Tag Archives: Eric Lapham

2017 Odds – Lapham (elder)

Eric Lapham, 2015 overall winner – and the only one to come up just short twice, with two second place overall finishes. Lapham is the most dangerous obvious contender in the field. His strengths in golf and on the bikes have routinely overcome any shortcomings in hoops and climbing. His below-average soccer skills don’t matter in the overall standings. And he’s proven height doesn’t matter as much in 3v3 basketball (something that may change if we lengthen the court to 4v4). One of the best ELLT pictures is Lapham walking towards the camera, green jacket on, muscles flexed and looking ready to attack, trying to stave off disappointment for coming in second. And one of my favorite ELLT traditions is the annual email ritual around flag football and soccer, argued with relentless passion by Lapham.

Expectations for 2017: He will medal in golf and, absent a technical problem or Drew-like GPS error, he likely won’t come up short on the standings on the time trial. He could surprise on the rocks and hoops, which makes him an automatic, absent some strange short-fall, contender for the overall. Weakness: Can he stand losing at golf to Drew? Can he carry a basketball team made up of a skier and a soccer player? (wait, check that, he can). Can he compete with a buckeye stuck in his shoe? Will New England run out of vodka and Red Bull?

Odds: 2-1. No one wants to bridge the gap between second and first more than Lapham. Close, but just short last year. Not likely to be short again this year.


ELLT 2013 – yes, 2013 – soccer

so I came across a mess of great pictures from soccer during the 2013 ELLT

we played that year with circus tents in the background – seemed fitting

ELLT 2015 soccer groupEric Lapham’s header here is textbook perfect, reflecting how much he knows and loves the game

ELLT 2013 soccer Lapham header

More of Eric’s technique, this time demonstrating how soccer is really a dance, really a tango

ELLT 2013 soccer Lapham and Madden dancing

But now I am completely confused – what is Eric doing?

ELLT 2013 soccer what is Lapham doing

Man Down! This was the year I was at 50% or less throughout the entire triathlon

ELLT 2013 soccer man down

the always amusing annual “Steve Ball Afraid” picture

ELLT 2013 soccer Ball afraid

about to be a goal, putting the blue team up 22-1

ELLT 2013 soccer about to be a goal

Mike Graf showing off some technique (as Eric Lapham takes notes)

ELLT 2013 soccer Graf technique

exceptional defense

ELLT 2013 soccer defense

Steve Ball did not score a header here

ELLT 2013 soccer not a steve ball header goal

fitting last picture — another goal for the blue team

ELLT 2013 soccer Danno scores

ELLT 2013 Soccer – 3 pictures tell the story

so the blue team won, with plenty of credit to JP and that whoever was always offsides but passing him the ball for his finishing shots on goal. But the following three pictures show that maybe the blue team had another MVP.

notice the dirt area where the grass has worn away, to Eric G’s right and ahead of where Mike is going with the ball

ELLT 2013 Soccer Graf Lapham 1now you can see how Eric Lapham has come around Graf for the steal, with better position on the ball, elbow in the guts, textbook technique

ELLT 2013 Soccer Graf Lapham 2now look at that dirt spot again and you can see Mike not only held possession, but gained some separation to pass.

ELLT 2013 Soccer Graf Lapham 3have I mentioned we’re playing soccer again in 2014? And its a World Cup year…good times coming…



ELLT 2013 Soccer Pic of the Day

ELLT 2013 Soccer Lapham Phantom KickNot sure what is happening here, but maybe Eric Lapham hates soccer because he doesn’t understand you’re supposed to kick the ball, not the air

2 Days and a wake-up — odds

Echoing the last two years, I’ve saved the overall odds for 2 days before the event, giving everyone plenty of time to lobby, but also enough time to adjust, as needed. A few words on “odds” and scoring.

  • these “odds” are informational only, as the House is not actually taking bets. $30 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

Trophy Last Day in Virginia

Steve Otto (2012 Champion, 2009 2nd place) — 15-1: Otto flew the race at top speed in 2012, stopped only by a tree on the time trial. In 2011, the field slanted heavily towards the rock climbers and mountain bikers, stages that Otto did well in, but faced crazy steep competition. This year, Otto could medal in climbing, golf, and mountain biking. In hoops, just like last year…well…one of his teammates was on a champion team once. If he repeats his 2012 performance, minus the crash, Otto will be well-positioned for a return to the overall top 3.


