Two days before the race begins is usually the right time to post odds on every racers chance of winning the overall 1st place champion king trophy award. Copying last year’s disclaimers:
- these “odds” are informational only, as the House is not actually taking bets. $25 covers the keg and a shirt, not a bookie fee.
- the “odds” are on winning first place overall, not just reaching the overall podium and/or finishing the race
- The Commissioner has reconfirmed that reaching the overall podium requires completing all four stages of the race. Appeals to The Commissioner can be made at any time
Odds of winning 1st Place Overall in the 2013 East Luray Liars Triathlon
(doing odds only for racers competing in all four scored events)
Eric Shimp (2010 champion) — 5-1: It has been a long, long stretch without Eric on the overall podium, but everything is lined up for him this year. He’s been biking more in his training AND he will be riding the Hulk. He has been playing golf consistently and against decent competition. And his basketball team is the best it has been since 2010. His one weakness? Steve Ball’s martinis. And math. As it happens every year, Eric’s final standing all depends on golf…
Steve Ball (2008 2nd place) — 2-1: This is the Summer of Steve. He’s driving up a day early (copying two-time champion JP’s arrive-early move). He has unlimited training time. He recently made his hajj to Graceland. He will have Eric Shimp on his basketball team. He has white sweat pants from Germany and Germany won the World Cup. Summer of Steve. Check those odds – double guns for two-to-one.
JP Ratajczak (2013 champion, 2012 2nd place overall, 2008 champion) — 20-1: In 2013, JP benefitted from the rules change eliminating expectations and did all the things expected – won at basketball, led on the rocks, held his own on the bikes and playing golf. A repeat in 2014 will depend, as always, on his basketball teammates and whether or not he can climb better than Chris Roy or the rookies. In good Ohio tradition, he started downplaying his chances back in January. (one thing we need to add to this blog is a page for all the places the overall trophy has been, such as the Makers Mark distillery, the Columbus Crew pitch, a closet in New Jersey…no matter who wins this year, JP has set the bar high for lugging that awkward thing all over)
Steve Schukraft (2011 3rd Overall) — 6-1: Steve is bringing his own bike and was training as late as today. He shed his under-performing basketball team. He always climbs well. Family in town could be the wild card – maybe a plus, maybe a minus. If Lapham disrupts golf and Chris Roy gets a flat during the time trial, though, Steve will coast into a place on the podium.
Steve Otto (2012 Overall Champion) — 7-1: Otto faces three major obstacles in returning to the podium. First, the golfing field is tighter than usual this year (Lapham, Marshall, Gus, Shimp, and Cavanaugh can all play well enough to win) which makes it harder for him to get that green jacket. Second, Steve Ball is going to have an extra day to mixologize his way to success. And third, those pants. On the plus side, he does have a better basketball team this year.
Mike Graf (2013 2nd Overall) — 3-1: last year’s surprising podium finish came after years of Maeve predicting Me-Mike would win. He will be playing on last season’s championship hoops team. And riding L’Orange through the far-more-friendly-confines of Willowdale. His climbing has steadily improved. And he will be playing golf with Steve Ball. A repeat podium finish seems more than just possible.
Chris Doyle (2013 3rd Overall) — 3-1: everything in Mike Graf’s favor also favors Chris. If his outside shot is as deadly as it was last year, his team will be playing drive-and-dish all the way to a repeat championship. Mike and Chris will also be best positioned to handle rookie Tom Lovell, a potential dark horse threat (see below). An all rugby podiumin 2014 as a preview to a rugby sevens stage in 2015?
Tom Lovell (rookie) — 13-1: Rookies traditionally do well, but this year’s altered stage sequence won’t favor someone who hasn’t been through The Knot. Tom brings a rugby mentality, which may go a long way to overcoming rubgy skills at golf and basketball. Without the expectations handicap/advantage, Tom may actually do better – on raw talent alone he could win climbing and place on the bikes. And he already dropped a bribe on the Race Director, so….
Chris Roy (multiple hoops, mountain bike medalist, first time GC racer) — 2-1: So let’s acknowledge that he’ll place in the top three on the bikes. We have no idea if he can play golf. He’ll exhaust everyone but JP on the soccer pitch and may climb well. He is skipping the Thursday night prologue stage. And his basketball team includes a mountain biker and a rugby player, which might be a perfect combination. Gentlemen, you know who you’re up against.
Gary Cavanaugh (multiple golf, mountain bike medalist) — 7-1: How does a 55 year old get better odds than a rookie 10 years younger and a two time overall champion? Old man strength, old man smarts, and mad skillz with a muddler. We’re playing his home course for golf and his home court for hoops. His whoops and caterwauls at Willowdale in 2009 still echo today. His basketball team shocked everyone last year by becoming the toughest to beat. If there was ever a year for Gary, this is it.
Eric Marshall (2012 3rd Overall) — 3-1: Just like Chris Roy, there are certain guaranteed results. Eric will be in the top three in golf. And he could well crack the top three on the bikes. If his basketball teammates help out and he turns rocks into ice, he could easily reach the top three at the end of Saturday. And if he doesn’t, he is still going to smoke a cigar.
Eric Gundrum (multiple medal winner and ELLT Planning/Coordinating/Hosting Committee member) — 20-1: Eric is the Zeno’s paradox of the ELLT. He somehow moves through every stage – plays well in soccer, climbs quietly and competently, sucks like most of us at golf, bikes better than most of us, and camelbaks through hoops like every good mountain biker should — with calm grace and a constant eye on keeping the keg cold, arriving at Saturday perfectly intact although Zeno says he shouldn’t even be there. The year he picks the perfect beer to serve all weekend, he wins…this could be the year.
Tom Gustafson (green jacket a couple times) — 20-1: Mudders never get the best odds, even on a rainy day. Tom is a mudder and he’ll be carrying with him an injury (that will keep him off the soccer pitch, but he is still in the GC because of the rules). He’s surprised the field on the bikes previously and is a lock for the top three in golf, so two high finishes could be enough.
Not in contention this year are Danno (previous overall champion), Amit (who will miss mountain biking), Chris Heffernan (missing everything but hoops), and Eric Lapham (missing his fave soccer, plus climbing and hoops.
Not racing this year are the Grey Ghost, Jason Madden (traveling to Alaska), Tom McParland (chasing lawyers off his property in Maine), Ben Moeling (posted to The Sudan), Eamonn Garber (posted to The Marines), and Big Daddy.