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Bike, swim, drink, run….

October 5, 2011

Could you exercise for 6 hours straight?  I couldn’t.  With the obvious exception of breathing, there isn’t anything that I’d like to do for that long besides sleep.  Last weekend in Augusta, over 3,000 athletes proved that it’s doable.  They completed a 70.3 mile race consisting of a 1.2 mile swim down the Savannah river and a 56 mile bike ride into South Carolina and back, finishing with a 13.1 mile, two lap run throughout downtown Augusta.

Last year, The Man trained for the race and finished it, coming in just under the time goal he’d set.  I brought The Kids down to watch, and we zigzagged between Greene and Broad Streets, giving us ample opportunity to cheer him on throughout his run.  We were so proud.

He decided to take a year off, but that didn’t mean we were out of it entirely.  Saturday, we went downtown to have lunch, checking out the start and finish lines.  I can’t tell you how nice it was to see so many happy people walking around, excited to be in Augusta.  And there wasn’t a golf tournament going on.  Restaurants were busy, parking spaces were full, and the positive energy was palpable.

On Sunday, we packed up good friends, tents, barbecue, chairs, coolers of beer and cowbells and headed to Broad Street.  The kids made posters, the adults drank beer and everyone cheered as the runners passed.  I could comment on the people watching, but truly, we were absolutely inspired by everyone participating.  Not to mention the fact that there’s no way in hell I could even think about finishing such a thing.  Did you know that the average athlete spends 15 hours per week training?

Like many, I don’t run unless something really scary is approaching quickly from behind.  Even then, I might just try to outsmart them.

The race was exciting, and The Man won’t be sitting out another year.  Augusta has the contract through 2014 and he plans to compete each year.

Would you believe me if I told you that we have the biggest Ironman in the world?  Yes, by we I mean Augusta.  After The Masters, it’s the second biggest revenue pull for The Garden City.  It’s free to watch.

Oh, you don’t like sports?  Quit complaining.  Just two weekends ago, Arts in the Heart of Augusta had its first year on Broad Street.   In my humble opinion, it was the best set up out of the 10 years I’ve attended.  What, you don’t like art either?  Do you like good food?  People watching?  Being outside?  For $5, you can do those things and more.  And support your city.  Thousands of other people did.

Starting on the 29th the 4nd annual Westobou Festival spends 10 days (mostly) downtown with around 50 different events.  Where?  Downtown Augusta.

Trust me, I get it.  I moved here from Atlanta, via Athens.  I’m used to having many choices for entertainment.  At first glance, Augusta may appear to be sort of limited in its opportunities.  Fortunately for you, I’ve given you three examples, taking place over four weeks.   You may have missed the two that have passed,  but there are exciting things to do in your city.  They don’t cost an arm and a leg.  Check your local events calendars (see page __!).

I’m not asking that much.  I’m merely asking you to be a spectator.  You may have to pack a cooler or pay a few dollars, but it’s otherwise effortless, and (gasp!) fun.  Downtown Augusta is proving to be a great place for events, drawing thousands of people from all over the world.  Kudos to all of the volunteers who make it, well, easy for the whiners.  Job well done!  Many complain, but even more are impressed.

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