Fatty Vs The Hammer: A Thought Experiment

03.20.2013 | 6:34 am

The Hammer and I are almost ridiculously happy together. We love planning things out together. And talking with each other. And training together. 

We even love going to races together. 

But when we go to races, we’re never racing against each other. Partially because that’s just not what married couples do

But what if we…you know…did?

I’m not saying we would ever go and actually just race against each other to see whom of us is faster. Because of marital harmony and stuff, as heretofore mentioned. But also because there aren’t many races where it would be a legitimate competition.

Like in the race we did last weekend, for example. If I’d have run a half marathon, The Hammer would have beaten me by a huge margin. Similarly, in bike races, I’m a little faster than she — although her recent Leadville 100 finishing times are faster than all but four of my finishing times.

But what if we were to do a race where the bike portion and the run portion were balanced out, and maybe a randomizing third event (like maybe a swim?) neither of us is good at were thrown in? 

And suppose, unlike when we last tried doing a long-distance triathalon, we were both really fit and fast?

And further suppose, unlike when we last tried doing a long-distance triathalon, we agreed that if and when The Hammer caught me on the run, she would just keep on going to see how much faster she is than I?

And even further suppose that unlike in a full Ironman, we were to do a half Ironman, thereby taking away the (some might say) out-of-proportion advantage given to cyclists?

Between The Hammer and me, who would win?

You must admit, it’s an interesting thought experiment. You know, the kind of thought experiment a loving couple might discuss, just for fun. And perhaps it might even become the prevalent topic of conversation between that loving couple. And it’s even conceivable that the loving couple might engage in quite spirited debate on this topic.

But, you know, it’s not something we would actually do.

Why It’s a Bad Idea to Have Connected Friends

So, having had a number of spirited conversations with The Hammer, I took it upon myself to check and see if it was too late to register for the inaugural St. George Half Ironman (it used to be an Ironman but was generally acknowledged to be too difficult of a course, which makes both The Hammer and me feel kind of awesome that we both did it).

Not that I was going to register us for it if registration were still open. I was merely curious.

Imagine my relief to find it was sold out. “Oh well, that’s that,” I thought.

And then — for no reason at all — I emailed my friend Yuri Hauswald, who just happens to be the Brand Specialist for GU Energy Labs, which just happens to be a sponsor of the St. George Half Ironman. (Check out the inspiring thing Yuri is doing right this second: working with a blind super-athlete as a team in a six-hour enduro in New Zealand)

“I don’t suppose you’d be interested in having The Hammer and me race as part of Team Gu in the St. George Half Ironman, right?” I asked, expecting a quick and decisive “No.”

“Magic will be happening in less than an hour,” replied Yuri. And he was right. Before I could come up with a plausible excuse, The Hammer and I were registered.

(And also, two giant boxes full of Gu products arrived, which the two of us have begun training with. More on those soon.)

Suddenly, the hypothetical was real. The Hammer and I are racing in a Half Ironman. 

Against each other.

Here’s my (absolutely and completely impartial) analysis of what the day will bring. 

The Swim

The morning starts with a — and I just checked this to make sure of the distance — 1.2 mile swim. This is the part that both The Hammer and I dread the very most. Neither of us is a trained, strong swimmer.

That said, this leg of the race is incredibly strategic.

First of all, we don’t start at the same time. Thanks to the fact that we are of different genders and have a last name that starts with “N” we start six minutes apart:


Of course, this race is timed by chip, so theoretically it doesn’t matter who starts when.

In reality, though, by having The Hammer six minutes ahead of me when the race starts, I have an excellent carrot. If I can manage to pull up even to her and say “Hi honey!” we both know that I am in fact actually saying, “I’m six minutes ahead of you now.”

In the past, there’s been a reasonably good chance that I would catch The Hammer before the swim leg even finished; thanks to the miracle of a wetsuit and stronger arms I’ve been able to compensate for my total lack of form and haul myself through the water more quickly through the water.

But The Hammer’s been in the pool several times per week this past winter, training using the much-acclaimedTotal Immersion swim method. She’s fixed some important problems with her technique and I now fear that my brute force advantage has been nullified.

Meanwhile, for your information, I have not been in the pool even one single time. I should probably fix that.

The Bike

The Hammer and I have identical bikes we’ll be riding for this race: the Specialized Shiv. We both have been training using these bikes, and while neither of us could be called an expert on them, we’ve both gotten better. 

