Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Big Lake

We've been enjoying Lake Michigan the last few weeks. We went to Tunnel Park near Holland for an evening 2 weeks ago. It was a pleasant evening with fun waves,

and there was a huge flock of seagulls to run through.
This past weekend we joined Erin's parents at the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds near Grand Haven for a long weekend. Despite her lack of smiling, Evie greatly enjoyed the outdoors. She did very well in the kiddy pool, even when she slipped and went under momentarily a few times.

Last week Erin was getting dinner ready. Typically, that involves Evie creating chaos in the kitchen as she tries to get Erin's attention and begins begging for the food Erin is preparing. So Erin was surprised when she suddenly heard silence. While searching for the cause of this silence she saw Evelyn had learned a new trick...climbing.
Erin laughed, took a picture, and then got the naughty one down from her chair. Minutes later Evie was ON the table going after my salad.
One of Evelyn's other new tricks is eating with utensils. She likes cheerios so this morning we poured her a bowl and let her try. She stuck with the spoon for a surprisingly long time before moving on to easier means.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

600+ Years of Marriage

When I was in grade school my favorite book was the Guinness Book of World Records. I read it religiously. My favorite copies were the editions from the 1980’s, where the books were filled with FACTS and not a bunch of pictures and hype for random records.

Among the thousands of records I read through and tried to commit to memory, one jumped out at me. It was the record of “most siblings to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary.” It jumped out at me because the record was 10, and I knew my Grandma Elenbaas was one of 11 siblings. At the time I wasn’t aware just how unbelievable it would be for all of my Grandma’s siblings to reach their golden wedding anniversary.

Fast forward to 2009: This year my Grandma told me that her youngest sibling just made it to his 50th wedding anniversary. Reminded of the World Record, I submitted my Grandma’s family to the Guinness Book for tying the record. Unfortunately, the oldest sibling passed away after 49 years of marriage so only 10 made it to their 50th. I also contacted the local news and coordinated this short news piece on my Grandma’s family.

It is likely that this accomplishment of 10 siblings reaching their golden wedding anniversary will NEVER happen to another family again. What are the odds???
  • According to the US Census, 5.8% of marriages reach their 50th wedding anniversary
  • According to the US Census, only 2% of families have 5 kids or more. I couldn’t find any more detailed information, but I think it would be generous to say that 0.1% of families have 10 kids or more.

Using those numbers, the approximate odds of a family having 10 siblings reach their golden anniversary is 1 in 2,300,000,000,000,000. That is 1 in 2.3 QUADRILLION. I know I have a lot of flaws and assumptions in my numbers, but you get the point. Families and marriages have changed a lot in the last 60 years and I doubt we’ll ever see anything like this again. AMAZING!!!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

New Attitude

It was a perfect Michigan weekend. We enjoyed the sun with some friends, some boating, and some great outdoor time. I think Erin and I set a record when we caught 4 turtles on Saturday afternoon with the help of Eric and Amy.

On Saturday Evie went tubing and stayed dry this time. On Sunday we went for a nice walk around Emerald Lake.
Evie has turned into miss attitude. She has a bubbling personality at times and is a complete disaster at other times. Tonight we went shopping for running shoes and I felt like I was the parent portrayed in movies that has the out of control kid. As soon as I set her down she would run to a display, pull as much off as she could with one swipe, and then run to the next and repeat. I couldn't pick up her mess and keep up with her at the same time. It was amazing.
Her favorite meal might be pizza and her enthusiasm shows on her face.
In one of her helpful moments she picked up all our shopping bags and helped carry them to the car...with the car keys too.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

2009 Pickerel Lake Triathlon

July 4th marked the 5th annual Pickerel Lake Triathlon. The event is now a firm tradition and we think other cottagers around the lakes are starting to notice us. It was certainly the coldest race we've had to date, but that didn't prevent another strong turnout. A total of 3 relay teams and 21 individuals attempted the race.

We gathered down by the beach at 7:30 with the temperature in the low 60's, clouds, and a light wind. This year I noticed the younger kids really took on the challenge. We had 8 kids under 16 years old line up to attempt a solo finish. Seven of them did it!

