and now, 2009’s 3rd place overall winner and one of the local co-hosts, Eric Gundrum:
- mad skillz for soccer and rock climbing…and deceptive
- his lovely bride belongs to the Mob, which is actually helpful when it comes to mountain biking.
- a sommelier-like ability to pick the right beer to have on tap all weekend
- an uncanny ability, despite evidence and experience to the contrary, to set expectations lower and lower every year. The guy came in 3rd overall his first year in the race and still makes us all think he’ll barely finish the first event.
- sub-par golf golf game
- no outside shot, no inside shot, and no love for basketball, which is a true handicap in this triathlon
No one brought lower expectations into the East Luray Liars Triathlon. Even Chris Heffernan was expected to do well at hoops. But after missing the inaugural race in 2008, Eric spent an entire year downplaying his chances of even completing all four events. He then proceeded to master the zen of the pink triangle and take first in rock climbing. His golf game sucked, but he held his own on the mountain bikes (although didn’t medal – was a tough year, what with Gary Cavanaugh screaming most of the ride). In hoops, his team managed 2 wins and would have had a second or third place (if there were awards for second or third). Most significantly, Eric pioneered the use of a camelbak while playing hoops (since outlawed by both the NCAA and the ELLT Rules Committee; see pic below). In 2010, Eric G revealed that his NASCAR fanaticism was simply a cover for his true love: soccer. Eric was on the first place team (again, only an exhibition event) and scored at least eleventy-seven goals per game. He did not medal in anything else and failed to make the overall podium.
Expectations for 2011: as always, Eric has downplayed his chances for this year, but we can expect a comeback year in rock-climbing, more of the same at golf, a possible rules change that will help him in mountain biking, and who-knows-what-the-hell in hoops. Guaranteed lock — good beer on tap.