In terms of raw power, I have the advantage, and that matters in time trials. But on a hilly course, power-to-weight ratios come into play. And this is definitely a hilly course — 2552 feet of climbing over 56 miles:


Both The Hammer and I are good climbers. But — and I say this in a reasonable facsimile of humility — I am a better climber. 

It’s almost certain that I will put some time on The Hammer during the bike leg of this race. The question is, will I put enough time on her? Because following the ride comes…

The Run

The central question in the “Fatty Vs The Hammer” race is, “how much time will Fatty lose to The Hammer in the run?” The easy answer is, “A lot,” but that’s not very specific.

The Hammer is in fantastic running condition right now — she’s light and she’s training for an upcoming marathon and she just ran a personal best for the course in last week’s half-marathon.

She’s faster on a flat course, and she’s much faster on the climbs. And this course is climby:


She is going to crush me on this leg. As in, it’s entirely possible she’ll be two minutes per mile faster than I am. And maybe more if I am reduced to walking the climbs, which is likely.

Which means that even if I manage to put half an hour on The Hammer in the rest of the race, she could beat me at the line.

And the thing is, this is an out-and-back course, so at some point we’ll see each other and then she’ll know exactly what the gap between us is…and what it will take to close that gap.

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but The Hammer is somewhat competitive. If at the point she sees me there’s even a remote chance that she could catch me, she will catch me.

And then she will blow me a kiss and keep on going.

Your Thoughts

Personally, I think there’s a 52% chance that I will be the victor in this contest, provided I manage to not go so hard on the bike that I have entirely discombobulated by the time I have to start running.

But I’ve been part of a relay team in a half iron-distance race before, and I was pretty much unable to even walk after the ride. I can easily imagine being in a similar state in this race. In which case The Hammer may win simply by being able to complete.

That said, I am a somewhat competitive person myself and do not intend for that to happen.

Please, by all means, please feel to speculate yourself on what the outcome of this race will be. 

Hey, it’s just a friendly thought experiment. Right?


  1. Comment by Fat Cathy | 03.20.2013 | 7:18 am

    Fatty, you are toast. Go Hammer!

  2. Comment by Ginger-Schminger | 03.20.2013 | 7:34 am

    Everybody knows that one loses the triathlon on the running leg!

    I know. And she is super strong in every event right now. But I have a can-do attitude, and that’s got to count for something, right? – FC

  3. Comment by Frank | 03.20.2013 | 7:35 am

    No Question! The Hammer owns you. You get 2 minutes in the water and 20 minutes on the bike … she gets 26 minutes on the run. Do the math.

    I keep doing the math over and over and over, looking for it way to come up with an answer I like better. No luck so far. – FC

  4. Comment by Chris | 03.20.2013 | 7:38 am

    It’s Hammer Time!!! (Sorry, had to say it)

  5. Comment by Steph Bachman | 03.20.2013 | 7:47 am

    Go Team GU! (I’m also an ambassador)

    I think it boils down to whether you are able to contain yourself enough on the swim and bike (hint: the brute force stuff burns your matches) to still run decently. It should be a great race! : )

    For the swim, it’s pretty much just going to be me going at the speed I go — I don’t have a fast or slow speed in the water (many might disagree about the ’slow speed’ bit), I just keep trying to move forward. But you’re absolutely right about the bike portion. My tendency is to go into full labrador retriever mode when riding — just joyously go at full tilt without any strategy or concern for the future. Which will be a problem when, afterward, I have to run/walk a half marathon. – FC

  6. Comment by Jacob | 03.20.2013 | 7:48 am

    You ever thought that the fact The Hammer seems to enjoy your best event while you dread hers puts you in a distinct disadvantage?

  7. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 03.20.2013 | 8:04 am

    Well, if you can find a way to determine the rules of the competition……..Otherwise good luck!

  8. Comment by ChinookPass | 03.20.2013 | 8:06 am

    I’m rootin’ for you Fatty, cuz I love an underdog.

  9. Comment by JimD in IL | 03.20.2013 | 8:14 am

    I agree with ChinookPass: Go Fatty!
    But if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on the Hammer!

  10. Comment by Marsupial Matt (formerly known as MattC) | 03.20.2013 | 8:16 am

    Fatty, I will jump on the bandwagon (further fueling your training) and speculate that you will be crushed. All triathlons are weighted for the run. I’m not seeing you putting 30 minutes on the Hammer in the bike portion, not if you want to have ANYTHING left over to run with anyway.

