Handicapping the 2013 Field: Eric Lapham

Because one of the Young Liars predicted he would place first overall, seems like a good day to break down what Mr. Lapham brings to the triathlon

DSC06623

Quick explanatory note: Mr. Lapham was expected to race in 2012 and couldn’t. One year hasn’t changed much.

Strengths:

  • As noted in 2011, “Golf handicap of 6, 2 when playing on his home course.” In 2013, we will be playing Amesbury again — not his home course, but one he has confessed to liking. I’d give his chances for coming in first…one in three.
  • “The Tomato”…a three-year-old 29er for mountain biking that he has yet to compete on. I believe this is the bike that threw off Otto during last year’s time trial.
  • In 2011, we said, “wrestler quickness for basketball.” Based on experience, that is not a strength, its a superpower. But….see below
  • Again, we noted in 2011, “wrestler mentality for rock climbing” and we misunderestimated. But Mr. Lapham also ripped or tore r did something wrong to his wrist or shoulder or forearm on the rocks, so he may sit this stage out. (gotta remember — you climb with your feet)
  • In 2011, we said, “Larry Bird-like competitiveness…and this is the only time he has ever been compared to Larry.” That is still true, but we’ll add now that Lapham has the potential to add Rondo-like competitiveness to his skill set. To be determined…

012Weaknesses

  • We’re not going to play Lapham’s home course. Will he bitch and moan prior to the race? Yes. Will he shut-up and play like a Scot for 9 holes on Friday afternoon? Yes. Will he bitch and moan after that the course wasn’t as good as Ould Newbury (the extra “u” paid for by the Byfield Prevention of Vice and Protection of Virtue Society)? Yes. Net – weakness…
  • As noted in 2011, Lapham harbors an “inexplicable hatred for soccer….which was maybe made worse when his team won the event in 2010, then he learned it was an exhibition event only, not counting towards the final standings.” Curiously, he also harbors an inexplicable hatred for country music.
  • Again, as noted in 2011, “father of the next Pedro Martinez…so, yeah, we will be blaming him when the Young Liars start crushing us every year.” But…..but…..Lapham missed 2011, when the father of the next….crap….there is no better pitcher I have ever seen live than Pedro, so let’s revise Lapham and say he is the father of the next Pedroia while this is the next Pedro.
  • Wings…Lapham firmly believes Red Bull gives you wings, even when mixed with vodka. eyah……
  • Reach, height, reach, and height. In 2 of 4 events, Lapham has to overcome other racers’ natural advantages.

Fenway RicePast performance: 

In his first year, 2010, Eric Lapham’s soccer team won (although it was an exhibition event and didn’t count for overall scoring), he tied for second on the rocks (with some respectable climbs), crushed the field at golf, and tied for second on the mountain bikes, helped in part by his decision to ride a 1985 Huffy. If his hoops team had been able to at least scoop up third place, he would have medaled in every event. But missing something on the court and tying for second twice kept him slightly behind the overall 2010 champ. He did, however, provide a pool and some generous hospitality on Friday night, as well as music for the 7am soccer matches that morning. And copious amounts of Red Bull.

In 2011, Eric made the smart choice of family over ELLT and missed the triathlon, although he met some of the racers on Sunday when the horde crashed  the Byfield-Newbury All Star Summer Squad game in West Newbury (have I mentioned Lapham lives in Byfield, not Newbury?).

In 2012, Eric raced the first day and missed the second, but recorded the second best golf round at Amesbury, where we’re playing in 2013 (so….ehhh…kind of makes him an early favorite there). He also set a new record for bitching about soccer, complaining that the teams were unfair, despite the one goal differential at the half.

Tom and Eric Lapham

Tom and Eric Lapham

Expectations for 2012:

As noted in 2011 and 2012, “Eric Lapham would be the undisputed front runner, now that he understands the competition, the individual events, the need to pace oneself, and the need to lobby the Race Director effectively during the events. Lapham would also undisputed-ly bring more hospitality and general helpfulness, which is always good. But even missing 2011 should not lower Lapham’s chances of winning the overall in 2012.” So what’s changed? His competition in every event will be more substantial than in previous years. Otto will challenge him on the links, as will Gus (who beat him by one stroke last year). Lapham’s best chance for a comes on the bikes. And for hoops…well Eric has lobbied hard for a Byfield-Newbury Little League team and now he has it. No height, but great baseball coaching skills, which matter a lot in 3-on-3 basketball (worth watching this video all the way to the end). You get what you ask for. Four of the first five years went to roadies – JP, the Grey Ghost, and Shimp, and Otto. Lapham has a solid chance to join Danno as the only local ever to win it all.

ELLT 2010 Hoops Lapham Chris Graf

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