Like hundreds, they float into Medical Lake for this test of endurance and sanity>>>

Photo above courtesy of University of Idaho (

 August 16, 1992

My first Triathlon!!!
It was called the Troika Triathlon, a 1.2 mile swim, a 58 mile bicycle race, and a 13.1 mile run, which started in a little nearby town called Medical Lake, Washington, a town built around a lake of the same name. It was a favorite training ground of mine, and it boasted the Eastern Washington insane asylum. So it was the perfect stage for a half-Ironman triathlon. I guess they had vacancies.
I'd always wanted to do a triathlon and almost raced this same race in 1991 only to come to my senses and back out the day before, because I'd not trained for this specific type of competition. In 1992 I tried very hard to get into shape after Brenda's June wedding, and I put so much into it that I was smelling amonia when I showered. I later discovered this was the smell of burning muscle. I was working out so hard I was literally burning up. It put a strain on my marriage too, but we survived and it was worth it.

The above photo is from the 2003 race, and it's from another website...I just wanted to show what the start looked like. The first thing I noticed after the swim got underway (besides all the swimmers pulling away from me), was there are no painted lines under me to guide me in the right direction, and no walls to hang on to if I got tired. I HAD to swim...I'd never swum anything but pools before.*gulp*
Seeing as I couldn't really swim more than 100 meters without stopping, I side-stroked most of the time...very embarrassing, but I made it. Sticking one's head into Medical Lake is like sticking it in an unflushed toilet, and I soon had so much crap on my goggles I

I could do this race in my sleep>>>couldn't see when I pulled my head out to do my sidestroke. I tried to slip them around my neck, but they were so tight they were strangling me. I began struggling to pull them off with one arm while using the other to keep afloat. It looked ugly from a distance, not only because I looked like I was struggling, but because with all my effort, I was in dead last place. A paddle boat came by, and the occupants calmly asked,"Do you need medical attention?" By the finish I'd passed two 'swimmers' and came out of the water 3rd from last, with a 58 mile bicycle race, and a 13.1 mile run ahead of me. Advice...don't ever enter a triathlon if you can't swim! The good part about a triathlon in a filthy lake is, you can drink all you want before the race, and if you have to go, you just go. Oh, and swim clear of the smiling swimmers with the glazed look in their eyes.

On left photo, I'd just left the water with seaweed, dirt and a variety of fish fesis streaming off my body, unable to walk straight, trying to ride straight until the oxygen returned to my brain.
Hereafter I was not passed again during the rest of the race. Things went well except for the minute or two I lost in a porta-potty at the halfway point of the run. I moved up 134 places after the swim to finish 160th out of 293 competitors in an undistinguished total time of 5hrs 35min 27sec. I did get 26th place out of 69 in my division, but losing 35 minutes in the swim didn't help my placing much. I finished 291st in the swim, 95th in the bicycle ride, and 104th in the run. I was admittedly racing conservatively because I'd had lots of problems in 1992 with ulcers caused by marriage and job the final mile of the run I decided to kick up the speed a little, and I blew by about ten runners with little effort. It was then I realized I'd not given my 100%. A little choked up, as I was the year before when I finished my first marathon (another long-time personal goal of mine) I crossed the line to my waiting wife. Then we went to Dairy Queen to celebrate, and the next day Miimii told me I could buy that Mickey Mouse jersey which I'd been drooling over at the local bicycle shop. I still wear it today (I take it off when I shower).
This was the worst blistering I'd ever seen. In my first marathon I had this triathlon I had blood blisters on top of blood blisters. You had to pop one to reach the other. The wet feet from the swim made everything chafe much more than on dry feet.

Then I went to Disneyland...okay, not really.
But Lunch and Moo were so proud they wrote a song for me...and here they are performing it...
*Due to copyright laws the lyrics of this Lunch Tea Cat song cannot be displayed on this site*>>>