Sunday, July 26, 2009
Wyoming Senior Olympics, Rock Springs 2009
Renita is always looking for pamphlets, handouts, and flyer's that list things to do in the area we are in and so it was no surprise that she found out that the Wyoming Senior Olympics were being held in Rock Springs. Looking over the list of events I decided to enter the golf and mountain biking. Luckily the entry deadline hadn't passed and so I was able to register for them online.
Eagerly I waited for the first day to arrive and spent the time preparing, by going fishing and rock collecting. I did get my golf clubs in order and even spent some mad money on new golf balls, but that and a few bike rides were pretty much it.
Arriving at the golf course I met the other golfers in my foursome, Ben was from the Hoback and Luella and Marty were both from Colorado. Now my goal was to have fun and try to shoot in the upper forties so when I made a good first drive I relaxed. Ben meanwhile hit the ball about as straight and as far as I have seen one hit and I quickly realized that he was really good!
I topped my second shot, must remember to focus, but put the third about six feet from the hole. Lining up my put, I missed and had to settle for a Bogey. That's ok as bogey golf for me is good. Ben had a par and the ladies were keeping their own scores.
We had to wait at the second hole and finally teed off. I was on in two and then four putted, yep four putted. Play was incredible slow and you could see that the group ahead was waiting for every shot. Ben had two more pars and then a birdie, as my putter left me and I added a string of doubles.
Three hours later we still hadn't finished the front nine, but I did manage to get some pars and so I was ok with my 49. Ben had a 35, oh my, but it didn't matter as he was in younger age group.
Nine holes of golf should be played in about two hours or less, and so when we finished the front nine, in three hours and fifteen minutes I was already tired and hot. The sun beat on us and the temperature rose. There was not a bit of wind and so I drank fluids to keep hydrated and I thought about quitting but decided that I would finish and so the day dragged on. I lost any focus and shot an eight, yup a snow man.
Another three plus hours and we finally finished, it had really been a marathon but still fun. I had shot my worst score on the back nine in years but Ben had shot a 40 and finished with a 75!
Renita met me in the parking lot and I was glad I han't entered any other events for the day. The mountain bike race wasn't until Saturday and so the next day I rested and hydrated and treated my scars, inflicted by the incredibly tough desert sagebrush,(Did I mention I spent some quality time in the rough?)!
Saturday morning arrived and Renita accompanied me as my pit crew and photographer. Arriving at the race course I was able to talk with some locals who explained the course. The first leg ran up to the base of White Mountain and then turned, following a four wheel drive road. with the next segment being a long downhill. It was a pretty easy course, with no areas of sand, a good course for me as it was my first mountain bike race.
My goal was to survive and finish and so when the race started I pedaled in the back of the pack. Adrenaline surged through me and I pedaled to fast. Turning up the long hill I downshifted and discovered that I couldn't get the bike into low range, not good.
I struggled up the hill in second range as I watched the front group reach the crest and head down the long stretch of desert road. Other passed me, but that was ok as my new goal was to reach the top of the hill! I watched as a bird passed me, hopping from rock to rock.
Finally cresting the hill, I turned and started a long downhill coast. There were bumps and rocks and even a place where I went airborne, or so it seemed to me! Braking, I slowed down, (did I say that finishing was my goal?), and others passed me by. I realized that I was having fun and all thoughts of the race left my head. I was transported back in time to being a kid again!
A mad eighty four year old biker cheered me across the finish line with a "Go Teacher!". Someone had to be the anchor, but I finished the race and life was good!
the awards ceremony took place and I was surprised when the director called my name and I had won a bronze medal in my age group. I lowered my head as a young women put the ribbon around my head and laughed as a gold medal winner in the seventy to seventy four year old group hugged the young woman and kissed her after she placed the medal around his neck.
Did I have fun? You bet! Would I enter next year, again I would answer yes. Hopefully, I can talk Renita in joining into the spirit by entering some events with me. Now if I play more golf and bike harder trails and lose some weight and buy fancy biker clothes and.........Clear skies.