26:05 (43rd)
Clemens Drenowatz ~ 5:39:05 (60th)
Greg Boyd ~ 5:58:20 (92nd)
Team McCallum (Josh Mc. & Jeremy) ~ 6:30:33 (161st/162nd)
Team Hollywood (Josh Ma. & Alex) ~ 6:31:23 (163rd/164th)
Team Misfit Toys (Scott & Eric) ~ 6:51:28 (197th/198th)
Team Squid Butter (Nancy & Alissa) ~ 7:17:48 (235th/236th)
Julia Jones ~ 8:09:23 (288th)
Team Triathlon is Our Victorious Secret (Renee & Kate) ~ 8:39:35 (298th/299th)

Scotty P., Matter, Douglass, and Tingwall heading down the finishing chute.

Nancy and Alissa just after completing the Triple T.

Nine of the fourteen Spartan triathletes who completed the Triple T and their hard-earned hardware.

A huge thank-you goes out to all who came down and supported us this weekend; your cheers and consciousness on the drive home were very much appreciated. I am tremendously proud of everyone who raced this weekend; we all showed the triathlon community (or at least this small, bat-sh*t-crazy sector of the triathlon community) what MSU Tri is all about. That's it for the 2009 Triple T Chronicles; the big question: Will you be a part of the 2010 version?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Triple T Chronicles, Volume IV: Mother Nature Gets Hot and Bothered

Good evening loyal blog followers; you are looking well. The MSU Triple T crew is looking a little battered and weary but we are hanging in there. After a lovely early afternoon spent trying to cram as much food as possible down our little gullet holes (often against our will) and discovering that putting 58 pounds of ice in a bathtub will yield an ice bath of mind-numbing magnitude, we headed back to Shawnee State Forest for our second Olympic race of the day. The distances were the same as this morning, but this afternoon, there was a twist: The order of events was switched up, with the bike coming first, followed by the swim and then the run. You may be saying to yourself, "Hey, that sounds neat/fun", but you are 9000% wrong. Picture, if you will, creating a whole slew of lactic acid in your legs during a 25-mile bike and then going completely horizontal and rushing all your blood to your arms, allowing the lactic acid to just sit and stew in your lower extremities. Getting out of the water after this happens is absolutely miserable; it looks something like this:

This is what the average Triple T racer looks like exiting the water during Race #3.

On top of all that, Mother Nature turned on the heat lamp this afternoon, which made things especially unpleasant. To give you an idea of how warm it was during our race (which started at 3:00), the Weather Channel in the lobby proclaimed that it was 79 degrees 8:15pm. However, despite all the odds stacked against them, the Spartans soldiered on; here is the rundown on how we all did (note that teams raced together for this race and only one time per team is recorded):

Greg Boyd ~ 2:31:40 (38th)
Clemens Drenowatz ~ 2:40:47 (91st)
Tim Fredricks ~ 2:42:30 (99th)
Team McCallum (Josh Mc. & Jeremy) ~ 2:44:08 (107th/108th)
Team Hollywood (Josh Ma. & Alex) ~ 2:49:42 (131st/132nd)
Team Misfit Toys (Scott & Eric) ~ 2:50:22 (137th/139th)
Team Squid Butter (Nancy & Alissa) ~ 3:17:52 (259th/260th)
Team Triathlon is Our Victorious Secret (Renee & Kate) ~ 3:36:07 (304th/305th)
Julia Jones ~ 4:01:08 (325th)

Tomorrow we go after the biggest fish of the weekend: the half-Ironman. Gun goes off at 7:00am; wish us luck.

The Triple T Chronicles, Volume III: The Misfit Toys Strike Back

Greetings from the bottom of Ohio; everyone is having a wonderful time down here!!!! Well, not really, but the morale seems to be holding up well after our bout with the morning quasi-Olympic distance race. Everyone was chipper and excited to get out of bed this morning; that excitement quickly faded when Nancy, my bedmate, woke up and told me she had pink eye (expletive deleted, Miss Boyd). We drove to the race amidst humidity so oppressive that we saw gorillas in the mist and set up for race number two of the weekend. After the frivolity of yesterday evening, this race was somewhere between "playing on a swingset" and "getting a root canal" on the Fun-O-Meter; it was longer (1500m swim, 40K bike, 6.55 mile run), hillier, and contained at least one life-threatening descent (as denoted by the skull and crossbones painted on the road). But we all made it out alive and with some fairly decent times to show for it; here's the rundown:

Greg Boyd ~ 2:22:59 (38th)
Jeremy McCallum ~ 2:23:27 (39th)
Tim Fredricks ~ 2:25:09 (45th)
Clemens Drenowatz ~ 2:27:36 (55th)
Josh McCallum ~ 2:27:49 (58th)
Josh Matter ~ 2:30:32 (79th)
Scott Przystas ~ 2:31:26 (86th)
Eric Tingwall ~ 2:39:38 (129th)
Alex Douglass ~ 2:42:53 (154th)
Nancy Boyd ~ 2:56:21 (230th)
Renee Auernhamer ~ 2:59:26 (243rd)
Alissa Thompson ~ 3:06:01 (260th)
Kate Salvadore ~ 3:16:16 (303rd)
Julia Jones ~ 3:28:28 (325th)

In less than two hours, we will be starting race three of the weekend, the second quasi-Olympic of the day. This is the first race where drafting among teammates is allowed, so the various members of the following teams will get to work together:

Team Hollywood: Josh Matter and Alex Douglass
Team Misfit Toys: Scott Przystas and Eric Tingwall
Team McCallum: Jeremy and Josh McCallum
Team Squid Butter: Nancy Boyd and Alissas Thompson
Team Triathlon is Our Victorious Secret: Renee Auernhamer and Kate Salvadore

The Misfit Toys are sad because their previous partners either a) broke their foot or b) fled to a non-extradition country.

Check back later this evening to see if our teammates still love each other. Boyd out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Triple T Chronicles, Volume II: Got-R-Did

Good evening, avid readers; it's been awhile. The 2009 installment of the American Triple-T is officially underway and things are going swimmingly. After rolling out of our posh accomodations at the Portsmouth Ramada (and when I say "posh", I mean "our room has a hand soap dispenser that was clearly stolen from a McDonald's restroom affixed to the mirror over the sink and the showerhead would be too short for Gary Coleman"), arriving in the beautiful Shawnee State Forest (Shawnee is a Native American word that means "titillating"), and setting up transition, all we had to do was wait around and see if Douglass was going to make it on time. He did, arriving twenty minutes before race registration closed in his work khakis and ready to rock and roll. We all donned our uber-patriotic jerseys (these jerseys make the Harlem Globetrotters look like Communists), checked the water temp, laughed hysterically when we saw a guy wearing a uniform with the name Meatnip embossed on the lower back (I am not making this up), and anxiously awaited the start of our epic weekend.

These men wish to divide up your possessions and give some of them to those less fortunate than you.

BANG!! The race is off!! Friday's race is all about speed; the distances are ludicrously short (250m swim, "5 mile" bike that's actually closer to 3.5, 1 mile run), there's only one hill of moderate consequence, and everyone is fresh. There were a few noteworthy moments during the race, including a) one of the guys starting in front of Scottie and I finding a leech on his leg before the swim, b) passing Meatnip going uphill on my bike and almost falling over laughing, and c) Douglass and Julia having a pretty sweet race to the finish; other than that, it was pretty much business as usual for the Spartans. Here's how the times stacked up:

Josh McCallum~ 23:41 (44th)
Tim Fredricks ~ 23:57 (52nd)
Greg Boyd ~ 24:03 (58th)
Jeremy McCallum ~ 24:03 (59th)
Scott Przystas ~ 24:04 (60th)
Clemens Drenowatz ~ 24:09 (62nd)
Josh Matter ~ 25:11 (99th)
Eric Tingwall ~ 25:59 (127th)
Nancy Boyd ~ 27:59 (187th)
Alex Douglass ~ 28:03 (188th)
Renee Auernhamer ~ 28:47 (228th)
Alissa Thompson ~ 30:09 (261st)
Kate Salvadore ~ 31:19 (291st)
Julia Jones ~ 32:50 (314th)

Upon finishing the race, the MSU Triathlon crew repaired to the local ice cream establishment, the Dari-Creme, and mingled with some of the colorful locals, including a small child with a shirt that informed us all that the official past tense of "Git-R-Done" is "Got-R-Did".

I hope you're happy, you no-talent hack.

That's all from Portsmouth for the evening; check back tomorrow to see how all your favorite Spartans are faring as the going gets tough and the tough get Meatnipped.

The Triple T Chronicles, Volume I: The Calm Before the Storn

Hello MSU Triathlon enthusiasts; today is truly your lucky day. After a long hiatus, the blog is back, and since my long-winded ramblings render Twitter the most worthless form of communication since smoke signals, this is THE official source for Triple T race news. Over the course of the weekend, Sgt. Boyd and the Broken Bodies Club Band will be updating YOU, the normal, sane, rational, Triple T-non-participant, as to our progress. We will laugh, we will cry, we will ride on dolphins doing flips and sh*t.

There are no boats at the Triple T; only soul-crushing hills.

So check back often for the real scoop on the best weekend you can have for $200*.

P.S. Douglass is currently lost and the first race starts in two hours and twenty minutes. If he doesn't figure it out soon, Team Hollywood may end up being Team Dollywood.

*Outside of Tijuana.