    Good luck my friend…you’re gonna need it. Unless you can slip donut-eating time-deductions into the race that is (GRIN!) I think ALL Ironmans should have that as a fourth segment (before the start of the swim, and also between the bike and run legs). Just think…Fatty could be the QUAD-athlon world-champion!


  11. Comment by Trevor | 03.20.2013 | 8:34 am

    I’m thinking the Hammer’s going to take this one, mostly due to the run!

  12. Comment by Tom in Albany | 03.20.2013 | 8:38 am

    Poor Elden. No one believes in you.

    Hammer’s going to have to conserve on the bike or her run will be impacted as well.

    I’ll take fatty and give 1 minute 6 seconds. By the way, are you practicing your transitions? Close races are won and lost there!

  13. Comment by mike | 03.20.2013 | 8:54 am

    Current Vegas odds 3-1 for the Hammer

  14. Comment by Gumby | 03.20.2013 | 8:55 am

    Hammer by ten minutes. Sorry Fatty.

  15. Comment by TK | 03.20.2013 | 9:01 am

    If The Hammer wins, Fatty wins. If Fatty wins, Fatty loses. Happy wife, happy life.

  16. Comment by Nic Grillo | 03.20.2013 | 9:10 am

    Yasso 800s, man. Know them. Love them. Don’t forget the hill repeats either!

  17. Comment by Liz | 03.20.2013 | 9:24 am

    Am I the only one who smiled at the sentence
    “And then she will blow me a kiss and keep on going”? Sorry Fatty, but I’m going with the Hammer on this one.

  18. Comment by zeeeter | 03.20.2013 | 9:27 am

    Fatty, you are so in trouble, either way!

  19. Comment by sdcadbiker | 03.20.2013 | 9:29 am

    Elden, I think you need to make sure that you have a comfy couch because you’ll be sleeping on it a lot after this race. Unless, by some random chance, you slow up enough on the run to let Hammer catch you… but then you’ll still be on the couch because she will at least suspect that you let her win. This is a no-win for you.

  20. Comment by Uncle Rico | 03.20.2013 | 9:38 am

    Sorry Fatty, there is a reason she’s called the Hammer.

  21. Comment by NYCCarlos | 03.20.2013 | 9:52 am

    I really don’t know… I think the hammer has you on the run baaaaaaaaad, but if you can hold your own on the swim, I think it’ll be tight enough that it could go either way.

  22. Comment by Marsupial Matt (formerly known as MattC) | 03.20.2013 | 10:15 am

    Awwww Carlos…sucking up to Fatty…NICE! (Just kidding)

    You gonna actually MAKE IT to Davis this year??? I’m assuming that you will fly in one month early…just to be sure!

  23. Comment by Franky | 03.20.2013 | 10:34 am

    I would say The Hammer will beat you by at least 15 minutes. Sorry, I really hope it’s going to be less obvious but she is the clear favorite.

  24. Comment by Jan | 03.20.2013 | 10:38 am

    Sorry. You are gonna lose.

  25. Comment by Brian in VA | 03.20.2013 | 10:45 am

    I think this is going to be a much closer race than some folks are predicting. I think both of you have a ton of heart and that’s what will make this such a dogfight at the end. It’s really a shame that you aren’t starting together – the thought of you the two of you sprinting to the finish line is playing in my head with Chariots of Fire music going and everything. (You’re also sprinting in slow motion.)

    I’m going to say The Hammer by 2 minutes due to a flat that Fatty changes in record time.

    Good luck to you both!

  26. Comment by Liz M. | 03.20.2013 | 12:03 pm

    Hmm . . . I’ll be corny and say you are both winners already, having gotten really fit and spent so much time training together. Personal bests all around!

  27. Comment by Clubber Lang | 03.20.2013 | 12:06 pm

    My prediction?


    I laughed out loud at this one. – FC

  28. Comment by chapellmiller | 03.20.2013 | 12:10 pm

    Dude, I think The Hammer will take this. It will likely be close and it will hinge on your run…and not blowing up on the bike. You should carry a donut to give her as she passes you on the run…

    Oh, that is an AWESOME idea. – FC

  29. Comment by Clydesteve | 03.20.2013 | 12:16 pm

    “…please feel to speculate yourself…

    I would rather not – sounds messy

    SWIM: Elden – Hammer swim & T1 – just about even, E loses a bit to H in swim, due to Lisa’s practice, but E makes up for it with a power move in T1 removing the wetsuit. Hopefullt nobody ride in a Speedo only.

