My life is starting to even out. And while I’m happy about this, a peaceful, comfortable life doesn’t offer as much column fodder as a melancholy, tragic one.
Five years ago, my mom found out she had breast cancer. Then a year after that, when she was in remission, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare blood cancer. It was complications from multiple myeloma that ultimately took her life.
As I stood freezing on the dock above 67.3-degree Lake Logan, the main thought running through my head was a question: Why did I put myself up to this?
Wearing only a swimsuit, I was surrounded by a bunch of wetsuit-wearing athletes who were more intense than I would ever be, and here I was, set to swim, bike and run alongside them in the Lake Logan Sprint Triathlon. My stomach growled, either from hunger or nervousness — it was hard to tell — but either way it seemed an affirmation that I should have slept rather than waking up at 4:30 a.m. to come out here and embarrass myself.
All he heard was the sound of an engine.
“I came over the rise, a place I’d ridden hundreds of times before,” Kevin FitzGerald recalled. “I remember seeing a flash of brown, the roar of a truck and…boom…lights out.”
It’s been 10 years since the Lake Logan Triathlon made its debut in Haywood County, drawing a field of 162 people to tackle the 1,500-meter swim, 24-mile bike ride and 10K run.
Sunrise was still hours away when the day started at Lake Logan.
With the first starting gun firing at 7 a.m., Aug. 2 the throng of racers participating in the Lake Logan Multisport Festival had to get there early. By 5:30 a.m., N.C. 215 snaking from the Pigeon River Valley in Bethel up the flank of Cold Mountain was clogged with traffic, and one hour later, a mass of competitors, spectators, dogs and children had filled the bridge overlooking Lake Logan.
“For a long time you could see headlights through the trees for quite a ways,” said Chris Shell, one of about 15 Haywood County sheriff’s deputies policing the event.
No, it’s not Aquaman’s preferred mode of commuting; nor the latest urban workout trend or new-fangled underwater gym equipment.
The aquabike is yet another off-shoot of the classic triathlon now popping up on race calendars — including its first debut at the upcoming Lake Logan Multisport Festival this weekend.
The swim leg of a triathlon is notoriously daunting. Of the sport’s three heats — swimming, biking and running — the water is the most brutal and dangerous.
It’s every person for him or herself as the racers jump from a dock or surge forward from shore, creating a sea of flailing limbs and churning water as they jockey to get an early lead off the start.