Monday, December 28, 2009

A look Back.

Lake Geneva Christmas.
Really it's not cold
Birthday ride
Frostbite 10 miler
Thanksgiving day hike
Hannah and lucy on a fall hike.
Bear tearing up westwood Trail
Hannah State Golf Tourney
We need more wood???
Can you say Teenager OMG
Chicago Tri
Bass River Resort a must for the team this year.
Day after the Tour :(
Y.M.C.A at ther tour.
Its Miller Time....
I know how to rock the tent just wait!!
Team Tent.
Tour de farms 175
mmmmmm yummy burgoo.
Burgoo fest.
Kids Tri. the boys rocked it
Rhino at the monster trucks
Thur nite Bar ride.
Capitol City Biathlon
Hannah's 8th grade grad.
Whopper of fun.

Fat Ass 5k
Carpenter Park Deer on Blackberry trail
Kids 1st cubs game.
Manatee Champs.

Ski fun.

Winter Fun.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Early Bird...

...well you know the rest... sure we're 8 monhts out - but we all now how fast time flies! Yesterday Team Copaxone 2010 was formed and we already have 6 members - SWEET! In celebration of the new team - I thought the blog deserved to be dusted off and a given a bit of a new look - hope you like it :)

I'm posting new links at the right for this year's team - so PLEASE do not delay - jump on board! This year will be the best yet! Accept the Challange!! RAMP IT UP!! Let's GO!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Playing tonight @ Showplace 12 @ 7:00pm - one night only:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This is what it looks like when you ride your bike from Sherman to Springfield - fresh as a daisy!

Bike Leg

After exiting the water it was a 500 yrd run to T-1. I was feeling good running towards the bike the last 75 yrds was on grass which was getting very muddy and slippery. But the crowd was great - people cheering you on the whole time!! With that said, I feel bad I have yet to volunteer to help at a race, but I plan to in 2010!! Running into T-1, I was looking for the tree where I had my bike. I was surprised to see there were lot of bikes around mine so that made me feel good that I beat some guys out of the water!

Once I reached my bike, I pulled off the wet suit, slipped my bike shoes on, grabbed my helmet and glasses and was headed towards the exit. I was doing a fast walk/run to get my legs for the bike.

Once you mounted the bike you needed to be in a easy gear because you climbed a ramp to make it onto Lake Shore Drive (LSD). As you head north on LSD, you were riding right into a 20-30 head wind - OUCH!!

The only thing I was happy about was it was 2 loops on LSD and I would have the wind at my back on the way in to T-2. I was going about 15-18 on the way out, and once I made the turn around, and the wind was at my back, I was rolling about 24-26 mph heading south feeling like a rock star - I was flying!!!! Then I was passed by a Pro (Matty Reed: US Pro Triathlete) that ended winning the race. He went by me like I was standing still! My guess he was going 35 - 38 moh on the bike - wowowowow!!

I hit the south turn around and headed back into the wind. I was thinking wow Ray you got 12 miles left then you're on the run - hammer down!! Going north into the wind I was able to chat with the riders. I was having a great time. On the bike I drank full bottle of water and 4-5 gu blocks in orange that seem to give me the energy I needed to have a great bike time!

I was almost at the turn around and I heard sirens. Then we got slowed down...I saw a male laying on his back, bloody and not moving. I was thinking o boy it was not looking good!!
Andy Potts in Chicago Triathlon Accident.

Here we go! Wind at my back, I am rocking and happy - thinking almost done with the bike Ray, take a second look at the building the lake - the people which make this a great event - it was truly amazing!!!! I was exiting LSD and people again everywhere cheering you back to T-2...what way to feel to hear all the cheering!! I was looking for Beth but with no luck she was with 200,000 of her new friends. I figure she was waiting some where on the run course??

Next up the run????


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Save the date!!

June 11 & 12 Tour de Farms 2010!!! Bethere

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Captial City Century

This ride is ALMOST as old as me - this year was their 37th year. The weather was perfect this morning - if you made it out and logged some miles - GREAT job!! My assistant photographer (Wyatt) and I were having a hard time finding any familiar red, white, and blue jerseys... but we did find a lot of these guys when we went out to wait on the patio at the beach house!

Saw a lot of cool cars and accessories while scanning the parking lot for familiar vehicles also - like this:

Hope everyone is enjoying your Sunday! See you all soon!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Swim Time

Upon arriving at the swim start there were people everywhere. We headed over to his area which was Team in Training - that was his group and the reason he was doing the race. Okay at this point the BUTTERFLIES were rolling in my stomach. Now it was Hammer time!! I mean Hammer gel time!! The best gel on the market!! Raspberry gel is the flavor for me. Washed down with my spark energy water.