    BIKE: E – 2:22:59; H – 2:54:06 -> Elden by 31:06
    T2: too close to call – speculative dead heat
    RUN: E – 1:51:21; H – 1:27:20 -> Lisa by 24:01

    COMBINED: Elden by 7:05

    To the Pain!!

    Leave it to Steve to do the math. You almost had me convinced, ’til I got to the run times. You gave me the run time she’s hoping for. I’m guessing my run time will be 27 min or so slower than hers but will be closer to 2:25. – FC

  30. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 03.20.2013 | 12:23 pm

    @Brian in VA: Fatty knows how to change a flat? It took Fatty 2 blog posts to explain how to patch a tube: http://www.fatcyclist.com/2012/01/05/how-to-patch-a-tube-part-i/ My take away from that was…“Unless, of course, you can get someone else to do it for you” Let’s hope he doesn’t flat, or he’ll be pulling out the Achilles tear flop during the run.

    I assume there will be a forum for betting, odds, and charities involved. I’m not sure Lisa will be interested in a shirt that says “Faster than Fatty”, but I’m sure she’s looking forward to seeing someone in a propeller beanie.

    Good Luck to you.

  31. Comment by jon (a clyde from Chi-town) | 03.20.2013 | 12:53 pm


    I read the title, read the first few paragraphs, and immediately decided, as a married dude of 15+ years, Hammer wins… Doesn’t matter how the math ends up, Hammer wins…

    And, let’s consider, just for a moment, that you did win… Wow, look out at your next race… She would crush you like a bug.

  32. Comment by roan | 03.20.2013 | 1:03 pm

    Thought experiment ? HuH ?
    The only possible way for Fatty to is for Rosie’s bus to pick him up near the beginning of the run and let him off just as The Hammer is in view. Fatty you may need a treadmill on the bus to keep the legs muscles firing. One year to dinosaur status, ten years from full fledged fossil.

  33. Comment by Micha Ordway | 03.20.2013 | 1:41 pm

    You are screwed. She is going to crush you. My wife (who is not that competitive really) takes pleasure in burying me during a race. That said, I am behind you all the way. Go Fatty, Go.

    Thanks man. – FC

  34. Comment by Joe | 03.20.2013 | 1:50 pm

    Ah, GU Energy Gels. Is there something about GU, or any other brand, that forbids putting the trash in your pocket after consumption?

    I ask because someone has been littering my local trail with wrappers.

    Maybe the wrappers are too slippery to hold onto? Maybe they just jump out of your pockets? Maybe they get too hot to hold once you consume them? Maybe it takes too long to stuff them in a pocket so littering the trail is faster?

    There must be some explanation. Help me out here…..

    Anyway, it makes all of us spandex wearing regular exercisers look bad to the people who are just out enjoying spring. I’m pretty sure the Park Rangers don’t appreciate it either.

    Good luck with the Race, but a ‘Stash the Trash’ campaign from manufacturers like GU might guilt the few offenders into not making the rest of us look like self-righteous jerks.

    I don’t think I’ve noticed any greater likelihood for any energy product to wind up as trash, but you make a FANTASTIC point. It makes my blood boil seeing discarded energy food wrappers on roads and trails. – FC

  35. Comment by The Hammer | 03.20.2013 | 1:51 pm

    You guys are being too nice! Don’t tell Elden, but he clearly has this in the bag! He has me by 10 min in the water and 30min on the bike. There is no way I can beat him by 40min on the run! I’ll be lucky to pull off 12min on the run! Doesn’t really matter-i’m not competitive anyway! :) I’ll be happy to see him at the finish line-cheering for me!

    You’re a sweetheart, Beautiful. But you forgot to mention that prior to writing this comment, you ran 18 miles and swam 1.5. (Yes everyone, for reals.) All while I . . . sat in a conference room. – FC

  36. Comment by NDE | 03.20.2013 | 1:52 pm

    Will T6 be making Team Fatty and Team Hammer t-shirts for people to show their support (for the Hammer)?

  37. Comment by Frank | 03.20.2013 | 2:01 pm

    OK … So where do we put our money down? Say, $5 to World Bicycle Relief if Fatty wins or $5 to LiveStrong if the Hammer wins? Who’s in it here?

  38. Comment by Chris | 03.20.2013 | 2:03 pm

    Ride for show, run for dough.

