Our teammate Ed Clarke is recovering from his bike accident on July 5th when he was hit by a car. Many many team members rallied to provide a freezer full of meals for Ed and his family during his recovery. Ed writes his thanks below and gives a little history of what was happening 25 years ago around here that set the stage for the formation of our great team. Still wishing you a speedy recovery, ED!!
I am writing to tell you how thankful Christine and I are for the food donations by members of team RTB. They are so incredibly generous and we feel very blessed. I also want to thank Brad, Erin, Patty, and Phil for coming to see me in the hospital in those early days. That meant the world to me. I never realized how many friends I had till this accident happened. We have been enjoying the prepared meals you and Benny got from Costco and the burritos and all the other goodies you brought. Every bit of it is going to good use. I’m now three weeks into my recovery from the day of the accident. This is going to be a long slow haul getting back. But I’m in the long and slow business so this will be right in my wheel house.
For those who don’t know me, I grew up a swimmer and played around with 10ks a little in my 20s, then experimented with my first triathlon Seafair 1988 at age 25. I met Brad Williams on the roads of Kent while I was out for a lunch-time run. I knew of Brad as he was often at the Kent Pool swimming laps. Forget about trying to strike up a chat with him there because he said zero before the lap hour and then once in the water it was straight into 1:10 hundred pace non-stop 1 full hour, no room for jibber-jab in this highly efficient athlete’s schedule. I also saw Brad at the Husky-sponsored “animal meet” that featured the 400im, 1650free, and 200fly. To swim in the meet you had to enter all 3 events. Ol’ Willy was only 31 years old at the time, he out-touched “Steve Schmidt” for the win in all 3 events. Brad became my hero and the inspiration for me to improve in the sport. We started meeting at the Kent Jr. High track for speed work on week days, and soon after I invited Brad to join our daily lunch ride at REI. And so, in 1989, the geyser group was born.
By 1990 we were meeting every Sunday at my place in Auburn where we hammered 20 miles on the bike, parked bikes in my garage, and hit the road for 3-5 miles running all out super hard. Joining us back then was Paul Guillen (Patty Guillen the reator’s son), and Robert – the Lubriderm dealer, and Jim Hutter the plastics man. I remember I had so much Lubriderm on hand during those years. In 1993 we added beautiful Phil Spencer, the BIG BEEF, to our group as he expressed interest when we met at KC Aquatics masters workouts. Soon after, a boy-faced Erin Eronemo started showing up at KCA on Wednesdays, he was DA MAN in those swim workouts. After a while he realized he was NOT the man, unless he was banging out triathlons, he asked to join our ride. Enter, the BIG UNIT. Pretty soon we were meeting regularly on Wednesday mornings at Kent pool, and this is when we bumped into a local honey by the name Patty Swedberg, who was sharpening up her swim skills. Pretty soon Patty was in the lane swimming 100s with everyone else. A couple years later we added Slick Rick to the group, another swimmer who felt he needed to round out his athletic resume with triathlon.
I love this group so much. I am so happy that Patty had the vision to pull a group together and start the Raise the Bar triathlon team. We’ve all grown up together. We all raised children, trained feverishly for 10-15 years, raced at the highest levels, spending much time atop the podium. I will always cherish hanging out with these folks as we grow old together and feel blessed that I may have an opportunity to be back out there with them at some point in the future, perusing greatness in the geezer categories. :)
All the best,
Raise the Bar
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