Category Archives: Sports

So Long 2011 – Metrics

2011 won’t be missed for many reasons, three months living in a hotel being one of them, but in terms of races, the year wasn’t bad.

By my record keeping, I logged, 1 Ironman, 2 marathons, 1 1/2 ironman and three Olympic tris. Personal best times in each category, an ambitious schedule in ’12 will make beating those times challenging, especially with IM St. George on tap, but hopefully on the marathon and Olympic distance races I see potential.

According to my TrainingPeaks account, which I only started updating as of May 9 this year, and through today, December 31, I completed:

1482.96 miles bike (Garmin connect said 2,248.75 miles, exc. commuting)
191,226 yards swim
58.69 mountain bike
242 miles brick
447.36 miles run (Garmin connect said 864.53 miles)

I can imagine maybe 1k miles on the bike, several hundred running and a few tens of thousand in the pool before then. Plus several hundred days of commuting to work.

All in all, not a bad year, and hopefully a good foundation for IM St. George in May and a run for a Boston slot in October.

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ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon Summary – Lengthy

Training for this race started on May 9, and about 250 hours went into it. Plus the forgiveness of the family to embark on such a foolish venture. Full metrics are pending. This was an intimate race, well organized, with great volunteers and participants. If Eagleman is as good, that must be a great race. It’s the people, not the landscape on this one…

I arrived in Cambridge, Maryland on Thursday afternoon, with the goal of scoping out the bike course and taking a swim before checking in and eating the pasta dinner. The course was less than two hours from DC, an easy drive. Continue reading

World Cup 2010 – Hangover Edition

A billion viewers can’t be wrong!

Off the top, fair play to Spain, they proved they are the best and took the high road against a Dutch team who played like louts and should have ended the game with nine players on the field. Luckily it didn’t go to penalties, there would have been riots if Holland won over Spain.

Match ref Howard Webb is getting hammered from all sides – so he must have done something right…with 14 yellow and one red card, it was a tough game to officiate but the consensus is that de Jong should have been shown the red. Guardian has a good write up on the ref’s dream job here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jul/12/howard-webb-final-nightmare-yellow-cards

The 2010 World Cup will certainly be memorable, but not really for the football. It is great that Spain now has a seat at the table with those other teams bearing a star above their flag, but the incessant vuvuzelas drowning out the fans passion won’t be missed. This was certainly a politically and culturally successful tournament, but game was lacking, from bad referee calls, to just plain boring games. Commenters on 606 had it right when they quoted Inter’s Jose Mourinho as saying the UEFA Champions league is bigger and more important than the World Cup. The semis and quarters had some gripping games, Japan and Ghana putting in some great efforts, and the young German team has a very bright future.

England’s miserable performance won’t be missed, the question being will they learn and put forth a more creative performance in the coming tourneys. I like my analogy about the 2004 Team USA Olympic basketball team and England’s performance as a team – the difference being that at least the US dream team got a bronze. Still, even the Three Lions woes pail in comparison to the embarrassment that was the the French performance. We’ll see what Fabio brings to the next games – and what lessons have been learned when England take on Hungary in August.

Sepp is going to have to give in on goal line technology, whether it’s a ref in the stands, or watching the line from behind the goal, or a box on the sidelines, something has to change. The purists will disagree, and the implementation will be a big debate, i.e. will each manager have three calls per game, one call per half or some sort of other hybrid way to object to calls. As long as the pace of the game doesn’t suffer (think NFL) because of reviews, this may help balance the outcome of some of these games. FIFA claims they got 96% of the calls correct in the tournament, that four percent is the kick-in-the-teeth for the offended parties though.

I suppose when things are new, people will complain, but it seems like the Jabulani ball was a bit of failure. Hopefully a ball players can find more predictable will make for a better tourney in ’14.

There is someone who got it right the whole tourney…Paul the Octopus – if anyone deserves the golden boot, it is him, the marvelous mollusk, an English transplant in Germany, beat 300-1 odds to nail all of the final games. Fair play. If we can keep him alive another four years without him being eaten or whacked by the bookies, I think we may have another champion.

Here’s the premier league starting back up, with the Toons back in the top flight, and to the Euro competition.

Sunday, it’s on – England vs. Germany

I kept calling them West Germany last night for some reason, but England will be playing our old nemesis Germany at 0930 EST on Sunday. Bring it on, then likely Argentina next round, never easy is it.

The BCS has remained one step ahead of the law — until now

Only now getting to share this tremendous Sally Jenkins oped from Saturday’s WaPo The BCS is not just wrong, it’s illegal

Monday morning QBing

Now I’m not even going to profess to have an idea about what goes into the technical aspects of NCAA football rankings, but it seems to me that humans program computers, and there was a ton of politicking in last night’s BCS bowl game selections.

TCU, after all, was ranked Top 6 in both offense and defence, compelling victory margins each week, yet, somehow, get jumped by Cincinnati at the last minute, allowing for the first ever BCS non-championship game between two undefeated teams, but also one where also both teams came from a league without an automatic BCS bowl big bid (what’s up, the big cheeses didn’t want a “true” BCS team to potentially get mauled by TCU (or Boise for that matter too).

Hat tip to my pal Brammy who pointed me in this direction:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/cory_mccartney/12/06/boise.state.tcu/index.html

Boise State, TCU deserve better
Story Highlights
  • These teams were denied a chance to validate their seasons against the big boys
  • It’s a compelling matchup when you simply look at the numbers
  • In setting this matchup, the BCS appears to be playing damage control

So, the Fiesta Bowl is not quite the national championship game, but doesn’t this finally mean there will be a groundswell for a playoff system? As NotLarrySabato noted on Saturday night, TCU or Boise would have a fair crack at the NCAA Basketball national championship, why not football too?

See you at the Fiesta Bowl. Go Frogs. And they say there’s no Royalty over here.

And we have us a 2010 World Cup

The draw for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa took place at noon EST today. Seems like a pretty balanced distribution in the draw, with no blatant Group of Death.  That said, never underestimate what can happen: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England_v_United_States_(1950). Bookmakers William Hill immediately installed England as second favourites after their easy draw.

Here is the draw (click for full size):

And there we have it, let the excitement, and boozing start. Now I just need a client who needs coverage in South Africa during the cup!