We've been fortunate to have made the decision to send our son Colin to a fine private school since the 6th grade. Tandem Friends School has rigorous academic standards, yet still makes time for interesting and enlightening non-academic pursuits. One of these is "Emphasis Week," a time when students will get together with teachers to pursue non-academic interests.
One of Colin's teachers, Steve, guides an Appalachian Trail hike each year. He'll take a group of about 15-20 Tandem students out for a 5-day, 4-night hike on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. I'm an avid AT section hiker (500 miles down, 1500 to go!), so it's fun to talk to him about his plans every year. Colin has been on one of Steve's trips before, and has hiked with me on the AT too, covering the Maryland section of the trail in 2010.
Colin signed up to do this year's trip, and Steve needed another adult -- so it was on me to fill the spot. I was tickled pink when Steve sent out his pre-trip email to the group and it said:
Ken Nail will be accompanying the trip as well
as a second adult chaperone. If you know Ken, you know he is an extremely fit,
experienced hiker/backpacker. I am thrilled that he can take part in this
I'm convinced that Steve doesn't know anything about my triathlon background, or even care. But I can't think of a nicer compliment! And I can't wait -- there's nothing like a backpacking trip to focus yourself on the essentials -- walk, eat, sleep, repeat!
Swim: 2:40, 7000 yards
Bike: 3:45. 64.25 miles
Run: 2:50, 21 miles