Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Not Competing in the 'Ironman' This Year

The Local Ironman?
I recently did a search for Ironman, hunting for ideas, tips, tidbits, or kernels of knowledge that I do not already know. (Okay, I was procrastinating life.) Granted, I know next to nothing so this sort of search should have proven lucrative. Not only did I come across some great info, blogs, tips, etc. I found an Ironman race here in Rochester, NY.

I was shocked. I am a proponent of the Ironman and have no problem with the WTC. I thought the nearest IronEvent was in Lake Placid, which I have been traveling and competing for the past 5 years and will continue to do so until I qualify for Kona, run out of money, or the Wife threatens divorce (whichever comes first). Even then, I might still have to think about getting out of the IronBusiness. Truth is, I am enjoying the lifestyle. There is a 70.3/ Half-Ironman in Syracuse- about a 90-minute drive. I may do that race, still undecided as of yet. How is it that I have missed an Ironman in Rochester? Surely I would have seen it on the website, seen it on the news, or read it in the paper. What gives?

Side Tracked with a Point
When I travel, which is not all that often, I make it a point to sample the local cuisine. Go to Florida, must eat seafood. Go to Maine, buy some lobster. Go to Indiana, eat some corn (as if you had a choice). Oklahoma is screaming for you to eat meat (I mean literally-there's a sign as you enter the state that actually says "Eat Meat"). Wisconsin has its cheese. Buffalo has its wings. Chicago has its deep dish pizza. Local food rocks. I went to a nerd science teacher conference in New Orleans. I ate something called a Po' Boy, which was a hoagie, which was a grinder, which was a sub. I also ate gumbo, alligator, goulash, crawfish, frog legs, oysters, and something really creepy called a "burger." Ahh, that was a pretty good afternoon for eating.

So often, other cities try to mimic by stealing some other city's idea and making a half-assed version. Take the Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. You'd better believe that if I were ever in Philadelphia, I'd reward the local economy by sampling an authentic PCS sandwich. I've eaten plenty of them in my life time and I'd sure like to know what the template tastes like. Either that, or get other cities to use their whole ass when making the sandwich.

Sadly, I live in a city whose claim to food is even too extreme for my undiscerning taste buds to sample. We have what's lovingly referred to as a "Garbage Plate." Confused? Disgusted? Wait. Let me share with you the Garbage concept. Imagine going to an All-American Family Restaurant and ordering one of those burger things. You tend to get beef, bread, lettuce, tomato, onions, ketchup, mustard and (for some reason) a pickle. As for sides, you can choose from french fries, coleslaw, baked beans and/ or macaroni salad. In most reputable establishments, these are separated on a dish so that you may sample each individually at your own beckoning.

Not the Garbage Plate. Take all of that aforementioned greasy goodness and pile it on top of each other. Form a make-shift casserole of greasy, gooey, fatty ooze. Allow the drip and splatter of each of the Atkins approved items mix and mingle into one larger, flowing blob of artery hardening nutrition. This is a Garbage Plate (or an old Hitchcock movie).

Now, I am not normally afraid of anything. (Well, except for spiders, snakes, bats, vampires, tiny pebbles, hot chicks, failure, making a fool of myself, rejection, stubbing my toe, public speaking, and writing a bad blog post.) My belly can normally handle just about anything. I have not been able to bring myself to eat this chemistry experiment of food.

Finally, the Point
Apparently, one of the local universities has stolen the triathlon spirit of the word, Ironman (who stole it from a comic book, but that's a different story), and used it to their philanthropic advantage. According to Wikipedia, the number one source for questionable knowledge...
A charitable Garbage Plate Run is sponsored by the University of Rochester's Sigma Phi Epsilon. Held annually in the spring, this three-man race begins at the U of R River Campus. The first of the team members run 2.2 miles through the city to Nick Tahou's. Once they arrive, the second teammate eats a garbage plate as quickly as they are able, then the final teammate runs back to campus to complete the race. In a race titled the "Ironman", one-man teams attempt to complete all three tasks alone.
The Fraternity Boys donate all proceeds from this event to the CURE Childhood Cancer Association.  I am not sure who pays for the projectile cleanup along the route. I am also unsure how to get a 'one-man team.' But, consider the source.

Notice how the wiki completely fails to tell you if anyone has actually completed the The Garbage Plate Ironman. Doesn't seem likely. I think they entitle you a success for even attempting the feat. Good luck to all of the IronGarbageMen. This event is too strong for me. I'm going to keep with the traditional Ironman (no, not the comic book guy) and allow the hills of Lake Placid to beat me up. Two point four miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, 26.2 miles of running seems significantly easier than the Garbage Plate Run.

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