Muskoka Ironman 70.3.
Lake of Bays hosts the bike portion of this triathlon, and a horde of volunteers comes out each year to help direct traffic and cheer the athletes at every junction along the route.
We like hanging out at the corner of Dwight Beach Road and South Portage Road. It's at the top of the longest climb on the course, to the highest point on the course. There are plenty of other hills -- the route is considered to be one of the toughest because of the Muskoka hills -- but the other climbs are shorter, maybe steeper... tough indeed but they don't go on quite so long. It provides a great vantage point to see the competitors, because they are at their slowest as they crest the hill and make the turn.
John is 69. Gord told us that John didn't expect to complete the course -- when he got here this week and rode some of the terrain, he wasn't sure he'd be able to complete in the time allowed. Gord fretted at our corner, waiting for a phone call to come saying John had not completed the swim. When that call never came, he got quietly excited. He was so proud of his brother, who climbed off the couch, onto a bike, and never looked back.
We cheered, rang bells, jumped up and down... Gord then got in his car and leapfrogged ahead to watch and cheer farther along the route.
The hills stopped him, in the end, before he completed. They just slowed him down... and he ran out of the time allowed. He had the legs still, but he didn't have the clock.
But that doesn't matter.
We were just so delighted to be able to share his challenge. And hope he'll be back again next year. Good on ya', John, for being out there! Giving it a go!
Bird count day – December 16th
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