The 30th Annual Ironman competition was held in Hawaii this past weekend. It featured the traditional Wakiki Rough Water Swim, the Around Oahu Bike Ride, and the Honolulu Marathon. The winner this past Sunday was Craig Alexander. He accomplished the entire circuit in 8 hours, 17 minutes, and 45 seconds.
On Friday, I became involved in my own Ironman competition. The Young Men's President invited me to come along with the Boy Scouts, ostensibly so that I could guide the boys through the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge. The event started out with a 15 mile ride from Louis' house, through southern Orem, across Provo, to the mouth of Provo Canyon, up the Riverwalk to Vivian Park. From there, the boys and their leaders went up the steep road into the South Fork of Provo Canyon to Big Springs campground. It was a grueling bike ride, with everyone tumbling into the campsite about 8:15 PM (The whole thing had started about 4:30). My peculiar talents and skills were immediate recognized from the very beginning of the trek when I was handed the keys to Louis' Suburban and asked to drive the truck and the trailer up to the camp site.
Lucky Ben, the father of one of the boys, was to accompany me, riding shotgun in the car. As it turned out, since he is 30 years younger than myself, he had the opportunity of wheelbarrowing most of the camping gear from the trailer up the hill where we were to set up our tents (at least seven trips; a couple a hundred yards each). I have to say that I did carry my own gear, including my rather substantial back pack, my tent, and my aluminum cot. I am determined not to be uncomfortable when I am outside the house.
The first part of the South Fork Ironman having been accomplished, I embarked on the second leg: the water portion. I have been camping with these guys before and they all, both young and old, bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "The Cave of a Thousand Bears". I decided that I would sleep the sleep of the innocent by camping as close to the nearby stream as I could. The water was about a foot and a half deep, and about four feet wide. Inasmuch as we were on a fairly steep incline, the water was fast and noisy. For eight or nine hours I heard nothing but that water rushing by. No snoring of any kind disturbed my rest, even though Lucky Ben had set up his tent not three feet from mine.
The next morning, the boys were to begin the final leg of the Ironman: the Big Springs Marathing. At first, Lucky Ben and Iron Rod (another boy's father) were going to lead the charge up the hill, but Iron Rod needed to make an executive type phone call and needed to go back to Vivian Park to get enough bars to do so. Louis looked around the camp, fixed his eyes on me, and said, "Does anyone here know how to get to Big Springs?" He knew perfectly well that I had been there on at least two other occasions. I was nominated to lead the boys up the hill and back down. Thus I participated directly in the last leg of the triathlon.
I came back not much worse for wear, save for the blister on the knuckle of the second toe of my right foot. It was all of that sassy down-hill skipping that did me in. The boys and their leaders decided that they wanted to bike the return trip back to Orem, even though it had been snowing regularly all morning. Louis handed me the keys to the truck and away we all went.
Since I was the first one to get back home and into the shower, I figured that I won the competition. It only took me 21 hours, 4 minutes, and 17 seconds. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Waters Blue - This morning I was prancing through the text of the first volume of my autobiography, in preparation for its printing in a month or so. As I was reviewing...
6 years ago