Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Memberships….Things I am a member of……..My dysfunctional but loving family of course, USAT Member 482432, BSA Troop 36 Scoutmaster, Fit2Tri Triathlon Club, the North Atlanta Multisport Club, USMRA (US Mountain Ranger Association), WAR (Worldwide Association of Rangers), 82nd Airborne Association, US NCO Museum Association, Trailblazers Adventure Racing Club member 2357, Team First Endurance, US Cycling association, once again Team Trakkers 2011 (09, 10) and now it appears this……………damn, I'm only a 50-54 age grouper...........hmmmmmm wonder if this means I no longer have to work?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Adventure Race?

Adventure Race in December? Sure why not. I have no physical punishment, or mental anguish scheduled for the Holiday Season……
This week I was offered the opportunity to compete in the Midnight Rush Adventure Race on 11 December 2010. My team mates and I will be representing (not only Trakkers for me) the Army’s 5th Ranger Training Battalion. We’ll be fielding two teams, a two-man (my team), and a three-man male team. The race is a 14 hour sprint race conducted in my backyard, the Chattahoochee National Forest. Even though we are all intimately familiar with the area the race is being conducted, I’m not sure how much of an advantage this will provide as some of the other team members have not ridden a mountain bike since elementary school, and the closest they have come to a canoe is watching the big waterfall scene in the movie Last of the Mohicans…. That alone should be a hoot. Obviously winning is not the motivation for competing…… What is motivating however is the race supports what I feel is one of the most worthy organizations out there. The Lead the Way fund!
Lead the Way Fund, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization established to raise money in support of disabled U.S. Army Rangers and families of Rangers who have died, have been injured or are currently serving in harm’s way around the world. The Lead the Way Fund, Inc. provides assistance for health and wellness programs as well as other services vital to the families of deceased, disabled or active duty Rangers. The assistance offered by Lead the Way is inspired by the courage and character of Sgt. James J. Regan who was killed in Iraq while serving with honor with the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Read about James and the LTW fund @
Of course I’ll be sure to take excellent notes and make a full race report upon completion as I am sure it will most definitely be an adventure….. Hmmmmmm….now what shoes should I wear

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SOB 2011

Watch out Race World. I came up with a brilliant idea on the way to Wilmington, NC for the B2B Half.
For those of you not familiar with I-95, just inside the northern South Carolina border lies a little gem of a place known as South of the Border. It's been referred to as many things over the years by travelers, and vacationers. America's Highway Oasis, The Acapulco of the East, South Carolina's Shithole...wait, forget the last one. Anyway....It's been there since 1949, and in my travels up and down I-95 over the years, I've watched this little place grow over the years from a trendy little truck stop to a full blown family vacation destination, kind of like Vegas but without nice casinos, hot dancers, Wayne Newton, or Lion Tamers. I am sure there are probably been a real life episodes of the Hangover made there weekly. Where else on earth can you take an elevator up 200’ inside the world’s largest sombrero, ride a roller coaster, spend the day in the Silver Slipper Arcade, buy rubber dog poop, and view a life size replica of the world’s largest Great White Shark, all in the same day. ….and I was only approached by one person pandering for money….this isn’t your run of the mill truck stop….oh no! So this is when I came up with my idea. Why not hold a triathlon here! It’s perfect! I know there is already a Rev 3 SC but this is kind of like being in Mexico….or its own little country……
Rev3 South of the Border......nah.... Maybe the Rev3 SOB? Perfect.... I'm a genius.... So here is my plan for Rev 3 SOB 2011.
Ok here’s what I was thinking.... Swim location would have to be the Reptile lagoon... although it would have to be pool lap swim who cares.... the alligators and snakes would be a great twist, plus the Giardiasis risk would make you swim even faster.
Transition area is already marked and only a short run from the swim exit. Very little broken glass and I didn’t see one syringe!
The SOB bike course is awesome. I -95 baby, Straight, scenic, lightning fast and already marked nearly every few miles. See?

And naturally the SOB run course would be through the streets and road around SOB and finish between the Rev3 SOB mascots legs! Pedro! The SOB SOB himself! No need to even bring the blow up arch.
After the race spectators would wander for hours around SOB shopping for fireworks and real Mexico souvenirs. New shipments from Taiwan arrive weekly so the shelves are always stocked. Whoopie cushions, boobie mugs, pet rocks, cheesie t-shirts, unlimited NASCAR products….and of course SOB is only a short distance away from Redneck Mecca, Darlington. Knoxville Rev3 has the Sunsphere Tower…. Rev3 SOB has the Sombrero, and Dog Dirt……

