Sunday, June 19, 2011

Smashing Pumpkin!

Alison Aiken, just weeks after rocking the triathlon world with her stunning performance at Bristol, New Hampshire's Mooseman 70.3 Half-Ironman has announced her entry in an upcoming 2011 half-ironman. Many onlookers expected her to retire after the Mooseman, but -- despite an injury -- she proved that she is at the top of her game. "So many great memories," she says of Mooseman. Sources close to the sport expect nothing less than another outstanding performance from Aiken.

In a related story, Mark Aiken has also decided to race the squash event. This move has experts more than a little befuddled. Although his slapshot has improved in recent months, the other Aiken has done little to prove that he is capable of competing -- or even finishing -- an endurance event this grueling. "He must have been tricked -- or conned," said one anonymous triathlon specialist. Said another, "Maybe he's delusional."

The field is shaping up to be phenomenal -- Marty, Kristin, Lauren, world champ Maria, and many more will be there. An exciting event to say the least.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Inspirational Athletes

What a week in sports!

A picture says a thousands words, and this accompanying image simply sent chills down my spine. Robert Gordon Orr at the beginning of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals waved a giant flag bearing the number 18 for fallen Bruin Nathan Horton. Of course the B's won the game -- with inspiration like that, how could they lose?

For anyone who wonders what was the difference between the Bruins in Games 1 and 2 and the Bruins team that showed up for Games 3 and 4, the answer is obvious: the Rome hit on Horton was the difference. I am looking for a big Boston victory in Game 5.

Speaking of inspirational athletes, I witnessed an incredible display of athleticism this past Sunday at the Mooseman half-ironman triathlon. Actually, the display has been going on for months (that's how long it takes to train for an event like this), and Sunday was just the culmination -- a victory parade, if you will. Well, if victory parades are ever this grueling.

Congratulations to Marty, Kristin, Lauren, and Alison for kicking rear end in this unbelievably hilly endurance course. They dealt with frigid water temperatures in the 1.2-mile swim, Devil's Hill twice in the 56-mile bike, and several other nasty hills in the half-marathon run. They all looked great and performed amazingly. Their dedication to training all winter and spring paid off.

And, finally, speaking of athletes, thanks to Doug and Ruth for spectating with me. Just so you know, keeping up with these to uber-bikers while we were pedaling to the best viewpoints on the course was no walk in the park! Thanks for being part of the best spectating team in the race!