We are busy today getting Zack ready for his trip to Spain tomorrow morning. He is going with the Simpson College Madrigal Singers and they leave at 8 am on Tuesday. I think he is about ready and I have some Euros in my wallet left over from my trip in March to Germany to start him off with some spending money. He'll be back in mid-May just in time for Alexa's graduation from Indianola High School.
Most of the busy weekend was devoted to attending things. Drake Relays, 25th Year of Service Celebration for Wendy on Friday night, 10 Year of Service Dinner for Rabbai David Kaufman on Saturday night, and Sunday was devoted to catching up and reflecting.
Alexa running in the 4 x 100 at Drake (lane 2)
Speaking of the Drake Relays....
Is the Drake Relay cash cow warranted or unwarranted?
Allow me to discuss and contemplate a bit on this very question.
2 adult tickets plus the online charge to buy the tickets so that one set of parents can attend just one session of the Drake Relays = $78 (more sessions = more $$)
1 very small cup of popcorn (and I do mean very small) = $3
$81 to watch your daughter run one event that takes 45 to 52 seconds
There were 80 teams of 4 girls enterend in the 4 x 100 on Friday night
That equals 320 sets of parents times the $78 pair of tickets cost for a grand total that = $24,960 for one High School Event (no popcorn or parking included in that cost). Remember, this is Iowa. What parents do not attend a sporting event (or any event involving their children) in Iowa? Exactly. The era of helicopter parents and traveling around to show choir, band, football, soccer, baseball, softball, you name it is what it is.
320 sets of parents forked over $24,960 for tickets to see one event that began at 5:15 and ended 30 minutes later with 10 heats of 4 girls and all of their parents attending!!!
Plus each high school athlete entered at the Drake Relays must pay a $10 entry fee per event that they are entered. I'm not sure if the high school athletic department pays those entry fees or if the athlete does. So sticking with the 4 x 100 and 320 high school girls running in the event, that's another $3200 to tack on to the parents gate price for a grand total of $28,160 for round one of a 30 minute event (the 4 x 100).
And keep in mind there were 32 events for the high school athletes. All those athletes and all of those gate tickets for the parents add up to quite a big pot for Drake. Then the top times advance to the next day to do it all over again and pay up again!!!
The college athlete entry price is $30 per athlete per event. Who knows about their parents if they attend or not, but it all adds up to a huge cash cow that we could argue is justified or unjustified. And we all get sucked into it.... Thousands of athletes. Thousands of parents. We feed the Drake Relay CASH COW to say the least.
Is it priceless? Is it worth it? Is it a once in a lifetime expense that must be paid? I don't know, but I remain skeptical of such an event that takes advantage of the athlete and the athlete's parents to that kind of cash tune. Regardless, you do what you do as a parent. And then there were other sessions to attend, more expense, more sunshine, more popcorn, and well.....it's over. A rock concert is cheaper - trust me.
Alexa's group of 4 were seeded 16th out of the 80 teams based on their best qualifying time leading up to the Drake Relays. They did not run as well on Friday night as they did the night before, but in spite of the costs associated with attending - they all had fun participating. Color me tainted at the costs involved and the cash cow that Drake has going, but there's nothing wrong with an informed opinion, right?
Saturday Afternoon Ride
After spending all of that Relay money, Tara and I loaded up the road bikes in the afternoon and drove to Martensdale to ride the Great Western Trail. We rode to Mullets, had salads and beer, then rode back for a nice 3 hour pavement day. Being the first warm weekend day, there were tons of people out on the trail. Not to mention, there was a Bike Iowa organized Fat Tire ride that we passed in both directions which added quite a few out on the trail. The Cumming Tap was hopping. Orlando's Pizza was hopping. And the wait for a table at Mullets was 35 minutes - so it was hopping as well. It felt good to get out without layers and layers of gear on to keep warm.
Sunday Afternoon Ride
On less than 24 hours recovery, we headed out about 11 am on the road bikes to Carlisle and back. I flip flopped my scheduled Saturday/Sunday workouts and once we got to Carlisle, I told Tara I needed to do a 60 minute race simulation Zone 4/5 workout. I gave her a 10 minute start and I did some stretching and hydrating before launching into the pain cave. This was against the wind all the way back to Indianola and combined with not being recovered from Saturday's longer Zone 2 ride and going up the hill against the wind - I was drooling and deep in the pain cave the entire 60 minutes. Once home, the rest of the day and evening I felt like I had done an actual mountain bike race I was so tuckered out. The good news is that I wasn't beat up from doing it off road on dirt. The pavement and road bike worked my legs and lungs, but the rest of me was not bounced around so I will recover quicker from this effort.
After a turkey sandwich induced post ride, lazy Sunday afternoon nap, I went to Hy-Vee and got a couple of Smart Chickens to grill for dinner.
Here's the pair of ladies getting all roasted up on the grill...
And they are finished and ready to be pulled off the grill...
I peeled 4 potatoes, sliced them nearly down to the bottom, drizzled them in olive oil, sprinkled them with sea salt and fresh black pepper before baking them at 425 for 45 minutes to get a nice combination between baked potato and oven baked fries. Yum they were good!!!
Loss of Raelene Best
Tara and I share our sincere condolences to the Best family on their loss of Raelene on Saturday evening. Raelene was a colleague of mine at Simpson in the Music Department. She accompanied quite a few of my students, taught piano, was our recruiter for prospective music students and was a real joy as a colleague. She had been fighting cancer the past 2 years and lost the battle on Saturday evening. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family as they grieve for their loss.
This is the third loss in our music faculty of cancer since I have been here. Anne, Maria, and now Raelene...
So it is with mixed emotions I start the week this Monday, April 29th.