Monday, July 26, 2010

Trash Can Triathlon

Just when we were starting to think we might have one weekend off from racing, that didn't turn out to be the case...for me, at least. (And don't get me wrong, we enjoy all of the races we enter, but having a race every single weekend gets to be tiring!) Last week Lava 105.3's Eddie O started recruiting a relay team for Team Mango's Trash Can Triathlon. He would do the 10-mile bike, but needed a swimmer and a runner. Despite my lack of swimming speed, I was recruited to do the 1/2 mile swim. Ray from Big Island Honda was our runner for the 3.1 mile run.

One of the reasons I agreed to do the race, though, was the great twist on the timing - for each piece of trash you picked up on the course, you got minutes deducted from your overall time. For the swim, each piece of trash was worth 5 minutes; on the bike, it was 3 minutes; and on the run, it was 1 minute. All I had to do was find one piece of trash to make my swim respectable!

That turned out to be a lot harder than it sounds. First off, the ocean is generally pretty clean. Then the waves were a little rough, so I really had to concentrate on not taking in salt water every time I breathed and that took away from my trash search. Finally, the water was really cloudy in spots, so I couldn't even see the bottom. I made it through the swim without finding one piece of trash - until I grabbed a cigarette butt on the beach on the way out!

Then Eddie was off. Apparently his plan was to pick up trash on the first 5 miles of the out-and-back course and then hammer on the way back in. Ray, Rose and I were at the pier waiting... and waiting...and waiting. Finally, we saw him - with a huge smile and loads of trash!

Not only did he fill up the bag provided by the race, but he also filled up the basket on the back of his bike. At the end of the count, he had 74 pieces of trash! And some interesting items, too. In one of the pictures below, he's holding an electric water pump that he found.

(Try to ignore the bad exposures above - I don't know what happened there!)

Finally it was Ray's turn to take to the run. His stated plan was to run conservatively so he had time to look for trash. He even picked up some bonus cigarette butts right at the end.

At the end of the day, his trash total was 47 - making 122 pieces of trash total for our team! That translated into a time of -2:52:55 (yes, that's a negative time!), good for second place in the relay division and only 5 minutes behind the winners. I guess I should have picked up another cigarette butt on the beach!

No races this coming weekend, but we'll be out at the Mana Road Runs (10 miles or 10K) on Sunday, August 8, so come join us!

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