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Last year, I had hoped to cap off my first season in triathlon with the completion of an Olympic distance race. While most serious triathletes shoot for a 2:30 Olympic, or even a 2 hour, I was going for “finish before they close the course.”

I had signed up for a race in Florida. There’s no reason for a back-of-packer to travel that far for an Olympic distance, but I happened to be going to Florida anyway to do a wedding, and the race was not too far away. I researched flying with my bike, renting cars, then renting a bike there, I was ready to go.

Then, the race was canceled. I was left without a season ending high note. I wrote about this extensively herehere and here.

The result: the first annual Doughboy 5168. Why 5168? The standard race distance for an olympic comes to 51500 meters. 1500 swimming, 40k biking, 10k running. The WTC race that was canceled was part of the 5150 series. I mapped out a course with those distances, and came up a hair over, so the race would be the 5168. 51.68 kilometers.

It was just me, starting at the pool where I train, then biking a roundabout way to the first congregation I serve. Then, a roundabout run to the second one. Along the way, I passed my daughter’s school and my son’s preschool as well as our home. It’s an autobiographical route.

I was tempted to change the route, as they are both in a new elementary school, but I want to do a couple years of the same course, to compare times. Last year, I did the course on Election Day. This year, I didn’t want to do it on Election Day, since it’s a big election year, and honestly, doing it after Beach to Battleship is a bit of a letdown.

So, I’ve decided to make this a great training day pre-B2B, and do my 2nd annual Doughboy 5168 on Monday, Columbus Day. I’ll start at 7am instead of 11:30, so I can be done and home before Lowe’s delivers our new washer. (The old one just ruined our basement.)

If you’re off work Monday and near Snyder County, look for me on the bike along 15 below Selinsgrove, or going up 104 toward home. I’ll run along 35 a good bit of the way from home to Richfield. I would love to be done by noon this year. We shall see if that’s realistic.

I plan to run this each fall as long as I am still doing triathlons. It will remind me of two things: how my goals have changed from year to year, and how I do this for myself, not to win any races. It’s not the same to “race” solo, but it’s still better than nothing. 

Here was my finisher medal last year. A custom piece by local artists. I bet I can tap them again for the 2012 edition.

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