Would be an awesome race venue, right?….. Yeah maybe not………..whatever… well if you need gas or rubber dog poop, SOB is the place! Gotta love America!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Get on the Truck

I’ve spent a fair portion of my adult life in charge of people. Groups of people. These groups of people have ranged in sizes from LGOPs (little groups of paratroopers), to a 200 man plus company. Inside of these groups, there were always people who possessed a variety of skills and talents. Some of these talents have ranged from challenged at best, to abilities that far exceeded my own. Despite these abilities of the people in these groups, the success of these groups more often than not hinged on keeping them focused on the mission at hand, and sometimes just getting them there. And despite their skill level, training, experience, talent, performance, good or bad, a substantial portion of my job was saving them from themselves. One of the old sayings most soldiers have heard one time or another is, ” If you’re going, shut the f@(* up, and get on the truck”. Today I was told the get on the truck. Thanks!
13 Days to B2B 2010.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Where do we get such men?

I was fascinated to watch the exchange between actor Richard Belzer and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen ("Into the lion's den," Inside Politics, March 26, 2006). I have completed four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I participated in the initial invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and parachuted into Iraq three years ago this month. Most recently, I had the privilege of leading an infantry company in Mosul, Iraq. I use this as context, not authority, because, according to Mr. Belzer, participating in a conflict indicates a lack of understanding.

When I was younger, my father made me read a book by James Michener, "The Bridges at Toko-Ri." When I finished, I told him the book was about naval aviators during the Korean War. He looked at me a little disappointed and told me I had missed the point. The book to him was not about pilots or the Korean War — it was about the bravery of men. At the end of the book, the captain of an aircraft carrier is watching his men suit up for yet another mission when he asks himself out loud, "Where do we get such men?

Why is America lucky enough to have such men?" Today, while actors and talk-show hosts see fit to broadly characterize the men and women of the armed forces as "19- and 20-year-old kids who couldn't get a job," we should be asking the same question.
I wish Bill Maher, Richard Belzer and the young adults of my generation who comment from campuses and talk shows all over the country and mistake knowledge for understanding could see what's really happening over there. I welcome their right to disagree, but I wish they would educate themselves well enough to disagree intelligently.

They should see a 22-year-old spend two hours sitting on a hard concrete floor negotiating an electricity contract or generator plan only to hit an improvised explosive device emplaced by the very people he seeks to help; a 19-year-old female medic advise a 19-year-old Iraqi mother on how to treat her child's ear infection; or men still dazed from a bomb blast that killed a friend and wounded seven others return from a mission and roll up their sleeves to give blood for the wounded, then clean the blood out of their vehicle to do a night patrol.
They do it without ceremony or formality; they do it because it is their job and they are driven by sense of purpose few in other professions can understand.

"Where do we get such men?" From all over — not just America, but from many other countries, but I know for sure the dedication required to do what they do every day is equal to the demands of any "real job."

The above letter was written by (then) Cpt Paul Carron, to the editor and published in the Washington Times in March 2006. A friend, father, husband, athlete, and true leader of men.

Maj. Paul D. Carron, 33, of Mo. died Sept. 18 at Qalat, Afghanistan. Rest in peace my friend.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm a..........

At what point should one consider themselves something? For example I swim…but I don’t consider myself a swimmer. I do consider myself among other things, a runner, a cyclist, and a triathlete …. But not a swimmer, even though I work very hard trying. Funny how we quantify our titles and subtitles. Currently I am also working hard at becoming a mountain biker, er……mountain cyclist. Whatever…you get the picture. In the last year or so I have raced (or should I say competed in…) several mountain bike events. My finish times and places are steadily improving and now I have split my training to where 50% of my riding time is spent thrashing and mashing along the Bull and Jake Mountain Bike Trails. I have fallen in love with the sport to a point where I would almost rather spend the afternoon on my 30 pound rattlebox of a mountain bike, rather than dancing on the pedals of my 16 pound Vortex up Neels, Hog pen, Woody or any of my beloved six Georgia gaps. Now if I were riding one of the new Kestrel 4000 LTDs that would be very different (soon…very soon hopefully)…. A few weeks ago I was asked by a very good friend and bike shop owner(him on the left, me on the right) to compete as part of a two-man team in a 6 hour mountain bike relay race series. I was flattered that my friend considered me enough of a mountain biker, cyclist, whatever …to ask, even though I don’t consider myself one yet. At several points during that six hours however, I became confident enough to pat myself on the back as I screamed past several slower riders, totally ignoring the riders that seemed to lap me each and every lap. I would for a split second even consider myself a mountain biker just long enough to find myself either on my side, or flat on my ass…..then of course thinking….. I’m a triathlete…..what the $%&* am I doing here. In 17 days I will be competing in an Xterra duathlon, my first multisport event of the year. I have usually finished well in duathlons no doubt as a result of being a stronger runner than cyclist. I would like to say that I don’t care about a podium finish or hardware but I would be lying. I would also like to say that my finish was in a large part to me being a mountain biker. We’ll see….