    Sorry, but you are toast.

  39. Comment by eclecticdeb | 03.20.2013 | 2:05 pm

    The Hammer … by a mile.

  40. Comment by Wife#1 | 03.20.2013 | 2:10 pm

    How about Brice as a write-in dark horse candidate?!

    Either way, this does not sound like a recipe for marital bliss.

    Then again, I refuse to even get on a tandem with my man, so I may be overly cautious when it comes to blending matters of the heart with those of the bike. :-)

  41. Comment by centurion | 03.20.2013 | 2:41 pm

    I tried to figure a way to say this so It wouldn’t sound petty and mean spirited, but I couldn’t. So here it is, straight:
    She is going to kick. your. ass.
    Good luck.

    I agree. But I’m going to do my best to not make it easy for her. – FC

  42. Comment by Patrick | 03.20.2013 | 3:32 pm

    Hmm, I think there’s potential for a Team Fatty/Team Hammer sponsorship/fundraising thing here, where there’s good natured banter and trash talk, but ultimately everyone wins!

  43. Comment by Keighty | 03.20.2013 | 3:36 pm

    The Hammer totally has this one. You better start pretending you have intentions of letting her win in an effort to preserve any amount of pride you might have.

    And GU is easily the best training food around. Between them and CLIF, I would consider never eating real food again.

  44. Comment by NW Biker | 03.20.2013 | 3:40 pm

    Fatty, weren’t you the one who called the Hammer “badass” not too long ago? You don’t think she’s forgotten that, do you?

    Yeah, just be sure to catch that kiss she blows you as she passes. Oh, and have fun, too.

  45. Comment by Rod | 03.20.2013 | 3:48 pm

    Hammer by a mile (really a mile ahead)

    If that happens, that will be a dramatically close race. Remember, she has to cross the line more than six minutes before I do in order to have beat me. Assuming 11-minute miles toward the end of the race for me (may actually be too optimistic), that means she’d beat me by only five minutes. – FC

  46. Comment by Sharon | 03.20.2013 | 4:12 pm

    Transitions & nutrition…win it in the details!

    You make a great point, and in fact the last time we had a friendly tri competition I did in fact win because of a brilliantly fast transition. – FC

  47. Comment by Mark | 03.20.2013 | 4:20 pm

    Read the assessment blog and all the comments. I’m in the no-win-either-way-for-Fatty crowd. But I’d be in for a few $$ fundraiser bet on the first across the line.

  48. Comment by bob | 03.20.2013 | 4:24 pm

    Hammer! That’s why she’s the Hammer!

  49. Comment by Great White Hope | 03.20.2013 | 6:14 pm

    Fatty, Looks like you may have a problem. I would employ the services of your doppelgänger assuming he/she is a faster runner than you. That or start working out the logistics to facilitate a few shortcuts during the run.

    Hmmm, I like your thinking. You think Stanley Tucci is a fast runner? – FC

  50. Comment by ClancyO | 03.20.2013 | 6:21 pm

    The carrot analogy works more in her favor than yours, since she’ll be running you down (literally) in the end. Get your butt in the pool, but try to find some speed on the run too. Then again you have like 6 weeks. You’re toast. :)

    I was hoping you wouldn’t bring up that particular point. – FC

  51. Comment by curtis | 03.20.2013 | 6:35 pm

    Better make her ride a mountain bike. that Shiv could be a huge equalizer on the bike and if you don’t get 30 minutes on her, I predict that she’ll pass you around mile 9 of the run which will give her a cool 4 miles to enjoy her victory.

    Since it’s my job to load the vehicle, that’s a distinct possibility. “Gee honey, I could’ve SWORN you asked me to load your SS MTB for the race. Yeah, I thought it was a weird choice too. Well, good luck!” – FC

  52. Comment by Leroy | 03.21.2013 | 5:34 am

    My dog claims he needs a nap just thinking about this race.

  53. Comment by Marsupial Matt (formerly known as MattC) | 03.21.2013 | 7:48 am

    If only someobdy making energy-gel’s would come out with a package that is edible or at least biodegradeable in a reasonable amount of time…I used to use GU’s long ago, but they are such a mess, and to jam the icky wrapper in your pocket is nasty…the sticky stuff gets on everything…then you have it on your bars, brakes, shifters, gloves, etc. I used to carry a baggie for the wrappers…but that requires stopping which isn’t feasable in a race…so they just toss them. I can understand not wanting to put them in your pockets, but I HATE it when they don’t. And for someone on a recreational ride to toss them to the road/mountain trail….as Fatty said…totally makes my blood boil! GU/POWERBAR/HONEY-STINGER…get busy on that new wrapper design! I’m not buying ANY until you get it fixed!

