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Robinson and Ruffner Complete 2nd Annual Ryanman

Mon, Jul  16, 2007 - By Mike Muha

Team NordicSkiRacer's Ryan Robinson and Spencer Ruffner successfully completed the 2nd Annual "Ryanman" Triathlon. Unlike last year's attempt on the first agonizing hot day of the year over a full Ironman-distance course, this year's event was shortened to a half-Ironman distance: a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.2 mile run.

The Swim

The triathlon started at a civilized 11:00am on Darb Lake, a short walk from Ryan's house in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Ryan has setup a series of buoys for a three lap, out-and-back course in the lake. Ryan maintained his planned pace of 15 minutes per lap for a 45 minute total swim. Spencer finished in 53:18.

There was a bit of wind during the swim and spectators put up with some light rain. At the end of the swim, the competitors ran back to Ryan's house to change into bike clothes. Spencer made a slight error in navigation on the run and ended up doing an extra 200 hundred yards.

Ryan and Spencer get ready to enter the water.

The Bike

Because this designed to be more of a fun event than a serious competition, Ryan and Spencer started the bike together. The two riders were joined by teammates Greg Worrel and Mike Muha. With a forecast of a 50% chance of rain and thunderstorms all afternoon, everyone expected to get wet, and both Ryan and Mike pulled on rain jackets.

The route went west on Commerce Road, eventually snaking into Milford. The riders climbed General Motors Road out of Milford before circling the GM proving Grounds. Winds were strong and gusty on the route out. Ryan and Spencer did most of the pulling into the wind, and everyone was glad to start heading back east and more with the wind after finishing the Proving Grounds circumnavigation.

On the bike and expecting rain

The route back to West Bloomfield simply reversed the route out. Once in West Bloomfield, a longer and a shorter loop were made around Orchard Lake. Greg suffered the most - this was his longest ride of the year. Ryan worked and kept the group together for a team finish back at his house.

Luckily, the rain failed to materialize. And because the ride was only 56 miles, everyone could carry their own water an nutritional supplements. Of special note was Spencer eating a Salami on whole wheat with mustard sandwich while pulling into the wind, and a can of Spartan Chicken Noodle Soup he had carried on the ride at a quick bathroom stop about 40 miles into the ride!

Total time for the 56 miles: 3:13:03

The Run

The run consisted of multiple loops through the neighborhood surrounding Ryan's home, each loop beginning and ending at Ryan's house. This was designed to allow support runners to run as far as they wanted to and to provide a food stop so Ryan and Spencer would not have to take water and fuel with them on the run.

Finishing of the second lap of the run

A group of about 10 runners started out and broke into various groups running various paces. At the end, only three runners completed the entire 13.1 miles: Ryan and running friend "Mikey" in about 1:30, and Spencer in 2:32.

Post Race

If was party time after the race, both for completing the Ryanman and for Ryan's Birthday!

See annotated photos of the event at