JP Ratajczak (2012 2nd place overall, 2008 champion) — 10-1: JP benefits from the rules change eliminating expectations. And his 2nd place finish in 2012 makes him heavily favored this year. If his golf game hasn’t improved, but his basketball teammates continue last year’s success (2nd place in an epic final game), he should be on the podium at the end.

JP with the trophy

Eric Marshall (2012 3rd overall) — 100-1: In 2012, the odds started like this: “Here is your 2012 Easy-Money-Lock Grey Horse contender, a true mudder” and he finished 3rd, which proves these odds are somewhat based in reality.  The real world is keeping Eric off the rocks and away from golf this year, which means his medaling chances are reduced to mountain biking (easily in the top 5, not sure if he’ll crack the top 3) and basketball…where one of his teammates is a 5 time winner.

Eric Marshall and turtles

Dan Moore (2011 champion, 2008 3rd place) — 50-1: Danno remains in contention for rock climbing. His golf game still sucks and he is out of contention for mountain biking. So his chances for the podium rest with with hoops…and his teammates, as it stands now, are both roookies not known for their basketball skills. A first on the rocks, a hole-in-one (resulting in 3rd), and a miracle on the court and Danno could place again.

ELLT 2011 Danno Chistmas time

Eric Shimp (2010 champion) — 12-1: Eric has one weakness — mountain biking. With some luck (meaning mostly bad luck attached to Marshall, Lapham, and Gus) in golf and a solid hoops performance, plus a decent year on the ropes, Eric could very well medal in three events. And, for what its worth — over 5 years of competition, no racer has earned a medal in all four events. If he pulls down three stage medals, its hard to see him missing the podium again in 2013….all depends on golf…

Number 89 New York Jets

Eric Lapham (2010 2nd place) — 100-1: Eric will miss rock climbing due to injury/real-life, but should expect to medal in golf and mountain biking. If Lapham is sitting on two 1st place finishes and the next two stages produce 6 winners without another stage win…The Commissioner, The Race Director, and the head of the ELLT Competition Committee may need to have a special rules discussion regarding GC qualifications…but only if we’re looking at 2 1st place finishes and a messy rest of the field.

ELLT 2010 Lapham unhappy in second place

Steve Ball (2008 2nd place) — 25-1: Revisiting last year’s projection: “Steve’s podium finish in 2008 came from the perfect ELLT strategy: low expectations, a strong liver, and good luck.” With expectations no longer a factor, Steve’s training and actual atheltic execution become the key difference. His basketball team is intact from last year, so a little more experience may help. Cardio and strength training should help on the rocks. He will, once again, get a decent mountain bike and should be able to cut his time trial time by 75%. He will suck at golf…but medals on the rocks and bikes…and mixology skills that reduce the other racers’ skills…and maybe possibly he could be that dark horse surprise winner.

ELLT 2012 Steve Ball Nationals Fan

Steve Schukraft (2011 3rd Place) — 35-1: Steve illustrates perfectly the bias built into the stages and why the golf-and-basketball players are more heavily favored over time against the rock-climbers-and-mountain-bikers. In short, you can get better at biking and climbing more quickly than you can get better at golf (and, to a lesser degree, hoops). So if you have a decent golf game, you’re always in contention, provided you put a little time in working on cardio and some basic rock/ride techniques. Of course, the competition in golf is a bit more intense, with the elite players all very closed matched. All of which makes me think we need to consider a true golf handicap approach for 2014. But for now we have Steve Schukraft, sneaky good at rock climbing and mountain biking, but hobbled by limited golf skills and questionable basketball teammates. If the top three golfers win nothing else and the winning court trio is similarly shut out, medals in climbing and biking could propel Steve back to the podium…but those are long odds.

ELLT 2011 Post Race Steve S 3rd overall

Tom McParland (2010 3rd place) — 23-1: Tom set an impossibly high bar last year with his speech on Thursday night, labeling the rest of the field as runner-ups and making “no apologizations” for his pending abscence. So this year, the pressure is on…golf and rock climbing are a mystery as previous years give no real indications. And we should expect an outstanding time trial, but will be surprised if he overcomes his teammates at hoops. Early success on the rocks, confusion in the GC standings, and a solid time trial and he sneaks into 1st.