  54. Comment by Barefoot Rose | 03.21.2013 | 8:12 am

    “I’ll be happy to see him at the finish line-cheering for me!” – No doubt the Hammer means it which is why it will be awesome when she is at the finish line cheering for you. I’m putting in my order for Team Hammer.

    On a serious note, it’s nice to see a man, a husband, be proud of his wife and brag to no end about how good of an athlete she is, point out her superior skills, and present her as an equal. Thank you for publically demonstrating an alternative to the Drew Peterson way to treat a wife.

  55. Comment by anaginghipster | 03.21.2013 | 8:38 am

    love ya, elden, but she’s going to come flying by you on the run. you won’t hear a thing until you are spun around by the WHOOOOSH of wind generated by her wake.

  56. Comment by VA Biker | 03.21.2013 | 11:00 am

    This is a fun read! I think The Hammer will take it, but by how much is dependent upon how badly Elden falls apart during the run. I don’t mean that disrespectfully, but state it in a matter of fact way. So, not if, but by how much… Sorry, Elden. (I’ve tried running fast after cycling; it never works well for me.)

  57. Comment by beth | 03.21.2013 | 11:32 am

    Fatty – I think she may have you on this one. I’ve done a sprint marathon and although that’s nowhere near what you’re doing, I found myself floundering on the run. You’re lots fitter than me and so is the Hammer, but Ithink she may have you in the run, especially if you blow yourself up on the bike.

    Good luck – Go Fatty!!! But look out – here she comes!!!!

  58. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 03.21.2013 | 12:39 pm

    Consensus seems to favor The Hammer, and I think I have to agree with the vast majority. the Hammer is strong, and the run is the major factor in a tri of this length.

    Hate to say it Fatty, but I think you are toast.

    Good luck to both of you. No matter how it turns out, you are both winners.

  59. Comment by Marsupial Matt (formerly known as MattC) | 03.21.2013 | 12:53 pm

    Actually I think I overlooked one critical point here: the Hammer will be trying her best to limit her loss to Fatty on the bike leg, and that will affect her run. NORMALLY she would crush Fatty like a BUG on a windshield in a straight up run situation…but this will be somewhat of an equalizer by pre-emptively tiring her legs, diminishing (to what extent is the question) the damage she will be able to do to Fatty on the run. And to further the question mark is how badly Fatty goes into the well on HIS bike leg trying desperatly to gain time before the run.

    I think this will all come down to heart (and pain) being as overall you are closely matched…whoever can suffer the mostest longest will take home the trophy. I’m now thinking overall that it will be closer than I originally thought. But knowing how awesome it will feel to the Hammer when she zings on by Fatty in the run, and knowing from that moment on Fatty’s time advantage is disappearing by the mile will give her wings.

    I’m predicting the Hammer wins overall by 4 to 5 minutes.

    And by what name are you calling this highly publicized duel to the death? Certainly you must have some awesome title for it…The Shiv vs the Shoe, Grudematch 2013, the Tunnel of Pain, Fatty nearly drowns despite wearing a wetsuit as he didn’t take the swim leg seriously…you know…something like that.

  60. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 03.21.2013 | 1:12 pm

    This contest should be more of a WWF kind of thing. We know ‘The Swimmer” can swim, and we now know Brice (Shorty?) can run. Maybe a ‘TapOut’ option, where Lisa, or Elden, can tap their reliever at the crucial moment, thereby completely throwing all previous speculation out the window.

    Shirt Ideas; Beaten by a Girl or; He Who Must be Obeyed (open to refinement)

  61. Comment by Mike C | 03.21.2013 | 2:26 pm

    I just wish this race was televised. Maybe you can talk to Paul G. about a Fatty Reality Show.

  62. Comment by John H. | 03.21.2013 | 3:07 pm


    There is no such thing as friendly competition to the female mind when it comes to their spouses, trust me.

    You are toast….

  63. Comment by Heidi | 03.21.2013 | 3:42 pm

    The Hammer claims to not be competitive – HA!

