Nice guys finish last

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— By the time I finished the last event of the Steamboat Pentathlon Saturday afternoon, which was the 5-mile run, I was left gasping for air at the finish line and asking those around where the water jug was located.

Thankfully, my teammates from the Steamboat Pilot & Today had competed in the previous four events.

Avi kicked off the race for our team by climbing up Howelsen Hill in his ski boots, and then coasting down the face of the mountain before handing off the wristband to Jamie.

Following his uphill hike and downhill-ski excursion, Avi sprawled out on the snow and wished he hadn't drank those four beers Friday night.

After Jamie returned from the 2.5-mile snowshoe course, she gave the wristband to Tom, who then chucked off for the 5-mile cross-country ski event.

Tom, a veteran skier, was able to gain some ground for us. But even the experienced skier was left winded after a hard day on the trails.

Kelly then got the wristband and carried her mountain bike to the starting line, which was about 25 yards from our spot in the transition area.

Kelly, our California compadre, was pumped up and ready to make up some much-needed time for our team.

She biked over the hills and far away, before pedaling back to give me that wristband. The bike course was 12 miles long.

Fortunately, Avi and Jamie surprisingly had some renewed energy, and they wanted to run the final event with me.

As the anchor of our team, I figured I had to put forth a strong showing.

But after the first mile of the race, I could feel my right side cramping up, and I was breathing heavily. The only thing that kept me going was my two teammates, and those who were on their way back from running the course who would say to us, "nice job."

Nice job?

Our team finished dead last in the coed team division of the Pentathlon.

The final four miles of the run were just about pride. We already knew we'd lost.

But my teammates and I did cross the finish line, where Pentathlon organizer, Christina Freeman, was there to congratulate us for completing the race.

The Fourth Estate, which we were called, would go on to finish No. 14 out of 14 teams.

Not bad, though, for not training prior to the event.

When my sports editor, John, informed me Tuesday that he was traveling to the state playoffs to cover the Sailors boys basketball team in Denver, I was given the duty of covering the Pentathlon, which was sponsored by the Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Department.

Several hours later, I had a team together. I figured I needed to experience the event firsthand before writing about it in the newspaper.

After sitting in the hot tub at the Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Center with one of my teammates after the race, I reflected on what took place Saturday afternoon.

I guess our 3:07:12-finish gives us something to work at when the 11th annual Pentathlon rolls around.

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