Leo Heffernan: 2016 Overall Winner – three words best describe Leo’s 2016 win: “medal medal medal.” As the only racer ever to count his medals (at least aloud) before they hatched, Leo cemented his ELLT reputation forever, joining McParland’s “No Apologizations,” the Grey Ghost’s pink triangle, and Gary’s muddler as in-erasable parts of the race. His 2016 performance was medal-worthy, worthy enough to win overall (in a squeakah over Eric Lapham, truth be told). Leo fits the Danno-mold of ELLT winners – a biker, not a golfer – and his win may start swinging that pendulum back, giving the crap golfers some hope. He’s had the advantage of growing up with the race and home court for three of the four events. What he lacks in common sense (“medal medal medal”) he makes up for with developed biking and climbing skills. Oh, and if you think he’s got an advantage because The Commissioner loves him, you misunderestimate The Commissioner.
Expectations for 2017: he’s trained in two medal (“medal medal medal”) events, basketball and biking, and while he could surprise on the rocks, he has no chance, even in an improved format, of placing in golf. He’s also facing the “year-after” curse of raised expectations and diminished performance. He will likely medal (“medal medal medal”) on the bikes, unless Ben Moeling, Eric Marshall, and Danno all put in peak performances. He picks last for hoops (or maybe not), which means he likely will have me and Steve Ball (in a 3v3 format). And maybe he can pick up a medal (“ “) on the rocks. Weakness: no one likes a repeat winner and everyone knows how hard it is to compete with a hangover.
Odds: 20-1, because if he dunks during basketball, outrides the old men, and climbs moderately well, he could be repeat. Big if on all three.