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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team

The Sea was angry, my friend. That was my first thought getting into Lake Michigan to begin my portion of the Chicago Triathlon Relay. My second thought, as I entered the cold 63 degree water (still an upgrade from the ridiculously unseasonable 58 degree air temperature) “Why the hell did I sign on for this again?” And why did I not seriously train for this? Well, it is the world’s largest triathlon, with 9,000 participants, and a couple of them are looking about as wide as they are tall; so if they can do it, I can do it. Besides it will make for a good story when the Olympics arrive in 2016.

I had three goals for my first ever organized swim race/triathlon.

1.) Finish – Do not drown.

2.) No hanging on the safety rope alongside the Monroe Harbor course. No doggy paddling or loafer stroke either. The only time I will break from forward stroke progressive motion to tread water is when I have to recognize and deal with any unforeseen hazard which will inevitably cross my path.

3.) Don’t worry about competing or time – but finish ahead of somebody at least. It’s .93 miles (1.5 km) from Balbo to the Shedd Aquarium and back to Randolph street. And I didn’t want to be like Bill Murray’s character in “Stripes.”dsc02810

“I noticed something, Soldier, you’re always last.”

“I’m pacing myself, Sir.”

To found out how I did click here.

To read the Chicago Tribune Local version of my Triathlon story click here

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the Washington Times, Walter Football.com and The Sports Bank

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank

Michael Phelps is a man who truly needs no introduction. Michael Phelps is to swimming what Devin Hester is to kick returns in football or what the Red Baron was to combat aviation The Olympic gold medal record setter and swimmer extraordinaire Michael Phelps was in Chicago yesterday and I had a front row seat at his press conference and live chat for the 2016 Channel at the Hilton Towers on Michigan Avenue. You can listen to the audio at this link

One topic Phelps discussed was the Michael Phelps Foundation and some of the foundation’s objectives. “One of the biggest things for me is to raise the bar in the sport of swimming. I would like to try to get as many people as possible around the country and around the world as comfortable as they can be in the water, so we can cut down the {number of} drownings in America and all over the world,” Phelps said.

For more Chicago sports analysis and talk go here.

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