Thursday, July 02, 2015

First tethered triathlon DONE!

Lowell completed his first tethered triathlon! Nana & Papa- bless their wonderful, semi-retired grandparental souls- took the kids while we zipped to Saskatoon for the Subaru triathlon. Just a mere 13-hour round trip... no biggie.

Warren (Lowell's guide/friend) was unable to make it, so Mark- who just happens to be a triathlete friend living in Saskatoon- graciously offered to take Warren's place. Mark was a good pal of mine through University (many even assumed we were siblings), and I MAY have teared up watching them race together as a) it was special for me to witness their camaraderie, and b) I have become an emotional basketcase in general.

This was the extent of their training together...

A 40-meter ride from the van to the transition area... in flip flops. Super intense.

 And this.

Five whole minutes assessing the tether-in-water situation.
However brief, the swim practise proved useful as Lowell learned that he could actually see Mark's white swimming cap contrasted against the water. The officials at this race allowed Mark to wear the non-race white cap on race day, so hopefully officials at future events will be as accommodating!

This was definitely a training race through and through. The goal was for Lowell to get a feel for transitions as well as racing tethered among a crowd of people on unknown terrain and in murky open water. It was a good thing they were not concerned about speed because the run was particularly brutal for a visually impaired dude... switchbacks up the wazoo, in and out of shade, narrow, stairs, curbs... loads of fun for a blind guy I'm sure.

Now for race day! It. was. a. scorcher. Mark's wife, Ashley, as well as Ashely's twin sister, Lindsay, and their friend, Afton, also did the triathlon. I was paparazzi and Lindsay's boyfriend, Jeff, was my personal chauffeur.

Pre-race group shot!
I thoroughly enjoyed having my very own chauffeur!
We've done racing events with Mark & Ash before, so I wasn't surprised to see how they were protective of Lowell, and took him under their wings. Impressed and touched... but not surprised. 

Mark describing the swim course.
Ash praying with the boys.
Let the race begin! The slough swim...

Transitioning from swim to bike...

This was a unique triathlon in that there were two transition areas. Pike Lake (er, slough) is outside of Saskatoon, so the bike ride was from the lake to downtown. When the boys exited the swim, Jeff and I hussled to the van to begin our paparazzi stalking. Rather successfully, might I add.

No one apparently escapes Lowell's back-of-the-bike sneaky escapades!
Both of their seats were too low, but they looked like (and were) impressive speed demons anyway.

Between our paparazzi bike stalking and finding parking downtown, we missed the bike-to-run transition, dang it all. This is the only shot I got of that transition...

Luckily, Ashley's mama was there to snap a few shots!

Here they come!!

Oh the arm thing. Heart. melting.
Here are some post-race shots including an interview with the boys...

Ash is a twin and I'm a twin.... so probably the four of us should be quadruplets.

I am SO SO SO proud of these boys. Thanks for stepping up, Mark! 

Lowell doesn't feel as though he will be truly race-ready and competitive until next year, but he and Warren will be pursuing more training triathlons this season. I can hardly wait to witness the magic and paparazzi it up!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day... (and yet another themed photo attempt).

Lowell is a hard working, loving, patient, committed, generous, easy going, deep-thinking, honest, inspirational, handsome, fun/punny, wise man of integrity... and our lucky kids get to call him daddy! They not only witness his determination to accomplish regular every day tasks with a visual impairment, but they get to witness his dedication to fitness, triathlons, and not letting his disability limit him. Seriously... couldn't ask for a better role model for our boys.

Shockingly, I did a little Father's Day shoot with the kids.

As has become my expectation, it did not start out so well.

Here's a little behind the scenes shot during calm down, take a breather, and play time...

Bribery in the form of candy necklaces was offered, and cooperation magically occurred!

This whole photo bribery thing is getting a little out of hand. It used to be a single tic tac... now we're at full candy necklaces. I swear, soon I'll be like, "I'LL BUY YOU A STINKIN CAR! Just please pleeeeeeeze POSE FOR THIS DARN PHOTO!"

Kumeu got in on the action as well. Again, the use of bribery was essential.

I was just going to post the posed photo, then I spotted this recent candid series of Lowell with the boys, and I much prefer it. And not just because it doesn't involve unnaturally/disproportionately/freakishly large flowers.

For REAL!!!!
I also spotted this one.

And these ones.

I mean, COME ON. How awesome is this dad?!

The boys and I made a fun Father's Day hand print shirt for Lowell, and when I was casually snapping shots of it  (and them) at the dog run, the sky began doing super cool things, and my subjects were pure perfection.

For this man- as well as my own amazing Dad and Dad in law- I am EXTRAORDINARILY thankful. Happy Father's Day to the wonderful fatherly men in our lives!