On Thursday we took a trip up to Kanas City to visit our good friends the Schloegel’s. Matt is my old training partner from California and one of my closest friends.
I have to credit Matt for being my inspiration for getting into the sport because when I met him, he had done 2 Ironman races with one of them being Kona. He could run and ride fast.
When I purchased my first bike, Matt was there to take me on my inaugural ride. Matt basically took me to a hill in Lincoln, CA, and dropped me while he climbed away. At the top he said the following: “You can draft on the flats, but you can tell who is in shape when you start climbing.” Boy was he right. I spent over two years trying to chase him up and down the mountains of California. I could never climb like him and he always inspired me to try harder to just keep up.
Our friendly competition only increased as we trained for Ironman Couer D’Alene together for the 2005 and 2006 races. Matt tried to make Kona in 2005, but fell a bit short. But on a 95 degree day in 2006, he qualified again for Kona and raced there the same year. I fell short by 2 places and from that moment on, used it as motivation to get me across the line in Wisconsin in 2008.
This weekend reminded me how much I miss racing and training with my good buddy. Houston has been a wonderful move for us as has KC for Matt. However, we definitely had some good times training for IM races in California.
The Schloegel’s are busy people chasing down 4 girls and his wife Bebe is a superstar raising such a beautiful family. She was a great host and packed our weekend with great activities. The highlight being an outdoor production of the Wizard of Oz at the KC’s outdoor theater. The kids have never seen the movie, so they loved sitting outside in Kansas with their friends and watching Dorothy try and get back home.
The subject of our special trip to Paris for the 2010 Tour De France did come up. So stay tuned and who knows, next summer might include a mountain top duel between Matt and I as we race a stage of the tour.
It was a beautiful weekend in Kansas City and we thank the Schloegels for an awesome weekend.