Mike Graf – 15-1: From last year: “Every year the Young Liars are convinced Me-Mike has a shot at 1st place overall, which means Mike is terrible at setting expectations low (at least with the younger crowd). This year, Mike’s got an improved hoops team, 4 years of experience on the rocks, and a properly-sized mountain bike. If he trims a couple minutes off his time trial and puts that length to use on the rocks…this could be Mike first trip to the overall podium.” Just needs a properly fitting helmet and we’re looking at a strong contender for 1st.

Graf before biking

Chris Doyle — 11-1: Everyone has benefitted and suffered from Steve Ball’s penchant for muddlers and the morning-after regrets, but only Chris has had his triathlon derailed by Steve Ball’s terrible sense of direction. By following Steve the wrong way on the time trial, Chris took himself out of contention on the bikes and probably used up the extra strength he needed to sink the winning shot in basketball. He has a decent shot on the rocks, could take a 3rd place in golf, should expect to be in contention on the bikes….and could very well be part of the hoops team that ends the Shimpean Dynasty. Gentlemen, your Grey Horse Lock for 2013, Chris Doyle…

ELLT 2009 Chris and Maureen post race

Jason Madden — 35-1: Jason came in 9th on the time trial last year and his basketball team won two games. In other words, he is coasting below the radar and could easily outperform last year’s personal results (although in basketball, he may be a bit more challenged). With a solid showing on the rocks and a little luck on the bike….still some long odds, considering his golf game and hoops teammates.

ELLT 2011 mountain biking Jason at rest

Chris Heffernan – 150-1: Without doing the rocks, golf, and biking Chris’ odds are substantially diminished. He is likely to have a gold medal winner on his basketball team…but….seriously…hard to see a podium finish.

ELLT 2012 Hoops Chris Chris Jason rugby

Gary Cavanaugh — 12-1: This is Gary’s year. He will compete in the first six stages (including Muddling) and is a serious contender in golf and basketball. All he needs to do is complete rock climbing and mountain biking, medal in the other two events, and he is a lock for the podium. A first in golf and hoops and he gets his first overall championship.

ELLT 2012 Hoops Gary gets serious

Tom Gustafson — 100-1: Without rock climbing, Tom’s overall chances are diminished…..but…he could repeat in the green jacket and his 2012 mountain biking time was shockingly fast. If – huge if – his basketball teammates can step up and play fast, quick, high-percentage shooting hoops, he could step up to the podium. But…he’ll need extra help, especially if he falters even slightly on the golf course.

ELLT 2012 Hoops Gus and Danno

Eric Gundrum — 150-1: Real-life is taking Eric away for the final three events, so he will need to win on the rocks and the golf course to reach the podium (with help), but….that seems unlikely (at least on the golf course). He has, however, provided the absolute best basketball jerseys for Team Guinness…(and I can’t find a single picture of that elusive bastard)

black and tan

John Coliano and Brecht Palombo — 150-1 (each): Rookies have traditionally done well, but those years included expectations in the scoring….so John and Brecht will have to overcome 5 years of experience and a basketball teammate prone to wandering off to the keg in mid-game.


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


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


  • 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…


  • 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

ELLT 2013 Hoops — These are your teams

On Saturday afternoon, August 2, the following teams will take the court, order of match-ups to be determined:


Hoosiers: JP, Chris Doyle, and Mike Graf (last year’s runners-up, looking for revenge)

Team Hickory

Cubed: Steve Ball, Steve Otto, and Steve Schukraft (easily the best dressed last year, with their cool shirts)


Granite: Chris Roy, Chris Heffernan, and Danno (pound for pound, the most like their team name)

ELLT 2012 Hoops Chris Chris Jason rugby

Styx: Eric Shimp, Gary Cavanaugh, and Eric Marshall

ELLT 2012 Hoops Gary gets serious

Bill Dow’s Little Leaguers: Eric Lapham, Jason Madden, and Tom Gustafson


Guinness: Tom McParland, Eric Gundrum, and me

Tom McP and a black and tan

Please remember — all this is subject to change, as players’ schedules and/or injuries may preclude them from making the basketball stage of the race. In the event we need to mix up the teams, we will…

and a few more pictures from hoops over the years:

ELLT 2010 post-hoopsELLT 2009 Hoops - 21 yearsELLT 2009 Hoops the Steves play tightELLT 2012 Hoops Ben plays defenseELLT 2011 Ben and Eric M get ready for hoopsELLT 2009 Hoops - game-winning shotELLT 2011 Basketball JP and Eric not a foul -close upDSC02671ELLT 2009 Hoops - Gary shooting hoopsELLT 2009 Hoops Patrick with the runner off the pick