It’s always a great day to come home after a long day and find a surprise package waiting for you! Trakkers Kit arrived yesterday! They look awesome. I like this year’s jersey and especially the shorts much better than last years. Saucony is a big hit with me so far! Especially since my foot issues have all but disappeared and have had zero calf problems since switching brands. I’m sold. Can’t wait to sport them on the 17th!!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

2010 is on!

This week's warm weather has created a small case of spring fever! It was especially nice to get off the trainer and actually ride on the road twice this week! Very strange to be riding in 70 degree weather and still see piles of snow on the ground in Georgia.

Unfortunately the Lake lanier Temps are still in the 50's but starting to slowly creep toward the 60s which will be later this month hopefully. Need to get out of the pool and in the lake! I really want see how the Tri Slide works with the wetsuit! I've already use it in lieu of Glide several times and it works pretty damn well!

Looks like this is the Race schedule for 2010. I'm trying to figure a way to fit in Cedar Pointe in Sep but work is not cooperating. Not included are several smaller 5ks and a trail run or two spread throughout the season. The big question is will I be able to train for both road and off road races......I guess we'll see about that one! Whatever!

Apr 17 2010, Xterra DU, Tribble Mill, Lawrenceville, Ga
Apr 25 2010, Xterra TRI, Ft Yargo, Winder, Ga
May 8-9 2010, Rev 3 TTI, Knoxville, Tn
May 29 2010, *Xterra DU, Fort Yargo, Winder, Ga
Jun 19 2010, *Xterra DU, Chicopee Woods, Gainesville, Ga
Aug 14 2010, Fools Gold 100/50 Mile Mtn Bike Race, Dahlonega. Ga
Sep 26 2010, Six Gap Century, Dahlonega, Ga
Oct 7 2010, Lake lanier TRI, Buford, Ga
Oct 2010, Dirty Spokes 12/6, Mountain Bike Race, Helen, Ga
Nov 2010, Beach 2 Battleship, Wilmington, NC

The Trakkers Pro Team is already on fire with its second victory of the 2010 triathlon season. Brian Fleischmann took the victory at the USAT Elite Developmental Race down in Clermont, Florida. Just hope I'll be able to contribute a few strong finishes this year!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I walked outside of my office to see the large quarter sized flakes slowly cascading to the ground bonding with the almost unbroken white blanket that covered nearly everything. In only a short period of time an inch of snow had already accumulated and more was promised. A few minutes earlier the boss decided to release everyone from work early so as not to have to risk driving the long treacherous ice and snow covered mountain road back to Dahlonega, which was bound to worsen as the day progressed. This was the fourth major snowfall of the year in North Georgia causing schools and businesses to close. Our small quaint little town will most likely take on a festive type atmosphere as college students freed from classes take to the parade field and compete to see which group can form the largest snowball as they usually do on a snow day. Several years ago I remember driving by and seeing what had to have been a 15’ snowball on the parade field along with several lesser 7 footers scattered about. Today would probably be no different.
The sight outside my office was beautiful… The long cascading waterfall next to my office was flanked on either side by snow covered rocks. Icicles were beginning to form on the dripping rocks that overlook the falls. Immediately I wished I had my camera as the view was post card like. In some was it was a shame to have to walk to my truck and break the smooth white covering with my footprints. I couldn’t help but think how beautiful it was…..and how breathtaking…..and how cold….and wet…..and how it also means……. another F@*!*^g trainer ride. Damn I’m ready for summer……

Good new is that despite the crappy weather here in the south, training is in full swing and I feel as healthy as I ever had for this time of year even though my bike base is slightly down. I was pretty skeptical at first however I think the switch to from Pearl Izumi shoes to Saucony has helped me as my foot pain while running has been reduced drastically. I poured back over my logs recently and although I have been dealing with calf problems for several years now I believe the foot problems (Plantar issues) were caused by my running shoes as it coincided with the switch to a new model of PI shoes. So BIG thumbs up to Sacony shoes. Can’t wait to get new trail shoes as the season’s first Xterra is next month!

I also can’t wait until 21 March! Aside from it being ING weekend, I’ve signed on for Carole’s swim clinic she’s running in Atlanta. This will be the first time I have EVER had ANY swim coaching or instruction. Should be fun and interesting…….or maybe embarrassing……or whatever….man….it can’t make me swim any worse, that’s for sure!