Sunday, June 19, 2011

Boats, Bikes, and Bricks: 2011 Edition

Today I ran the second annual Boats, Bike, and Bricks micro-triathlon for the second time (read about last year's run here).  It was another great event organized by the Flint River Corridor Alliance

This year was a bit different: I was slower.  I could make all kinds of excuses, but they don't matter.  It was a great time on a great course. This year it started in the now closed Mott Park Golf Course. 
In the sandtrap.
The river was up and it was a great paddle. That stretch of river is a bit faster than downtown, but it's also prettier.  Trees overhang the river and the water was cool.  The best part of the paddle, though, was the cheering section on the bridge over this shot.
Returning to Port.
Next this year was the run through a mowed strip of old golf course and a short circuit on a couple of streets.  I have fond memories on that golf course with my best friend.  As I ran I looked at all the water and weeds I left golf balls in.  It reminded me of the troubles in Flint, but the triathlon made me think about what is possible.  Running is my least favorite activity in life.  I prefer to wash dishes to running.  Yes, you read that right.  I was fortunate today to run with a man I met on the course named Mark.  I thought I would have to walk most of the 2.4k, but managed to run the whole thing.  That may or may not have been the best choice because I was fairly spent on the bike ride, my favorite part of the tri. 
Running with my support team.

The bike course was a nice way to showcase a recently finished part of the bike-pedestrian trail in Flint, ending with a mild climb that reminded me of the Alpe d'Huez.  Maybe I was a bit tired by that point, but it was worth it.  If I could change one piece of the ride, I would have had us come out onto Grand Traverse a bit further north so I could have stopped and had an espresso at Good Beans Cafe.  I've always wanted to break in a bike race for an espresso. 

In the end I finished in 1:02:17.  I could have finished sooner if I were in better shape.  It wasn't bad given that I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to compete because of a conflict.  Maybe I'll even train for next year, but I doubt it.  I do like the idea of using events like this to try and keep myself in shape.  It almost made me want to try running the Crim, but I have a sink full of dishes that need washing.  So I have no time to train. 

I like that it's a non-competitive event.  I think it makes it more fun.  Only one person I saw didn't smile.  He was too serious or maybe he thought smiling would make him less aerodynamic.  I don't know. 

Something else important, again, is that the boys had a good time and were talking about wanting to run their own race and wanting to run the race with my next year.  It makes me happy to see them interested in these kinds of activities. 

Now it's time to gear up for some good bike rides this summer. 


  1. Sounds like a good time. I'm glad you enjoyed the race so much. It's too bad that you were tired during the biking part. That'd have been my favorite part too.

  2. I really enjoyed this account, Jake. It feels like there are some positive vibes in the air about all this -- both for downtown and for Flint's river, at the heart of our lives here if we realize it or not. Thanks for posting this -- and for doing the tri, too, of course!

  3. Congrats on the "micro tri"! I too, would rather wash dishes than run. I'm still "training", well...kind of, for the Bike MS in September, and unfortunately it seems as if maybe I've just had too many dishes to wash as well. The only activity I've done to get myself ready is swimming, which is great exercise but isnt what I need to be doing during "training". So I'll go back to the drawing board and try to get motivated! :)