This year the pendulum swung back to the rock climbers and mountain bikers, after two years of the golfers dominating the field. In 2008, JP’s climbing win set him up for 1st place overall. But in 2009 and 2010, the top golfers were also the top overall finishers. This year, the top GC finishers in climbing and biking won the top two places overall. Congratulations to Danno, Ben, and Steve Schukraft for their podium finishes. And congratulations to everyone else who medaled/survived.
By tradition, Tom McP provided The Knot and all the racers prepared appropriately for the competition. And we got an early indication of how the final stage would go when Eric Shimp asked Tom if he knew how to set a pick, leading to a quick Basketball 101 clinic on the deck, using the Race Director as an unwilling prop.
We started with penalty kicks, with a few guys netting 3 in the first round and only Chris Sousa sinking more than one in the second round, giving him the win. JP, however, had the save of the day (and the Race Director the groan of the weekend). Since penalty kicks were quick and we hadn’t yet sweated ourselves into climbing condition, we played 6-on-6 soccer (short field, regulation goals, with keepers), divided up by Townies or Road Cheese. After getting an early 1-0 lead, the Townies collapsed and allowed 4 straight from the Roadies before crawling back in. Final score: 7-4, Roadies. Post-race, someone suggested flag football in 2012, which sounds like a good idea right now, but will need reconsideration as we get closer. (and the pic below shows why we needed more than just penalty kicks)
In previous years, Rock Climbing has been the toughest stage to coordinate and score. We’ve needed good weather, good luck, and/or the right kind of people at the rock gym. This year we got what we needed for coordination — patience from the MetroRock staff and the gym all to ourselves. We also got what we needed for scoring – a clear winner and a climb only three people managed to complete. And with experience now, everyone is more relaxed about the climbing — and much much better. In the 2+ hours we were on the rocks, just about everyone did plenty of climbing and no one, as far as I could tell, slept or puked through the stage.
Final results: 1st – Ben Moeling; 2nd – Danno; 3rd – JP
Golf (after lunch at Michael’s Harborside)
Rowley was not an easy course for anyone, including member Gary Cavanaugh, who graciously arranged things for us. What Gary didn’t count on and what threw off more than a few racers’ timing and swings and strokes and putts was the constant and annoying presence of a marshal, sitting on the sides of seemingly every fairway, quietly but insistently pressuring everyone to speed up and play best ball and generally be pestered. Aside from that annoyance, the weather was perfect, the beers tasty, and the golf competitive. Based on the speed of play and the way the stage worked out, next year the strongest golfers will tee off last. And next year I will make completely clear at the start that we’re all playing for our own score (at least, those among us who keep score).
Final standings: 1st – Otto; 2nd – Eric Marshall; 3rd – Gary
Without question, the best year of biking at Willowdale evah. A brutal open ride, covering fewer miles than expected, but more than a few ugly hills. Multiple crashes, plenty of bitching, and pride going before over-the-handle-bars falls. Plus an assortment of bikes from 1991 through 2011, including Eric Lapham’s bike (rechristened “The Tomato”). I was convinced by the end of the open ride, at least a few racers would opt out of the time trial. But everyone found a second wind and competed like hell, with the final time coming from Danno “Home Field Advantage” Moore. For 2012, I am not sure what we could possibly change, except for better bikes and a longer open ride.
Final standings: 1st — Danno; 2nd — Chris Roy; 3rd — Ben Moeling
Always a good crowd, always good competition, always the same team winning. And Tom McParland may have earned himself a permanent spot on that team with his .990 shooting percentage and lock-down defense. We also learned this year that sometimes you have to adjust the book in the middle of a stage. Initially we played to 11, win by two, first to 15. After a couple brutal games, we switched to 9, win by two, first to 13. And although Eric Shimp, Chris Roy, and Tom made it a three-peat for the champions, JP, Gary, and Otto played them tight in the first match-up and still scared them in the final game. And the rest of the field got a preview of ELLT 2012, when the Race Director is going to stack the teams in his favor and win it all.
Final Standings: 1st — Team Green (Shimp, Roy, McParland); 2nd — Team White (Cavanaugh, Ratajczak, Otto); 3rd – Team Red (Schukraft, Graf, Heffernan).
Once again, fantastic food and lots of it, provided by the wives and families.
this picture just about says it all…
and thanks to all the Cheats and Liars who cheered for Owen’s baseball team. And thanks again to everyone for showing up and competing. We had guys from 18 years old to 52 years old. Guys flew in from Chicago, Afghanistan, Virginia, Florida, and Ohio. We had a local rookie, a actual East Luray alum, and a guy leaving soon for the Marine Corps. Bascially, good times, good times……
Start training for 2012…..