Cooperstown Triathlon

by Joanne on May 30, 2011

Ted first triathlon.  He made us all proud.


But let’s go back to Saturday when we drove to Cooperstown for a quick dip in the water for one last test “drive” of the wet suit before race day.   It was cold.  Ted said it felt colder than the week before.  He did a quick out and back then said he was ready. 

The organizers of the Cooperstown Triathlon couldn’t have chosen a prettier venue for the race. Historic Cooperstown, New York.  The baseball hall of fame town. Home of Ommegang Brewery and Fly Creek Cider Mill.  Fun places to visit.

We went to Ommegang Brewery because they were sponsoring the race but because we knew we wouldn’t get there on Sunday.  But we  did want to sample the “goods”.  When I say “we” I mean Teddy and I since Ted was being careful with food and alcohol in anticipation of his endurance event the following day.  What a guy! Such a sacrifice!

Ommegang is located on 140 acres and boasts it’s tribute to our region’s hop farming history.  The beers are completely Belgian in fermentation and warm cellaring techniques.  They are also higher in alcohol than the average American beer. Watch out!


The flight:


Gnommegang Golden Ale, *Not sure of the middle one but it was SO FRUITY (mixed berries), it made your cheeks pucker and bordered on cough syrup.  My favorite was the last one, The Witte Wheat Ale: refreshing, light, with coriander and orange peel.  It was the easiest beer to drink.

From Ommegang, it was off to Fly Creek for a lot of sampling and foolin’ around:


The Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard is a historic, water-powered mill on the banks of Fly Creek in the heart of beautiful Central New York just minutes from Cooperstown. For more than 150 years visitors have witnessed the pressing of fresh, sweet and delicious cider creating an experience that has become a tradition shared by generations. The Mill Store Marketplace is the heart of activity with sampling of over 40 specialty food products, many made right at the Mill. Daily tastings include apple salsa, zesty salad dressings, hot sauces, preserves, aged cheddar cheese and Mill-made fudge. From the Farm Winery you can taste Hard Ciders and Apple Wines, another feature of the New York cider making tradition.

The Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard is located in the hamlet of Fly Creek, NY, only a short three miles or five minutes northwest of Cooperstown. South of the Mohawk Valley, the Mill is an easy 24-mile drive from Herkimer and Interstate 90 (Exit 30.)

I came out of Fly Creek with quite the full stomach.




I A L M O S T picked up this cook book but good thing I checked out the recipes…



Not sure WHAT I was thinking?!!!  Anyway, we bought a few goodies then went home to get Ted’s stuff together for the big day.


We were out of the house by 6 am.  The plan was to be in Cooperstown to set up the transition area by 7 am for an 8 am race start.  The transition area was already packed with people, bikes, and all things needed for the race by 7 am.

Ted laid out the towel, bucket, bike helmet, shoes, shirt, belt with number attached, BIKE (let’s not forget that!), running shoes and socks, etc.  He went to get his number written on his arm and hand and pick up his ankle band.   We spoke to a few people then it seemed like everyone was getting into their wet suits.  Always a challenge!   Ted did the same.  It was time to test the water.  Race officials proclaimed:  58 DEGREES!


As athletes went into the water, there were squeals and all sorts of comments regarding the water temperature.  Even though it was THAT cold, everyone was up beat and positive.  They were looking forward to this race, the first Triathlon of the season in Upstate New York. 

Athletes were called to the water. The men went out first.  There were two guys without wet suits.  One guy finished the swim the other decided not to even try it.  Ted’s swim time was 16 minutes.  He did GREAT! Although he was bummed out and came from the water shaking his head.  We found out later he couldn’t get into rhythm.  It was cold, there were people kicking him, and at the end, someone was on his leg and grabbed him 3 times.  He was frustrated but plugged on. 


3 minutes in transition and it was off on the bike.  He rode the 11 miles in 45 minutes.  This was 5 minutes over his planned time but the roads were pitted, there were some tight turns PLUS, he was feeling spent from exhausting so much during the swim.  STILL, he plugged on.

We all cheered when we saw him come back on his bike. He took it slow and was thoughtful regarding his change overs.  1 1/2 minutes for the bike to run transition.


Ted said it took him 1 1/2 miles to get into his run.  His legs were heavy and he couldn’t get going.  Boy! Was he ever glad when it was over.


For Ted’s first Triathlon experience, he did GREAT!  He wants to beat that swimming challenge.  First Triathlon PR = 1:43

It was a perfect day. The weather was wonderful.  We all had a great time and there is no denying that Ted had the ultimate accomplishment. 

So proud!


Teddy has declared he is up next for the challenge. But we’ll have to give him at least 10 weeks since young Teddy leaves for officers training camp on Wednesday. 

We ended our glorious day with good food and drink at The Hawkeye Bar & Grill




Thanks to our wonderful friends and to my terrific sis and brother-in-law for all the support.

If you’ve ever done a Triathlon, what was the best and worst part about it?

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  • At 2011.05.30 16:11, Liz said:

    Ommegang is very popular in my house! Sounds like a great trip to Upstate!

    • At 2011.05.30 18:17, Lori said:

      Congrats to Ted!!! Awesome job!

      My triathlon was fun. The worst part for me was the swim. I didn’t like getting kicked and swum over. It’s hard to practice that, you know?

      • At 2011.05.30 22:46, Bela said:

        Thats a great first tri 🙂

        • At 2011.05.30 23:42, Monet said:

          Oh my goodness! I loved seeing all these photographs. I don’t think I would attempt a triathlon, so I love living vicariously through the brave ones that do 🙂 Thank you for sharing with me today! I hope you had a lovely holiday. Have a week full of good food, laughter and love!

          • At 2011.05.31 06:44, Darlene said:

            Congrats! Ted on your success…I too live “vicariously” through your great posts, Joanne, and really enjoyed reading this one. I wanted to come up to cheer Ted on, but had company for the weekend. Next year, for sure! Remember: any time you want to have dinner/lunch at The Empire House in Gilbertsville, call me: 783-2155 and I’ll join you.

            • At 2011.05.31 07:42, Heather said:

              Congrats, Ted!!! Fantastic job!

              • At 2011.05.31 09:10, Lisa said:

                What a wonderful weekend!…I have never been in a tri but have volunteered for several, I just love the excitement around them…

                Take Care…

                • At 2011.05.31 12:07, Nancy Jean said:

                  Wow, Joanne, “remove the entrails and, if desired, the head and tail” – – that would have been one dinner I definitely would’ve missed! We stopped at Ommegang for one and I liked the Witte best also. Your pics are gorgeous.

                  TERRIFIC job, Ted. We were so happy to witness you attaining the rank of “Triathlete!” We’re incredibly proud of you.

                  • At 2011.05.31 19:15, Pam said:

                    Great Job Dad, I am so proud of you!! Wish I could have been there to cheer you on.
                    We’ll have to take Heman to Fly Creek and the Brewery when we’re in NY this Summer. Looks like great places to visit in the warmer months.

                    • At 2011.05.31 22:20, Liz said:

                      Way to go Ted!!

                      I’m so jealous of your trip to Ommegang – it looks like you all had a nice time. I love white beers in general, but the Ommegang really is quite good. Glad you enjoyed it.

                      And I’m laughing at the vegetarian’s cookbook 😀

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