Americans in Cuba! A Crash Course

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I just spent a week in Havana, there for the Havana Triathlon (read my race report here). There’s still a lot that’s confusing about travel to Cuba for Americans, and there were quite a few little insights I wish I’d known before I traveled there.

This is by no means comprehensive; it’s simply tidbits that others might find helpful.

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Race Report: La Habana Triathlon 2017

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Remember the Rio Olympics? How the whole two years leading up to it was a total shit show? The arenas weren’t ready, the athlete housing didn’t have running water, crime was rampant, human sewage polluted the open-water swimming and rowing venues, and remember Zika? And then suddenly, it all sort of came together and was by most accounts pretty successful and seamless.

That’s the Havana Triathlon in a nutshell.

I’m talking about the race here. Read my travel-to-Cuba crash course here.

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Rogue Expeditions Review: Kenya 2016

Elephant in the Maasai Mara, Kenya

Elephant in the Maasai Mara, Kenya

I’m not a tour group person. In my view, it’s no longer ‘your’ vacation. Rather, you’re stuck with endless compromises, usually to satisfy the grumblers, or the least physically able people in the group. The paradox? It’s really, really hard to tour Kenya without a group, unless you are a person of endless means. Alas, I am not.

This year, I had decided it was finally the year I’d travel to Kenya, but I just didn’t want to be stuck in a safari vehicle with yuppies and their kids, elderly people on a bucket list trip, or honeymooners. I found a few trips geared to young backpackers, and a couple more that offered less expensive camping trips (in an actual tent, not glamping). But even with those trips, the majority of your time in Kenya would be spent driving around in a truck hoping to see animals.

As an active person, I just didn’t think that sitting in a truck for hours on end was what I wanted. But I still wanted to go to Kenya.

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Tragedy and Triumph at the 2016 Vermont Marathon

Icing my legs in Lake Champlain

Icing my legs in Lake Champlain

Race Report: Vermont City Marathon

I’ve wanted to run this race for awhile now; I’ve always heard good things about its organization, and Burlington is just a nice little town perched on Lake Champlain surrounded by the Green Mountains.

The risk, of course, with a May 29 marathon is that the weather can literally be anything. “Typically” it’s about 68 degrees on race day, but it’s snowed before, and it had been 80 degrees before.

I’m just going to admit it — this year’s weather was my fault. After the Pittsburgh Marathon four weeks ago, during which it rained for the entire first half, I said to myself at the finish “anything but rain for the next one.” So I guess I got my wish.

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Eagleman 2015 Race Report, by Ernest Hemingway (with contributions from Joseph Conrad)

Months before, the sleeping dragon, Eagleman 70.3 appeared not as the majestic bird of prey, but rather a placid feathered sparrow, calmly beckoning our siren trio to the lush marshes of Maryland.

But as our good and true party of three departed the cool atmosphere of modernity that is the Comfort Inn Cambridge, we stepped headlong into the tropical ether and dank, hazy sunrise muttering a collective, “well, shit.” Still as a stalking kestrel awaiting the timid dormouse, the sun’s orb clung to the last vestige of the horizon, ready to attack with the fierce intensity of the Roman fire god Vulcan. Continue reading

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Dear Hollywood: Stop Taking the “Vegan Challenge”

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An open letter (that none of them will read) to celebrities who think they want to go vegan: Please, please tell no one. Continue reading

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Can I Be “F40-44” Forever?

2013 in review

I’m a little afraid to say how great 2013 turned out to be. I often kept thinking “is this my peak year?” and “what happens next year?” Well, that’s malarkey. I know that 2014 will be whatever I make of it, regardless of circumstances.

So while I’m already daydreaming about the 2014 season, some themes from 2013 are stuck in my mind. Continue reading

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