Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
happy with my effort, especially since I worked the event as well.
Overall 32/209 - which is great for me. 3rd in my age group. I've
never placed before.
34/209 swim - I'm usually a little better than that, but not bad.
22/209 bike - this is a big improvement for me and in hindsight, I
think I could have gone faster. pretty good
87/209 run - ouch. slow, slow, slow - last year this would have been
187/209, so improvement but I need to get better.
Heres the transition for about 700 racers. Beautiful morning.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Rockin' week-long camp strums final chord
By MATT GALLAGHER
Published: Saturday, July 26, 2008 3:00 AM EDT
NELSONVILLE - The guitar crackles like lightning, backed up by the rhythmic thunder of the drums. The bass throbs like a pulsing vein, rattling the speakers like a heartbeat. All of the week's work at Hocking College's Rock 'N' Roll Camp is finally pieced together, each individual track of guitar, bass, piano and drums segued together into one song, the pieces finally becoming a band.
"Starting to sound like a record?" music teacher Neal Schmitt asks rock 'n' roll camper Paul Smith.
Schmitt leans back from the soundboard controls with a satisfied smile. "That does sound pretty cool, a little sloppy, but I think it's got what it takes," agrees Smith. The Rock 'n' Roll Camp at Hocking College is about giving music everything it takes. For a week, high school students from across Ohio get to play rock stars with recording studios and tools and tricks of the trade at the tips of their fingers. The students form bands and make a song from scratch - writing lyrics,
crafting guitar licks and matching it with the drums and the bass.
The bands then post their music on Internet sites like MySpace and PureVolume, ready for the world to listen. The week-long camp, which ended Friday, was held at Hocking College's Washington Hall. This was the second year of the camp, which gives kids the chance to roam of a host of recording studios and equipment, all the ingredients for great rock 'n' roll.
"Not everybody wants to do archery or ride horses for the summer," Schmitt said. "Some kids want to spend the summer making music and being rock stars." Schmitt teaches music technology at Hocking College during the school year. Because the college's music
studios sit empty during the summer, Schmitt thought it would be a fun time for educational experience for high school students to take a shot at making their own music, providing an alternative to the traditional summer camp experience. "My high school experience was defined by playing music," Schmitt said. "Music is what made high school tolerable for me. I wasn't a jock. I wasn't going to be valedictorian. Music is what I did. I wanted other kids to experience music, learn what music can do for you."
What's great about Hocking College's Rock 'N' Roll Camp is there are no auditions, Schmitt said. All levels of ability are welcomed. Some kids have been playing music for years; others just learned how to hold a guitar. Some campers didn't play an instrument, and helped out more on the technical side or wrote lyrics. Many of the campers had never made music with other people before, Schmitt said. "We've got this camper who just learned guitar two weeks ago, and now he's going to have a guitar solo on MySpace," Schmitt said, as the camper's guitar chords screeched from behind the closed door of a practice studio. "How cool is that?"
The different levels of proficiency help the students feed off each other, Schmitt explained.
"Some of these kids have never heard of The Who; some live and die by The Who," Schmitt said. "These kids throw their different musical philosophies together and grow from it. I am really just there to guide the process. The real direction the music takes is all up to the campers."
The kids came up with names for their bands and took promotional photographs for the fun of it. The two bands formed from the camp include Property of Us and Badical, a combination of bad ass and radical, Schmitt explained.
"It's an experience where you get perspective from all sides," said Smith, a camper from the central Ohio area. "You can't just do your own thing. You have to coordinate your music with everyone else." While music might be a collaboration, actively pursuing it is what counts, Schmitt said. "I tell these campers that Prince had a No. 1 song and a No. 1 album all by the age of 25," Schmitt said. "I then ask them how old they are and what are they going to do with the next five to 10 years of their life?"
Copyright © 2008 - Athens Messenger
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Race morning started with a 4am wakeup . . always pleasant. We loaded the brood up and drove the 35 minutes to the race site in the dark. The very first thing I noticed after getting out of the car was the strong, cool wind. So much so, that I grabbed a sweatshirt I had thrown in the trunk "just in case". We parked about a mile away from the race site and while there were shuttles, we had a wagon to transport the kids, so we hoofed the bundled up kids over to the park.
My bike was already set up but I needed to get my other gear ready. About 30 minutes later, I made my way to stand in a long bathroom line before making the 1 mile trek down the beach for the swim start. As I crested the slightly inclined narrow path that leads to the beach, I saw the effect of the cooler winds on the water. Whitecaps and waves on Lake Michigan . . . frankly calm if this were an ocean but certainly worth noticing.
As I'm standing in line, I heard all sorts of comments like "This is going to suck." and "Oh Shit". While still in line I hear the words that I was afraid of . . . The race promoters canceled the swim. The triathlon will now be duathlon . . run,bike, run. I'm fairly bummed and disappointed. I want what I signed up for. However, as I watch the safety kayaks surf in to shore and the seadoo's fly in the air from wave to wave, I realize that the boats would have had trouble watching the swimmers, let alone keeping themselves in position and upright. So, would-be swimmers are heading back to transition and a duathlon we will have.
The 7am start was then changed to a 8am start and since I'm wave 15 out of 17, I probably won't start until after 9am. I've got some time to kill . . except over the PA system the announcer is telling everyone to be at the new run start by 8am as they arent' sure if they are going to keep the same wave start times. I find Tracy and the kids, who are sporting their new Team Schmitt shirts. We hang out a few more minutes, then I make my way 3/4 mile up the road to the new starting line.
Anyway, the race directors finally starts wave 1. Only 14 more to go. So I wait some more while cheering on the runners as they come back through the crowd and make their way down to the transition area.
After about 30 minutes of downtime, we pack up and head out. My finish time is 5:23:17, which, had I done the swim, would have been around my goal of 6 hours. That's pretty cool.