The main triathlon I've been going to every year for my annual gut-check is a wonderful event in Benton Harbor, Michigan called Steelhead. The first time I went in 2008 they canceled the swim which was good because I didn't have a wet suit. I was the ONLY one who didn't and I remember thinking "Wow, look at those white caps. Man, this water is cold." I seem to remember some people drowning at some other triathlon event the previous weekend elsewhere in the US too. I don't think I even did one open water swim to prepare myself, just pool work. So...God looks out for fools and middle aged men who regularly overestimate their own abilities to endure physical challenges. I remember also thinking that the whole "clip-on cycling shoe thing" was a little over the top for me as well. Of course I was wrong on both accounts. I post these times not as a badge of honor because really they're not terribly good, but just to show how much skin I have in the game leading up to Ironman Wisconsin. And of how far I have to go so I don't get yanked off the course. There are of course a few stories to tell about these races as well. In the end however I treasure these experiences for the valuable lessons they've taught me. Should anyone want a fantastic, well run, scenic 70.3 event to do, you can't do any better than Ironman Steelhead in Michigan.