Last year I introduced the swimming wetsuit. This year 4 of us were sporting them and I suspect more will join next year. Based on the 2009 gossip it sounded like it would be a 2 man race for 1st. It appeared the real drama was going to be places 3 and on, where a big group of racers would be bottled up. The final results are below.

PlaceNameOverallSwimBikeRunBike Pace (mph)Run Pace (min/mi)
1Randy Elenbaas1:21:350:09:310:31:160:40:4818.230:07:51
2Paul Soper1:25:080:11:560:35:110:38:0116.200:07:19
3Jason Schaaf1:34:450:10:210:35:120:49:1216.190:09:28
4Darren Schaaf1:37:490:12:130:36:540:48:4215.450:09:22
5Eric Plantinga1:38:360:15:020:40:010:43:3314.240:08:22
6Mark VanHarn1:39:310:12:450:41:300:45:1613.730:08:42
7Sam Lannon1:39:360:13:500:42:250:43:2113.440:08:20
8Derek Elenbaas1:40:320:16:270:38:160:45:4914.900:08:49
9Steve Elenbaas1:40:450:12:550:38:200:49:304.870:09:31
11Jenny Scott1:41:170:12:540:40:250:47:5814.100:09:13
12Dan Wiley1:44:220:12:450:38:290:53:0814.810:10:13
13Marv Elenbaas1:47:150:14:500:40:250:52:0014.100:10:10
14Seth Kuiper1:49:110:13:100:39:430:56:1814.350:10:50
15Claire Steensma1:49:400:15:310:45:030:49:0612.650:09:27
t16Elizabeth Soper1:50:110:15:380:50:460:43:4711.230:08:25
t16Abby VanHarn1:50:110:09:460:56:380:43:4710.050:08:25
19Ben Elenbaas1:53:220:15:400:42:150:55:2713.490:10:40
20Lindsay Elenbaas1:53:410:14:500:44:380:54:1312.770:10:26
21Haley Elenbaas2:00:380:16:190:48:450:55:34<1 .69="" td="">0:10:41
23Sarah Kuiper2:09:490:17:260:52:470:59:3610.800:11:28
PartialDan KuiperN/A0:14:060:38:16N/A14.90N/A
PartialLydia Soper17:56N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A

The swim is always tough. Even with hard training it still drains you.

I had a strong swim and was first out of the water at 9:31 but very closely followed by Abby and Jason.

NameSwimSwim Pace (min/mi)
Randy Elenbaas0:09:310:28:50
Abby VanHarn0:09:460:29:36
Jason Schaaf0:10:210:31:22
Paul Soper0:11:560:36:10
Darren Schaaf0:12:130:37:01
Mark VanHarn0:12:450:38:38
Dan Wiley0:12:450:38:38
Jenny Scott0:12:540:39:05
Steve Elenbaas0:12:550:39:08
Seth Kuiper0:13:100:39:54
Sam Lannon0:13:500:41:55
Dan Kuiper0:14:060:42:44
Marv Elenbaas0:14:500:44:57
Lindsay Elenbaas0:14:500:44:57
Eric Plantinga0:15:02*0:45:33
Claire Steensma0:15:310:47:01
Elizabeth Soper0:15:380:47:22
Ben Elenbaas0:15:400:47:28
Haley Elenbaas0:16:190:49:27
Derek Elenbaas0:16:270:49:51
Sarah Kuiper0:17:260:52:50
Lydia Soper0:17:560:54:21

*swim time includes being in the bathroom when the race started

The hilly 9.5 mile bike ride has been the source of many mishaps over the years from getting lost to wiping out to getting flat tires. This year was thankfully almost completely clean. Dan Kuiper had a hard fall that knocked him out of the race. But otherwise there were no flats, no wrong turns, and no other falls.

I had several good training runs in June and knew the bike was my biggest edge. I took advantage and had a sizeable lead going into the run.