  64. Comment by Kukui | 03.21.2013 | 6:05 pm

    I think it will be closer than people think. The way I see it:


    SWIM/T1: Fatty gains 7 mins (partially thanks to the transition), hops on his bike 1 min ahead of The Hammer
    Result – Fatty 7 mins ahead of The Hammer in time, 1 min ahead physically

    BIKE/T2: Fatty gains 25 mins
    Result – Fatty 32 mins ahead of The Hammer in time, 26 mins ahead physically

    RUN: The Hammer passes Fatty at mile 9 and spends the rest of the run trying to get six minutes ahead.
    End result: Two very well-matched competitors!


    The odds are very heavily weighed in The Hammer’s favor thanks to the swim and the run. If Fatty can make up time with a fast swim transition, and not blow up on the run, this could potentially be a very close race!

    I can’t wait to read about it! =)

  65. Comment by Sylvia | 03.21.2013 | 6:32 pm

    LOL, “not competitive anyway”
    Well it’s always easier to compete as the underdog…

  66. Comment by MikeL | 03.22.2013 | 11:06 am

    Who cares who beats who. Go do your best and you both win. Besides what could be better than getting “girled” by your wife.

  67. Comment by Joe | 03.22.2013 | 1:52 pm

    It sounds like Hammer should be able to pull this off, unless you’re holding back and understating your actual level of preparedness for this. Again. ;)

    More importantly, grats on being solidly below 160.

  68. Comment by Mellabella | 03.22.2013 | 3:18 pm

    I love that you are so proud of your wife and her abilities and see her as your (almost ;))athletic equal. I think you are both winners no matter who crosses first simply because you have found so much joy in doing this together. I also think she will crush you…..but in the most loving way possible.

  69. Comment by Nurse Betsy | 03.22.2013 | 10:54 pm

    Oh Fatty, you poor man. My money is on the Hammer.

  70. Comment by asdf | 03.23.2013 | 9:03 am

    hey fatty!
    here is your most promising strategy:
    try to hide when you meet her on the run part! the hammer will think you are really close until she comes to the turning point. there she gets confused, loses her pace while constantly thinking about how far you lead and runs slightly slower…
    at least until a minute later when she overtakes you.

  71. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 03.23.2013 | 11:03 pm

    @Friends of Fatty: if you don’t follow The Noodle you’d be amazed. Let’s lobby her for a ‘Guest Post” of this weekend’s ride. Windmills, tulips, danish pastries and 200 miles of saddle time at the Solvang Double Century: http://app.strava.com/activities/45607542

  72. Comment by Libby | 03.23.2013 | 11:21 pm

    Are you into psychological warfare? Do your best Mahommad Ali rant. The one about being a butterfly and stinging like a bee might help. So would training be helpful.

    I’m waffling between it being “Hammer time” (once isn’t enough) and Fattty time.

    Good luck!!

  73. Comment by AshleyB33 | 03.24.2013 | 4:40 pm

    “Girls rule and boys drool!” Fatty you have your work cutout for you. Good luck to you both, but I’m going with the Hammer.

    On a more serious note, can I get private lessons from the Hammer or you? Signed up for Rockwell and I need some serious pointers. Am I crazy?

  74. Comment by Van Vliet Bikes | 03.25.2013 | 7:57 am

    I wish you good luck :)

  75. Comment by Jeff Bike | 03.25.2013 | 9:51 am

    Sorry Fatty but standing at the finish line someone will say “Oh did you race? Sorry we didn’t notice.” As everyone chants, “Hammer, Hammer, Hammer, Hammer, Hammer!”

  76. Comment by Paula Nystrom | 03.25.2013 | 11:38 am

    Fatty if I have learned nothing else reading your blogs you over analyze things… which could translate into a pyschological advantage for you!

    The Hammer wrote about the cold water and the hypothermic athletes extensively in her IM blog. Also what about one of your patented calculations on sudden weather changes, heat, cold wind…etc. who is better in “manning up” under those conditions? I think you need to revisit and then start sharing potential scenarios to get her in her head.
    Otherwise I think you are toast :)

  77. Comment by John in Seattle | 03.25.2013 | 3:18 pm

    if you wear an Assos skin suit you might have a chance to win.

  78. Comment by Travis | 03.25.2013 | 4:04 pm

    If you find yourself in the lead Mr. Nelson, I urge you to play a little customer golf…

  79. Comment by brett | 03.31.2013 | 10:38 pm

    what’s up with all the specialized when you got all that free trek love a few years ago?


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