Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bench-Bike-Run (BBR)

EVENT: Bench-Bike-Run (BBR) IV
DATE: Friday, March 6, 2009
RACE BEGAN: 01:00 pm
FINISH TIME: 01:19:30
("bench": 36, bike: 49:00; run: 30:30)

By writing about this race, I risk people finding this and pointing and/or laughing. But just like any other race I've done, I need to report on it...

BBR is an employee-driven event (not at my company) that requires competitors to bench their body weight (push-up for women) to get a head start (30 seconds per repetition). An out-and-back 10-mile bike portion, which is mostly not in traffic, follows. The third part is a 3.8 mile out-and-back run.

I thought this would be a fun race to do, since I've never done any race that involved more than running. As much as I like being known as a runner or marathon girl, (after nerd) that's not all I want to be. So I signed up with my sister and brought "The Ukrainian" along with me on a Friday afternoon.

I did 36 push-ups, which is three times as many as I was able to do just a few months prior. This gave me an 18-minute edge compared to a scenario in which I would do none. It was nice to have people encouraging me, cheering, and counting my reps. Meanwhile, the men were benching their body weight.

The bike portion was not easy. Most people had road bikes, so my commuter hybrid was not really a match for them. Additionally, I often did not know where I was going. However, I had never ridden faster on my bike and found it fun to see how it was easier or more difficult to handle based on the conditions and gears. By the end, I was distraught and wanted to quit but felt fortunate that I had not gotten lost for long.

I got off my bike, unstrapped my helmet, got a sip of cold water, and took off running. My legs were so tired from the biking that they felt wobbly with every step I took. I had trouble getting my watch going and my iPod earphone buds inside my ears but did not slow down since my legs were churning away as if they were on a bicycle. My main goal was to keep moving so they did not collapse and not pass out from my heavy breathing.

I was motivated to keep running each time I passed someone. I actually passed a lot of dudes, which was motivating. I was getting really warm by the turnaround point, as I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and singlet underneath. Toward the last mile and a half, I almost tripped because my legs were just tired of being upright. I kept going up and down the minor hills just so that this could be over. I was thinking how much endurance this took. Finally, I saw some colorful blobs and realized I was near the finish. I came in with my sister and "The Ukrainian" to tell me to "walk it off."

My sister won the competition for the females and was recognized during the awards "ceremony." They also gave medals for performance in the individual sections (for which overall champs did not qualify), so I got a medal for the run section. Overall, I came in 4th (out of 9 women).

Although I am disappointed with the outcome, I enjoyed stepping up to the challenge and testing my fitness in a new way. I may be back next year. Here are some "BBR" pictures for my own embarrassment.


Photo credit goes to "Joey."


  1. Nice post. You might want to edit that part where you said that BBR is company sponsored. It is not sponsor by Broadcom. The employees fund and run this event solely. Nice photo collage!

  2. Yeah, you can see me in the reflection of the table taking that picture of it.