Ladies and gentlemen, by popular demand, the 2013 edition of the Doughboy 5168 Triathlon will now be an open event. You are invited to share in the spirit of the doughboy-to-ironman project and choose your own adventure.

What in the world does this mean?

It all started in late 2011. I was completing my first season in triathlon, setting a goal of finishing an Olympic distance by the end of my first year. The WTC-owned 5150 series was having their “season finale” in Clearwater Florida, previously the site of the IM70.3 world championships, before it was moved to Las Vegas. I was not intending to go to Florida just for this, but as it happened, I was already flying to Orlando to do a wedding on 11-11-11. This race was scheduled for 11-12. It fit my plans perfectly. I booked the flight in and out of Tampa, arranged to rent a bike exactly like mine in Clearwater, and I was all ready to go. There aren’t any open water swimming events in this area past early September, so this was a neat way to fit a longer race into my goals. In the words of the A-Team, I love it when a plan comes together.

Well, as long time readers of this blog know, this plan fell apart. The race was canceled, with less than a month’s notice. The whole 5150 series became a punchline for races that are hyped, then don’t happen. This whole series of goat rodeo mishaps was chronicled on my blog, as well as on Beginner Triathlete, so much so that whenever a thread was started about a 5150 problem, everyone expected my arrival, as if the bat signal had gone up.

The whole story is in these posts: Time to Go Rogue, Open letter to WTC Officials, and 5168 Race Report. In 2012, I did a second annual 5168, race report here.

The cliffs notes version is this: I made my own race. I was the only one in it. I swam the 1500meters in a pool, then biked a bit over 40k, then ran a 10k. The routes included passing by places that meant a lot to me, so it was autobiographical. The first year, my wife and kids were at the finish. The second year, Meg did the bike and part of the run with me.

This is becoming an end of season ritual that I intend to do year after year. The spirit of the 5168 series is that you don’t need an organized race to set and achieve a goal, and for those of us in the back of the pack, the race is always against a previous version of yourself, anyway.

So why am I talking about it in May?

The community support from the folks at Beginner Triathlete has been awesome. People looked for the race report, and a number joked about opening up race registration the next year.

So I am doing just that. Here’s how it works.


1. Set your own distance. When I set out to do this, an Olympic was a stretch. Your personal race can be any distance. It can be an aspirational distance, it can be a recreation of my distances. 5168 comes from the measure of my course as 51.68 km, whereas the 5150 is supposed to be a dead on 51.5km olympic course.  If you’re a sub-11 hour Ironman, you could do some weird distance ratios that have never been put together. Whatever the distance, it’s your race. And, it does not have to be a triathlon. I would prefer it is at least a multisport, but I am not turning away any single sport folks who want to get into the spirit of this thing. So bike-run, run-swim, swim-bike, just bike, just run. It’s all good. It’s YOUR race. It needs to mean something to YOU. If there’s an amazing running route in your area that just doesn’t fit into a 5k, 10k, half marathon route, make it a part of a tri or do it stand-alone. The possibilities are endless.

2. Set your own course. Do this where you can. If there is a hill you think ought to be part of a triathlon, rock it out. My route was all around my house, and involved my kids’ schools and the churches I serve. Your route can be anywhere. If there’s a trip you’re taking where you just wish there was a triathlon for the course potential, make your own there.

3. Officially register. -There is a growing fundraising model I am enjoying, the Virtual 5k. I found my way into this subculture of running through the Disney 3 Little Pigs Bacon Challenge. You can find facebook groups on Virtual 5ks, and the Run Disney So I Can Eat Disney group. The model is to donate to a charity of the sponsor’s naming.

Registration for this is a $25 check made out to Camp Mount Luther. Send it to me, so I can turn them in together and keep track of this particular fund raising stream. I’ll also make sure that you don’t get put on our solicitation list for future donations. I know how that goes when you donate once to a friend’s cause.

Also when registering, you can let me know the planned course distances, and approximate date if you have one. Exact distances are not necessary. If you just know you want to participate, but haven’t decided on exactly how, that’s fine. Just enter info when it’s done.

I have entered the race in the BT directory. Do a search for Doughboy 5168 2013 Open Edition, held May 12, 2013 in Mount Pleasant Mills PA. 

4. Do your “race.” – Once registered, I will send you a bib pdf. You can wear it, or not. You find the time and place, and do your course. My original race changed dates, so nothing is set in stone with this challenge.Although, I would say that once you decide on a course distance, it is not in the spirit of the DB5168 to short it on the spot and rewrite the standards. Finish what you set out to finish. That’s the point.  

It is your responsibility to be safe. This is going to mean access to a lap pool for most people. I am not responsible for your safety on the road or in the water. Please do not go do an open water swim all by yourself. Take a friend in a boat or kayak. It’s on you to be a responsible adult in whatever course you choose. Go with a group, or train solo, get pictures if you can, save your garmin data files if you have them and want to share. 

5. Share a race report on Beginner Triathlete. Also check back here and let us know how it went.

6. I send you a finisher’s medal. – That’s right, there’s an award involved. I won’t be doing metal medals, but instead I’ve partnered with a great friend and supporter of Camp Mount Luther who already produced my Night and Day running awards this spring. You’ll get a fabric patch that you can actually sew on a backpack, or transition bag, or worn out post-race jeans. We haven’t finished working up the prototype yet, but it will involve the actual Doughboy somehow.

So there’s the process. Anytime you want to do this in 2013 counts. Just give me some notice for really late in the year events.

Here’s how to get started:

Send me an email at andynmeg@verizon.net If you prefer to send a pm on BT, I’m user TheClaaaw

Include the following info:

Name, gender, age, address, intended distance(s), general location of course, intended date(s) – If any of those are still to be determined, no problem.

So there it is. Make your own race. Cheapest tri you’ll ever do, and you even get a medal. If you’re in Central PA, I might even be able to arrange to come be on course support in some way.

Let’s see what hoebrew tri’s you people come up with. Or funky runs. Or monster bike routes you want to conquer by Labor Day. You make it happen. You are the master of your destiny. Choose your adventure. And tell me all about it.


2 thoughts on “Big Announcement: The Doughboy 5168 is Now Open For Registration

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