Summer is my least favorite time to visit Ohio. It’s hot, humid and there are lots of mosquitoes. We generally would rather not travel there this time of year but for the foreseeable future, that’s probably when we’re going to be visiting. With Reid starting first grade in just a few weeks, our family is about to be locked into the maniacal September to June school year. But I’m not even going to get started on all the things that are wrong with the traditional American school year…
Our family is about to make our annual pilgrimage east for 10 days. Don’t get me wrong, we’re all looking forward to it and will have a great time. Thankfully, the heat wave that’s been gripping the eastern half of the country has subsided and the weather forecast actually looks really nice. And it will be wonderful to see lots of family and close friends? This year will be especially nice with my sister and her family in town as well.
It also just so happened that we’ll be in the Toledo area when the annual Sylvania Triathlon is being held. It’s one of the longest running triathlons in the US, dating back to the early 1980s. This race has been in the back of my mind for a very long time.
When I was 12 and just getting into long distance cycling I was inspired by Greg LeMond. In the US in the late 80s, what kid with a with a bike wasn’t? I went to the library looking for a book about training for cycling and came home with the best thing I could find at the Maumee Branch, which turned out to be a book about triathlon. It was interesting, but not really what I was looking for. My thoughts at the time were something to the effect of, “Sounds amazing but who would want to run even the 10k for a short course race, let alone the marathon in an Ironman?”
That’s right, as a kid I was more put off by the running than the swimming. I wasn’t a competitive swimmer, but I was comfortable in the water and occasionally swam across some small lakes in Michigan for fun. But when I found out about the Sylvania Triathlon sometime when I was in high school, that 10k run kept me away. I stuck with my nice comfortable cycling and occasional swimming.
So over 20 years later I’m finally going back to do my hometown race.