Its 8 am - Harry said it was time to zip up!!! The air temp was 55 and everyone was saying water feels great - its 62!! I was like WTF!!!! This whole time I had the top of my wet suit rolled down because not a pretty picture with it rolling over my belly - o well - zip time!! Harry zipped me and said lets walk over. I was thinking zipping up and peeing had something in common because as soon as I got zipped I had to pee!! I told this to Harry he was like just go in the suit. Not sure I was going that route.

They line us up in a shoot about 20 feet wide and it was 200 feet long. You line up in your flight with your swim cap color. He was flight 32 I was 33 so he was 4 min before me. When your standing in line, you're right on the sea wall so you see all the swimmers. You head south for about 400 yards, then hit a turn around buoy and head north 1400 + or - yards.

I was able to get a good look at the swimmers - omg the look on some of their faces was pure horror!! Some were treading water, some were looking for lifeboats, some doing the back stroke, some looking for the rope ties to the seawall!! I was thinking mmmmm - a great way to spend a Sunday morning!!

Here we go - I am next! Swim cap on, goggles on, the guy over the loud speaker is trying to relax us - he says, "40 seconds yellow caps, 10 seconds yellow caps" till we get in the water. Once we're in the water, we tread water for a min till we hear the horn go off! I JUMP IN! OMG IT WAS LIKE JUMPING INTO AN ICE BATH!! I am treading water with a 150 of my new best friends. Deep breaths Ray you're fine, your fine...just swim Forrest swim!!

HORN blasts!!!! Head down face hits water - omg - water fills my left eye goggle!! I pop back up, re-tighten my goggles - no luck! Water still fills lens I was like -WTF - o well keep going!!

I hit the turn around buoy, feel pretty good, just by now I really could not see and then when I tried to see ahead, one goggle was full of water and my right goggle was fogged up! I guess cold water and my body temp created the fog???

So on I went. I had a guy on my right and we were about the same pace, so I used him as my guide. Well, somewhere along the way, I lost him. To be honest with you, I was maybe 10-15 min into the race, feeling good, I thought to myself - swim over by the seawall and swim next to it, in case i get tired, there is a rope.

Well, little did I know, I was so off-base...I was 30-40 yrds from the seawall! I almost ran into a recovery boat or is it a rescue boat? Or is it a life line??? Who knows - but I was not where I thought I was!!! So at this point, I tried to angle over towards the wall. I was feeling good knowing I wasn't going to stop to rest I think I had about 500 yrds left! I could somewhat see the swim exit. Well, I thought it was the swim exit?? I was feeling like Mr Magoo!!!!

I finally am next to the seawall and I know this for sure because WHACK my left arm struck the seawall! I can see the exit! YAHOOOOO I AM GOING TO DO IT!!! My feet are numb my hands are tingly and I cant see but there was a positive the water - even though cold it was like a breath of fresh air compared to Lake Springfield!! Water had a clean fresh taste to it.

I reach the swim scaffolding. I made it! Stand up Ray...I couldn't for a second. 31 mins in the water and my legs weren't working - were they froze??? 2 girls grab my arms and I was up and running! Goggles off - cap off - I was all smiles because in the prerace meeting they said there's a camera guy right there as you exit, so I want to look fresh as a daisy! Actually, I was feeling pretty good!! I was looking for Beth as I was heading to T-1 and I saw her, yep - she was laughing and chatting with a new friend and I stopped, she snapped a picture and off I went 500 yards to T-1. I had to run barefoot! You got to be kidding me! At least they had some rugs down but when you hit the grass area it was wet slippery and muddy. I made it to T-1 and I hit the timing mat - 35 min. Now I was with, ahh, I don't know, 100k of my closest friends looking for their bikes??

UP next my trip on LSD!!!!


(please pause the music on the music player at the bottom of the screen to hear this video)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Race Morning

Woke up at 4 am - not sure I ever went to sleep??? I was to meet Harry at 4:15 am to head to the transition area - it was a mile or so from the hotel. Upon arriving at bike check in, I saw it was packed already. I was row 33 and harry was row 32. We set up our space. Then Harry said we need to walk the way we come in from the swim - so we walked our route in. He said with 9000 some bikes it will look way different when the sun comes up.

We were set so we headed back to the hotel we got back at 5:30 am. We sat and had coffee and a bagel and just talked about the race. There were people laying all over the hotel sleeping, resting, reading the paper, waiting for their swim start. The crazy thing was they were closing the transition area at 5:45 am and there were racers leaving the hotel at 5:30 am! There was no way they could make it to the bike check in time!!!