NameBikeBike Pace (mph)
Randy Elenbaas0:31:1618.23
Paul Soper0:35:1116.20
Jason Schaaf0:35:1216.19
Darren Schaaf0:36:5415.45
Derek Elenbaas0:38:1614.90
Dan Kuiper0:38:1614.90
Steve Elenbaas0:38:2014.87
Dan Wiley0:38:2914.81
Seth Kuiper0:39:4314.35
Eric Plantinga0:40:0114.24
Marv Elenbaas0:40:2514.10
Jenny Scott0:40:2514.10
Mark VanHarn0:41:3013.73
Ben Elenbaas0:42:1513.49
Sam Lannon0:42:2513.44
Lindsay Elenbaas0:44:3812.77
Claire Steensma0:45:0312.65
Haley Elenbaas0:48:4511.69
Elizabeth Soper0:50:4611.23
Sarah Kuiper0:52:4710.80
Abby VanHarn0:56:3810:06

The run is TOUGH and there were a lot of solid times this year. Paul set a new course record with a run of 38:01. I struggled throughout but posted a good enough run to hold on to first.

NameRunRun Pace (min/mi)
Paul Soper0:38:010:07:19
Randy Elenbaas0:40:480:07:51
Sam Lannon0:43:210:08:20
Eric Plantinga0:43:330:08:22
Elizabeth Soper0:43:470:08:25
Abby VanHarn0:43:470:08:25
Mark VanHarn0:45:160:08:42
Derek Elenbaas0:45:490:08:49
Jenny Scott0:47:580:09:13
Darren Schaaf0:48:420:09:22
Claire Steensma0:49:060:09:27
Jason Schaaf0:49:120:09:28
Steve Elenbaas0:49:300:09:31
Marv Elenbaas0:52:000:10:00
Dan Wiley0:53:080:10:13
Lindsay Elenbaas0:54:130:10:26
Ben Elenbaas0:55:270:10:40
Haley Elenbaas0:55:340:10:41
Seth Kuiper0:56:180:10:50
Sarah Kuiper0:59:360:11:28

Once again we had some major improvements over last year. 10 out of 13 who competed last year bettered their times.

Comparison with Last Year20072008Time Diff% Impr
Jenny Scott1:56:431:41:170:15:2615.2%
Ben Elenbaas2:05:501:53:220:12:2811.0%
Dan Wiley1:51:481:14:220:07:267.1%
Paul Soper1:30:131:25:080:05:056.0%
Seth Kuiper1:54:391:49:110:05:285.0%
Marv Elenbaas1:52:241:47:150:05:094.8%
Derek Elenbaas1:42:101:40:320:01:381.6%
Randy Elenbaas1:22:321:21:350:00:571.2%
Steve Elenbaas1:41:191:40:450:00:340.6%
Mark VanHarn1:39:521:39:310:00:210.4%

Jason, Paul, Steve, and I all completed our 5th consecutive solo race this year. Darren, Dan Kuiper, Sarah Kuiper, and Mark VanHarn have all participated every year.

The 2009 Evie.
The Elenbaas invitees.
It was great to have Erin race again. In 2007 she was the top female finisher. This year she was part of the top relay team with Lisa. Jenny broke the record for the best female time after improving by over 15 minutes this year. It is awesome seeing the progress this race has made. Every year the winning time has improved. Here is a summary of overall race since it's inception.

YearBest TimeBest SwimBest BikeBest Run
20051:26:49 (D Rupke)9:28 (D Kett)37:01 (D Rupke)40:06 (D Rupke)
20061:23:21 (D Masselink)10:24 (D Kett)31:54 (D Schaaf)38:12 (D Masselink)
20071:23:06 (R Elenbaas)11:16 (J Schaaf)31:46 (R Elenbaas)38:50 (R Elenbaas)
20081:22:32 (R Elenbaas)9:41 (R Elenbaas)33:45 (J Schaaf)38:57 (R Elenbaas)
20091:21:35 (R Elenbaas)9:31 (R Elenbaas)31:16 (R Elenbaas)38:01 (P Soper)

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