May 19, 2006

Hammerfest IV-y rundown

Originally sent on 5/1/06:

Greetings everyone

I'm loving the fact that when I come in to work on Monday morning, I have 12 emails in my inbox and less than 2 were actually work related…love it! :) I'm glad everyone else is getting into the spirit of writing out lengthy emails to recap the events of the weekend past.

So, here’s my version of what you missed if you weren’t cool like all of us over the weekend…
Hammerfest IV-y was a large success with ten participants and a star studded field participating in the best indoor mile swim in April in Monroe County. There were a few drop outs that chickened out from coming and diving into the water with the best of the best, but they will remain nameless for now. Some had good excuses, but nothing is really a good excuse for missing a Hammerfest… The leader board got a violent rearrangement and some people, including me, were shocked at the results.

There were 2 heats with the men in the first heat and the girls and Greg (because he had to time the run for health 5k and came a little late) in the second heat. We had Phil, myself, Amy Nazareth (not her real name, but I later found out she was a former national level swimmer for Naz…named Amy Mehltretter) Tim Boerschlein, and Chad Powley in the first heat. The "gun" went off and it went out REAL fast. Tim held on strong for a good 200 yards with everyone and the pace was frightening. I think Amy and I hit 500 meters in about 7:05 or so and we blazed thru 1k in less than 14 minutes according to Sys. It was a fight from the start as this unknown tiny girl Amy "Nazareth" decided to jump in and race with us as a warm up for her workout afterwards. We were neck and neck for the majority of the race and I'm sorry I can't give a running commentary on the rest of the heat (although I did see Chad stopping and doing backstroke for a while…) because I was too concentrated on catching Amy Mehltretter. She pulled away from me only about a body length shortly after 1,000 meters and never got more than 1.5 body lengths in front of me. It was a close race all the way to the finish as I put in a MAJOR surge with 250 left to go and caught right up so our heads were even and then lost it in the final 150. The winning time was 23:31 by Amy Mehltretter "Nazareth" and I was 10 seconds behind in 23:41. This apparently was Amy's fastest 1,650 of the season and it was a best time for me by over 75 seconds. Good times.

There was a race for the third spot as Chad touched out Phil to the wall with Chad in 26:32 and Phil right on his heels in 26:33. Tim, a Hammerfest virgin, popped his cherry with a 28:27, VERY impressive Tim. (I hope you were able to lift your arms the next day…) Overall, a stellar performance to heat one… but not to be out-done by heat 2.

Up next were the women and Greg which went off with Sam, Kelly, Erin, Sys and Greg all taking to the pool. It was a good "race" with Kelly and Sam each talking to each other for about the first 100 meters between breaths. Sys and Erin seemed to stay even for the better part of the race.

Phil, as always amazed us and gave us something to watch as he brought his flippers and mask to add to the counting display that he always creates. It allowed everyone to take their mind off the swim ("Hey Tim, what number are you on? I think I forgot to flip it….no wait, I think I'm ok…") Heat two ended up with Erin scorching the field and taking the fifth spot of the day with a blazing 26:39 and Sys a little more than a minute behind in 27:44. Sam rounded out the podium for heat two in a time of 28:24, with Greg practicing his open turns following in 30:21. The tin foil and wire coat hanger trophy will go to Kelly Boerschlein this time around with the most time in the pool at 31:19. Nice job to everyone.

The awards convened at my place on the porch where we unfortunately could not find an outlet to plug in some tunes. But music aside, we still had a great spread of food and even a Carvel ice cream cake for a lucky Kelly Boerschlein as it was her birthday yesterday (Happy b-day Kells) There was enough food to feed a family of elephants, or Travis Money and the awards ceremony followed shortly after the food was spread on the porch. We all basked in the sunshine in the afternoon and lamented one we realized Chad didn't make it in for the awards. (sorry buddy…) I'm sure he'll make one eventually…

There were race goody bags for each participant which consisted of race flyers, a Safeco pen, a Hammerfest bumper sticker, and a peanut butter Clif Bar. Race bags were provided by Fleet Feet (thanks Boots and Ellen!) and there were plenty of flyers for their races inside as well. The awards went off and everyone kind of slipped into a small food coma with everything there was to eat. Door prizes (not prizes for walking thru the door, Sys… :) ) were raffled away and a nice Fuel Belt plastic lexan water bottle went to Phil, a triathlon training log went to Erin Varley, the ever coveted entry into Hammerfest V went to the sexy Timmy B, and Sys came away with the women's door prize of the 2006 women's issue of Inside Triathlon magazine. Good times.

Attached is a copy of the updated leader board for the all time top performances of Hammerfest. Next month will be the 5th installment of Hammerfest and there will be a special award given to those who have come to each and every one to date. (possibly including Hammerfest 3.5 too…) But since Phil is heading away (for real this time…) we are thinking of changing it up a bit and doing Hammerfest V on a Thursday to allow Phil and Kells one last Hammerfest before PJ departs to Portland to learn to jump out of planes…lucky kid… So, the tentative date for el cinco de Hammerfest is 5/18/06 at 8pm at the Otto Schultz building at Nazareth's College. Mark your calendars for it. The open swim on weekdays is from 8-11pm, so we are going to try and get there at 8pm and get in the water at 8:15 to start.

I know people hold real jobs and need to get their beauty sleep so we are going to get it done as early as possible. I'm toying with the idea of holding the awards some other place other than my apartment (maybe a restraunt or bar?) or even at Nazareth (Unfortunately we couldn't have booze at the awards then….) but doing it so that it can be done shortly after a nice sauna stay. We can bring a smorgasbord of food picnic style if need be for the awards. It'll be different, but good times none the less. Let me know what you all think about it and if you can make it on Thursday 5/18/06 at 8pm…

Till then, train hard and I hope warm waters and fast times await you all. Cheers, and thanks for making Hammerfest such a big deal :)

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