While sitting in the lobby Harry said his girlfriend Tracy, who he been dating since February has M.S. also - I was like wow!!!?? The old standby - blond hair, light eyes, she fits the bill to a T.

Well he suggested we head over about 7:15 am for our swim Start at 8:24 am. The funny thing was, do we wear our wetsuits over or carry them??? About 6:45 am I saw Harry in the lobby again he laughed and said we better carry our suits nobody is wearing them!! I was like okay really don't want look like a TRUE Newbie!!!! :)

Its GO time 7:15 am - time to go find the BIG WATER!!!!

Stay tuned - unless you're done hearing about my TRI experience...


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chicago Tri

Saturday morning we headed north to Chicago - we got to the Hilton by 10:30 - it was the host hotel. Got checked in - brought all the gear up to the room then it was time for packet pick-up and the expo.

I headed down to get my number and chip. I needed to go to the trouble desk because I signed up as a Clydesdale but wanted to go as an age grouper. The only reason I wanted to move to my age group was I was thinking I might have an earlier wave. I was right! I was 37 and got moved to wave 33...saved 12 min YAHOOOOO. While I was at the trouble desk I overheard a guy saying he couldn't get his race packet??? The guy at the trouble desk said there was a problem!!! Sir your race was this morning and it is over!! You should've seen the look he gave his wife who signed him up for the race!

After getting all my swag I walked around the expo, then I had a pre-race meeting, which was not mandatory but should be. While in the expo I missed a call from Harry - my old classmate that I was doing the Tri with. Harry was going to the cubs game and we were to meet up around 7pm.

After the course talk, I went to the room and got Beth and we decided to go find the course. After we walked out of the hotel, I said there are some tents - let's head that way. Wrong it was the Latin music festival!! So we kept walking, then we found the bike transition - which was huge!

We decided we would go grab a bite to eat and have a couple of cocktails. We must of walked 5 miles - probably not a great plan the day before the race, but we did make our way to Oak Street beach where the pro Volleyball tour was in town - which was sort of cool to watch.

After getting back to the hotel we decided it was time for dinner! You guessed right - Deep Dish pizza is a great pre-race meal!!!

Harry called - he was back at the hotel and was coming to the lobby to say hi - after a short meeting he wanted to have dinner and I walked to Lou Malnati's to pick up the pizza. We decided we would meet after dinner and go walk the swim-to-bike transition.

More walking - all I needed - but I did want to walk with Harry and see the course since he had done the race a couple of times. After the walk, we headed back to the hotel - 4 am was coming soon, so it was off to bed!! I was to meet Harry at 4:15 am to get the bike's into transition. Okay okay I did sneak down to the gift shop and grabbed a candy bar, or as I used to say to my Grandmother - can I get some N-O-P-W? Yes that's how I spelled candy was I was little!! As you can see my grammar never really got much better!!!! LOL

Sleep!! Not so much - I looked at the clock every hour!!

More later CHOW!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Chicago Triathlon

This crazy race all started because i was in touch with an old friend i went to school with.
My Fundraising Page I seen that harry was doing the race so i said . Hey Harry i will come up and join you for the race. his reply was that would be great. I usually run into Harry once a year at the cubs opener. other than that we dont see each other. So all you non Facebook people there is a good reason to have a facebook site.

Weeks leading up to the race i will tell you i was a little nervous about the swim!! I mean there are at least 8000 people doing this race. this year there were 9300 people and they send you off in swim waves of a 150. More on the swim later. So in getting ready for the race i tried to ramp up my running in which i did by doing the Peterburg Triathlon.

Abraham Lincoln Triathlon Series This was a good tune up for Chicago the swim was 600 yrds bike 18 m and run 4.4. Wow i did it 3rd in my age group 1st time ever ok ok there might have only been 10 guys in my age group but i was still happy - overall i was 37 out of about a 100 entries so rock on. After that i did a training run 2m State Fair parade run Followed byAbe's Amble 10k. so i had my share of running.

Getting back to the swim i was looking into the swim portion of the race - i was checking on water temp and trying to get hints on the swim and all i could find out is the water will be cold and i will need a wetsuit. I am starting think - what the hell did i get myself into?? i just wanted to see an old friend and enjoy a race. Now i need to go find a wetsuit!! I really dont want to spend money on a suit that maybe be a one time deal but i didnt want to backout either so i did it i found one marked down at USAT website and there you have it!! 1760 yards!!! in the water .9 mile swim what am i thinking??? the farthest i ever swim was 600 yrds at Peterburg -Yes i was Nervous!

