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    Turtleman Triathlon - Jessica's spectating report

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    We knew we were walking into a situation that may not be ideal for watching Mike and Joe compete in the Turtleman Triathlon in Shoreview on Saturday. Jen and I decided that we'd do our best and if the weather turned sour, we'd watch from the safety of her car. Mom and Dad met us at the intersection of Churchill and Tanglewood, on both the bike and run courses, with their big golf umbrella. It was raining, but only a little on and off, so we unpacked all of the kids (AJ, Benjamin and John) and began cheering on the cyclists. Soon after we arrived, Joe cruised by. We all banged our thundersticks, waved our pom-poms and rang our cowbells. The athletes seemed very genuinely happy to have us there. Due to the weather and the nature of the race there were probably not many spectators out on the course, so many of them expressed heartfelt thanks for our cheering. A little while after Joe, Mike came by on his bike. He seemed very focused, which probably had something to do with the wet conditions and many, many turns along the course.

    Good morning!

    After all of the cyclists had gone past us, we all relaxed a bit, the boys ran around and we continued dodging raindrops. An Excel Energy truck pulled up near us and the guy inside told us that he was there to fix a transformer on the power lines across the street and that we should probably cover our ears when he fixes it because the noise can be quite loud. The boys were full of excitement and nerves at this site. He got out his long pole and replaced something on the electrical stuff at the top of the post. Sure enough it sounded like shotgun went off and a big spark popped out. It was actually pretty cool to watch. Funny thing is though that a little while later, the transformer blew AGAIN (this time we were not warned to cover our ears) and the guy had to come back for a second attempt at fixing it.

    Good morning!

    Runners soon started coming toward us and we all moved out of their way and began to cheer them on. A couple of minutes later, Mom noticed an ominous look to the skies both west and north of us. The clouds were literally rolling toward us and they were moving FAST! It is amazing how quickly you can pack up chairs, a stroller, misc. stuff, a 1 year old, two 4 year olds and 4 adults when it looks like danger is approaching. We managed to get everything and everyone in the car before the storm hit. After the worst went through, we took turns hopping in and out of the cars to watch the race. It was raining buckets. The points on the ground where the sidewalk slants into the street were HUGE puddles of rain. The poor runners had to run through this awful weather and here we were ringing our cowbells out in the same conditions. I thought they appreciated our cheering when they were on the bikes, but now the racers were stopping to thank us. We tried to lighten their spirits by telling them "Just a little rain, you can do it!" This brought out many smiles. It was great. We saw Joe run by and a while later Mike. At first I was concerned that he had not come by us as early as I had expected. I had no idea that they had canceled the race and was afraid something bad happened. I was relieved to finally see him and to see that he was pushing forward and having fun - in typical Mike style!

    We had quite the adventure! And it was fun!

    (Mike's race report is below...)