Take Two: Block Island Triathlon

Over the weekend I took part in one of my favorite events of the summer: The Block Island Triathlon. I competed last year and loved every second of it. This year was different, I had a race team.

IMG_1387I must have made it sound easy or something as my mother, Karen, and friend, Evan, decided to sign up as well. My mother is a fit lady who loves to be active in many ways (especially Jazzy ones), and Evan is a runner who has never competed in a triathlon.
Mom was pretty confident. Saying ,“Michael Phelps isn’t even a stellar athlete” as we watch him carry the US flag at the Rio opening ceremony the night before. I guess she thought she could take him on the swim portion if she had to.


As race day approach we were all nervous about the weather with storms predicted. I said my prayers and wished for the best. Luckily, Saturday arrived with sun and smiles. We prepped our transition stations with “recyclable” footbaths.

At 9 am the race went off. I was in the first heat. Ekk.

The race consisted of a ¼ mile swim at Fred Benson Town Beach. It was tough as I was running into the water and headed towards the same buoy as the rest of the pack. There was a lot of arm flaying and no apologies.

When I ran out of the water and went to throw my sneakers on I swear everyone else was dilly-dallying. I had places to be. The bike ride consisted of a few close calls with cars and other bikers and only once did I yell “MOM!” at the wrong lady.

13901547_1233309526699427_8045180890117176352_nBy the time I got to the beach, I was pumped yelling, “These are my roads” to everyone I passed. The run was tough as the high tide meant wading through calf-deep water at some points. I was cheered on my beach goers loving my St. Lawrence T-shirt (and Cole Hann shades).

I finished in just over 1 hour and 30 minutes, third overall female and first in my age group. For anyone else that did the race, I had to search far and wide for the results (here they are) I am now the proud owner of the coolest T-Shirt on Block Island. So yes ,this blog post is somewhat a humble brag, but I know you care.

Besides me, my mom did phenomenal. She finished 12th out of 20 people in her age group. Take those Tri Veterans! Her biggest feedback was that the race was the perfect choice for her. The mixed training was better than simply training for a half-marathon that she had been interested in.
IMG_0963Evan crushed the game as well placing 2nd in his age group. I had to say no when he mentioned a “cool down” run after the race.

Block Island is a great place to race. There is one more chance this summer to “Run Around the Block” on September 10th. I won’t be able to be here for it so you might have a chance.

Have you ever raced on Block Island? Is Michael Phelps a stellar athlete? How many scoops of ice cream did I eat after the race? (Wait, don’t answer that)

She definitely earned her cone.

Block: 5 Letter Word for Paradise

If you haven’t heard, there are power issues on Block Island this weekend. A fire at the Block Island Power Co. on Friday evening is leaving some in the dark. The town is rotating which parts of town are receiving power at any given time in order to conserve the limited energy.

So in the midst of a crisis, keep calm and carry on. I present my Block Island crossword puzzle. Print it out, take it to the beach and enjoy! No electrical power needed just brain power (and some serious island know-how).

If you complete the puzzle, snap a picture and send it my way (jennamead7@gmail.com). I’ll send you a limited edition wine-cork keychain. I would say those who read the blog regularly have a big advantage on this.

Click here for a high-resolution copy: Block Island Crossword


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Dying to know the answers? Message me and I’ll send a copy.

What do you think of my crossword? Do I have a future as a puzzle guru? What did you get for 8 across?



Adventures Etc: Beach Reads

With the best beaches and most relaxing views, reading is a popular9780307408860 Block Island activity. I am proud of myself for the amount of reading I have done here. I just finished up Dead Wake by Erik Lawson. It is an historical nonfiction telling of the sinking of the Lusitania. I picked it up it because Lawson will be coming to the island this weekend and speaking, and signing copies of his book at the Old Harbor Church (Sunday 8/9 at 5pm). I read the book on my Kindle, so it might be awkward when I ask him to just sign my Battleship Board game set.

In reading on the island I have to deal with the options that exist for getting one’s hands on reading materials while on the island.

Island Bound Bookstore (Water Street, 401-466-8878) If you are looking for the newest reads, pick up your novels at the island’s only bookstore. The spot is a great place to find your next read with the front shelves flooded with the best sellers. In addition the store offers “Block Island” books, by local authors and on the subject of the island itself.


The Island Free Library (Dodge Street, 401-466-3233)  Though the library has short hours (note they are closed Sunday and Monday), the library is a great choice for find your vacation reads. In order to check out books one must have a Rhode Island Library card (or can attain one with an Rhode Island ID) or pay a $25 charge to obtain a card. The library hosts numerous events throughout the summer and has great Wi-Fi if one needs to check in with the really world while on the island.

Harbor Church Book Exchange (High Street, 401-466-5940) Bring along one book to the island, but inhaled it in one afternoon? Have no fear, the Harbor Church’s book exchange is the perfect solution; bring your pre-read pages and swap them for someone else’s. This event happens intermittently thorough out the summer check the Block Island Times for upcoming times.

With plenty of places to find your reading material, next comes the question, what shall I read. I have done a fair amount of page turning this summer so I have a few books I can recommend, but it depends on what you are looking for…


If you are looking to become a greater assets to your trivia team…


What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell

This book is a collection of short pieces by Gladwell that answer so many of the questions you didn’t know you needed the answers to. Learn why Americans have such high breast cancer rates, why dogs bite and others don’t or (my favorite piece) why there’s only one type of ketchup. You will be flooded with facts that will have you adding to the conversation at cocktail hour.

If you are looking to figure out why you’re still single…Unknown

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

With a new set of eyes taking on the wild world of romance, comedian Ansari does some real research into the changing dating world. He, along with a number of sociologist conduct surveys, interviews and share personal stories about dating today. The book focuses on the shift towards technology as a major player in budding relationships, and look to answer the question of why those three little “typing dots” appeared on screen but then vanished with no reply.

If you are looking to beat your friends in reading the “new Gone Girl”…


The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Written by a Cosmopolitan Magazine editor, this chick-lit will have you spending your afternoon “binge-reading”. The sassy narrator is the girl you want to be, but love to hate. The twist and turns of the novel slowly reveal the not-so put together life of Anni. Definitely a girl read, but you will be one step ahead of your friends who are just finishing up Girl on a Train #slowpokes.

If you are looking to impress the cute History major…


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Set in Europe during the second World War this historical nonfiction is a riveting story of two separate souls living amongst the background of total war. The loss of innocence, and effects of separation from those we love all within the context of real timelines and sequencing makes the interesting story educational as well.

May your days be long and worries short. Now, I need get back to my latest page-turner.

What have you read lately? Is there a certain type of book you like to read in the summer?