I spent this last weekend at the eastern most point of Long Island in the tiny fishing village of Montuak. Though the “village” I speak of isn’t so tiny anymore, and the appeal of the hamptoms has slowly seeped in, the charm of Monatuak still remains.
Last year, in an attempt to give me an edge in “the Biggest Loser” competetion we were having at the school I teach at, I signed up for a sprint triathlon. After competing my first one in June, I immediately went home and signed up for the Mighty Montauk Triathlon which was held last weekend. Fortunately, I had the good forsight to sign up for this race so far in advance so I was able to come back from Europe and make up for some of the damage done to my body drinking and eating my way through the continent this summer. As a bonus to the race, I was able to spend a wonderful weekend in Montuak with good friends. Fortunately for me, one of my close friends lives out there so I didn’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a hotel room like many of the other race participants.
After checking out the race site Friday night and loading up on pasta from a local pizzaria, I slept suprisingly well the night before the event. It doesn’t hurt that I was lulled to sleep by the sound of waves gently hitting the shore..did I mention my friend lives up on a hill overlooking the ocean?
The morning of the race, I woke up at the early hour of 4am. I felt suprisingly refreshed and was actually excited to get going, until I realized that it was raining. The realization that in just a short hour I would be in the rainy dark trying to set up all my race gear for the event kind of put a damper on my mood. This gloomy spirit was lifted however, the moment I arrived at the transtion area. There under the lights were hundreds of other people, barely awake, setting up their bikes, some timid, some excited. Fortunately for me, I was not participating in this race alone. My friends and co-workers Michelle and Jaimie had also decided to attempt the race.
At around 6:40, my “wave” entered the water and started off on what I thought was a challenging, though at times peaceful swim through Fort Pond lake. After swimming 750meters, I would be expected to bike 17km, then run a 5k. I certaintly did not train for this race like I had for the two I participated this past Spring. Neverthless, once I got out of the water, I felt really good and enjoyed a scenic ride on my bike through the hills of montuak. The run too was enjoyable as we spent most of it circumventing the lake we had previously swam in and going through town. All in all, the race was a terrific experience that I am eager to sign up for again.
Another bonus was that the race was Saturday morning, freeing up the rest of the weekend to relax, eat, and yes, drink again. For our post race meal, we all headed to Anthony’s Pancakes for breakfast where we sat for hours drinking coffee, reliving our minor accomplishment, and debating whether or not any us were ready to tackle a longer distance next time. Later on, after a much needed nap, we found ourselves at The Point enjoying what we considered well-earned beer and wings. The weekend continued as such, and so did the rain.
Though the weather forecast had called for clear, sunny skies on Sunday for the two bigger races; an Olympic distance and a Half-Ironman, those poor athletes were less fortunate than us. It didn’t clear up until almost 2 in the afternoon, but when the sun came out I was reminded of the simple charm that is Montauk. We stuck around for the post-race party which was being held at Sole East, mostly on the belief that one of us would win one of the free bicylces that were being raffled off to athletes who had participated in any of the events. Though none of us won the bicycle, the weekend was still a fun adventure that reminded me how fortunate we are to live so close to such amazing places, like Montauk.