That Bruce Moore, he knows how to start a trend. The sweet talking (just ask Fran) master of the English language blew away the competition in the Tallahassee Democrat “Dog” Haiku championship. Next thing you know, Sarah Docter-Williams and Wendy Smith have transformed a quiet peaceful Sunday morning social into a Haiku competition. Smart thinking ladies they are, they waited for Bruce to go out of town so everyone else would have a chance. Oh yeah, before you got to the Haiku part, you had to swim or kayak past the alligators in Lake Hall, bike through the horse manure and over the snakes on the Lake Overstreet trail, and then run past the ferocious park rangers standing guard over the park roads. When that was done, you had to compose your own Haiku – a three line 17 syllable poem.

Cris Williams was first out of the water, swimming the somewhere near quarter mile distance in just over 5 minutes. Well, actually Nadine Dexter was first out of the water. She swam about 10 yards, came face to face with the Lock Nest Monster, and got out of the water as soon as possible. Jim Phillips was right after Cris in a little under 6:00 minutes, carrying a water moccasin. Thirty minutes later Joe Dexter came up for air (having walked the entire distance on the bottom) as he approached the shore and asked, “Where did my girl Nadine go?” Karl Hempel, the only swimmer to wear water wings, finished his swim effort just before lunch. Of course he had to stop and wrestle the alligator. Quite the sight in his water wings. Fran and Mary Bridges took the really intelligent route and kayaked the swim portion, plus the extra distance required for the kayakers. Fran was able to club the poor gator with her paddle…no wait, that was Karl Hempel she hit! Nearly everyone came out of the water with a huge sense of relief at escaping the murky deep – just happy to avoid being eaten by a gator or grabbed by the Lock Nest Monster.

The bike saw the lead change hands. Jim Phillips was far more experienced in the horse pies than Cris and made the most of his advantage by skidding by and taking the lead. Chris’s face was not such a pretty sight as Jim went blasting by kick up the trail goodies with his wheels. Cris quickly figured out this was not the bike race to draft during. The most excited cyclist was Jamie Wright, waiting for his mom to get out of the water so he could take off on his $12,000 “I will take no prisoners” mountain bike. The Jamster turned out to be a real star on the bike. Starting out well behind Cris and Jim, Jamie quickly overcame the deficit his mom (Bonnie) left him and blasted by Cris and Jim before they ever saw him. Or maybe he just turned around a little early. Anyway he was the first back and poised to write the best Haiku of the morning. His dad has taught him well about the bottom line.

The run took an interesting twist as Cris and Jim took off running different directions. They both ran the whole course, but Cris was able to sneak past Jim without actually passing him. The Xterra Wobble was the stride of the day as everyone jumped off their bikes and got a lesson in what triathletes endure every race. It did not help any that they had to start running up a hill. Somehow despite all of this, 4th place finisher Janna Walkup ended it all looking for a GWTC membership application. Welcome to our world of craziness, Janna!

The rush from the finish line to the Haiku table was the best show. No one knew exactly where the finish line was. Some ate first and others just wrote. We suspect they were all a little dazed and confused. How else do you explain the quality of the Haikus? It was a really fun event though and if you missed it…well, it was your loss. We know you would not want to miss out on the Haikus though, so here are the results.

Best Haiku – straight up. Jamie Wright:

A watch is no good
When you are running a race
Time stands still for me.

Cris Williams – (47:47) First Finisher and only “unprintable” Haiku.
There once was a man from Nantuket,
Whose –
Well like we said it is not really printable and it really wasn’t even a Haiku!

Overall Winner – combined Haiku and competition skills – Jim Phillips (48:02).

We run like Gazelles
and can fly like Eagles
But no Marange.

“Best Love Poem” – Kathy McDaris. (1:02:50)
Gritty, soggy shorts
who designs these women’s seats?
Not tonight, Honey.

Janna Walkup 4th overall and the quietest Haiku. Welcome to GWTC, Janna.

The “I Learned My Lesson” Haiku award – Karl Hempel (2 days, 7 hours.)
Roses are always red
Violets are usually blue green
But swimming still sucks.

Husband and Wife Team Winners – Joe and Nadine Dexter. (1:09:57)

Joe’s “I’m a Guy Haiku” award.

Swim, Bike, Run, What fun!
Eat, Yak, eat till all is gone.
Home, church, family, sex, sleep.

And Nadine – “Newlywed Love” award. (Who counts syllables anyway?)

Joe and I can run and bike,
which means sometimes
quite a hike.
Next we try to swim,
but Nadine is afraid of the Brim.
So off we go to do what Nadine can,
anything and all to be with her man.

Chris Teaf – “Where is My God Existential” award? (54:45)

Cold water and wind
hurt and yet are a bonus
We wonder why, why?

And finally the “Humanitarian – I Care About My Brother” award went to Fran and Mary Bridges. (1:10), our kayakers.

Lordy, lordy, oh!
There are gators in the lake.
Oh! Swim faster Karl.