Triathlon Chronicles: Danskin Tri in quaint little Howell, Mich.

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This is the really nice, expensive, borrowed bike that prompted me to send text messages to my children every day, asking for caution when pulling into the garage.

I am sitting on my deck on this very nice Sunday evening, enjoying a glass of Oberon Sauvignon Blanc and trying to stay awake long enough to type this without too many typos. I did the Super Sprint portion of the Danskin Triathlon this morning in our very own Howell, easily the smallest stop on the Danskin Tri Tour, and I am tri tired, let me tell you.

I was pretty sure I was not ready for this race. Sweltering heat and an extended beach vacation cut into the training, and I decided to borrow a road bike from The Bike Guy two weeks before the event. In addition – and I am not making excuses here – Ok, maybe I am – I have had sinus issues for 3 weeks that a round of Zyrtec hasn’t handled, so I will be going on antibiotics for a sinus infection tomorrow. And I am sure the 1000% humidity Sunday morning did not help matters.


The Super Sprint is the Weenie Run of triathlon, “just” a 1/4 mile swim, 6 mile bike, 2 mile run. The swim was in Thompson Lake. At the boat launch. Just Say Yuck To Muck, that’s for damn sure (actually, I was using a different word that rhymes with “muck” but Maria runs a family-friendly site. Kinda.). Three steps into the lake and you are knee deep in it, so the only thing left to do is to dive in and swim in a choppy, weedy dirty lake. No offense to all you Howell residents – I’ve heard the beach area is wonderful – but I am not swimming in that body of water again if I can help it. The Loch Ness Monster could be co-habitating with the Creature From the Black Lagoon in there and you would never see it. I thought I swam fast, but my time was 14:55 minutes, which is…not so fast. On the other hand, I did come in 18th out of 62 in the swim, and that was with a splitting headache from the above-mentioned lurking sinus infection.

And you need to know that when I got home, I stripped off my suit in the bedroom and could hear the gobs of muck hitting the floor.  Gah.

The Bike Guy lent me his wife’s carbon road bike. I think it weighs 5 lbs soaking wet. I rode it enough over two weeks to get a handle on the double-click gearing, but I didn’t have time to get 100% comfortable on it. One of the lessons here is, don’t ride a bike you aren’t 100% comfortable riding! The other lesson is check your tires and your pump BEFORE race day. Big thanks and shout out to the Liv Giant “bike care” guys at the race for filling my self-inflicted flat tire. I did OK – 23:49 minutes, and an 18th place ranking out of 62 – but on a six mile ride, I should have been at 20 minutes.

And my head still hurt. And it started to rain. And the run is my favorite part. So. Not.

Goddess #2 (who did the sprint version and whose awful experience deserves a post all its own – got slammed from behind in the swim, blew a tire early in the bike) and I had walked the run course twice, and I have to say it is a beautiful course, winding through the cemetery and city park along the lake. At 2 miles, it is at the extreme of my non-existent running capabilities. Plus, I had nothing, really truly nothing, after hauling ass (or feeling like I was hauling ass – same thing, right?) in the swim and the bike. I know I walked at least 50% of the route for a 22:47 (42nd rank out of 62), which still gave me an 11:24 mile pace, and yeah, I’ll take that.

And although I wasn’t thrilled with my times I did end up 31 out of 62 Super Sprinters, and I am quite alright with that too, thank you.

Next up: Tri at the Tavern, the Zukey Tri! Goddess #1 finally succumbed to pressure and is doing the entire tri solo – the rest of the Goddesses and I are doing the relay team thing. I get to swim 1/2 mile in Zukey Lake! I wonder what lives in the muck in that lake?*

*I really did wonder, so of course I turned to Google. And there is a List of Reported Lake Monsters. AND AND AND – there are no lake monsters listed for Michigan! We should totally change that.




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About Rebecca Foster 91 Articles
Rebecca Foster writes about food, politics, books and whatever has irritated her on any particular day, on her website Usual and Ordinary ( She is an occasional contributor to The Livingston Post and has remained active in local politics and the community after serving as Pinckney Village President from 2004-2012, and as a trustee currently. She is enjoying empty-nesting in Pinckney with her husband, three cats and a few chickens.


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