I knew i needed to get a swim with the wetsuit before the race so i headed to to Anchor boat club to do a trial run with the suit. I need someone to zip me up so beth meet me at ABC to zip me. Walking thru the campground a guy yells over at me while i was wearing the suit Hey Ray That looks pretty kinky!!
Stayed tuned more of the story later!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Good Luck!

On behalf of the team - Good Luck in the Chicago Tri this weekend Ray! Were you aware you didnt have to do the Olympic Distance? They have a sprint distance??? I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'... but we all know how hard you've been training - you will do great...hope you can find someone to snap a pic up there - and just for you - the 10 Commandments of the Chicago Triathlon (written by Nancy Fudacz of the Chicago Endurance Training Examiner):

1. Thou shalt not get body marked on Friday. This is probably not even possible, but if you carry your own marker with you, don't even think about it. When you're walking around downtown Chicago, no one wants to know your race number, your age, or your wave.

2. Thou shalt not wear tri shorts until Sunday. We know you're a triathlete. Your legs are shaved, you're eating healthy carbs and lean protein, and you're body marked. We need to know no more.

3. Thou shall arrive at transition well before 5:45. We suggest before 5am. If you can't get yourself out of bed early enough, and then can't find the perfect space for your transition area, you can't complain.

4. Thou shalt not move anyone's things in transition. Unless your neighbor brought a baby pool with them to rinse off their feet, you don't get to move stuff over. Arrive early enough to secure your space and be aware that many, many other triathletes need to share that space.

5. Thou shall wait patiently with everyone else waiting patiently. You cannot start with another wave just to start earlier. Think we can't tell? You're the only guy in a green cap with the 20-24 year old women. If that's not enough, we forgot to mention your chip time is shot. The waiting is part of the race. Embrace it.

6. Thou shall follow this rule: Number 1 is ok in your wetsuit. Number 2 is not. Trust us, we know more than a few people who have broken this rule. Really not good.

7. Thou shall play nice! There are many, many newbies at Chicago. It is just downright mean to intimidate new triathletes while waiting for the swim start. We don't care that you won your last 10 triathlons and have run 4,000 miles this year. If you're standing next to someone who looks terrified, give them a word of encouragement - not a lecture about how great you are or how tough the swim will be.

8. Thou shall pay attention to those around you. Some folks are really racing out there. If you're just out for some fun, stay out of those athletes way. If you are a serious racer, remember you chose a race with 5,000 people in it - so there will be folks ahead of you and around you. Communicate when you want to pass, and be considerate. Too many newbies have stories of athletes yelling at them to get out of there way for no reason.

9. Thou shalt use the equipment of each sport: goggles and cap for the swim only. Helmet on the bike please. You think this is obvious? We've seen runners with bike helmets and swim caps. There's a lot going on and transition can be tricky, but spend 30 extra seconds to make sure your finish picture doesn't have your goggles around your neck.

10. Thou shall celebrate! You are super fit! You are a triathlete! That alone is cool. Enjoy yourself, enjoy the folks around you (Chicago is a great place for people watching - perhaps one of the only places you'll see someone do the entire race in cut-off jeans), and enjoy the volunteers and spectators. Have a great, great day!

(this list was grabbed here)

Good Luck and look forward to reading your post after its over!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Parade Run

Yep your looking at a 9 min mile

Monday, July 27, 2009

A GREAT weekend for Team Copaxone!! Good Work Team!!

What perfect weather!! CONGRATULATIONS on two great days for Team Copaxone! This weekend was the Springfield TriFest - which kicked off with Dew the Tri for Kids - congrats to Nick, Ryan and Brendan!

After Dew the Tri, Burgoofest '09 kicked off at the Anchor Boat club - i never knew how great rabbit, squirrel and opossum could taste!!

Sunday was Iron Abe and the Stoneman - congratulations Ray Larson and Jake Brandon! You guys were amazing!

THANK YOU to the photographer from the hardy breed blog. Check out more pics and information there!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tour de Corn

Great ride for Team Copaxone at the Tour de Corn! 30 miles for most - good headwind out and good tailwind back. John Coombe FINALLY got his wind order submitted correctly after more than a year of attempts! LOL.

We were greatly rewarded with yummy sweet corn. Jake Brandon thoroughly enjoyed it - I can testify to that!

New City time trial Wednesday evening! Be there!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This is really cool...

You have to check this out:

Le Tour de France

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Since when do we ever let a little rain slow us down?