Sunday, July 13, 2014

‘The old man and the son’

Jerry Levandoski is back for another crack at the Duathlon, teaming up with his son.

June 15. 2013 11:27PM

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The first-ever Wilkes-Barre Duathlon didn’t go so well for Jerry Levandoski.

“It’s the only race I didn’t finish,” Levandoski, a Dallas resident, said. “I had two flat tires on the second mile.”

His second attempt at the even also fell flat, as he wound up miles off-course the following year.

“I didn’t get turned onto the course the right way,” Levandoski chuckled. “I biked almost all the way to Nanticoke.”

It’s time to let someone else take the wheels.

Levandoski will celebrate Father’s Day — and the 10th anniversary of the Wilkes-Barre Duathlon today — by teaming up with his son Andrew for another run at the annual event, which begins at 7 a.m. on Public Square and finishes there at 10 a.m.

“I said, ‘Andrew, why don’t we do this since it’s Father’s Day?’ ” Levandoski said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Especially since he’ll only have to work half as hard this time.

Levandoski will compete in a pair of 3-mile runs that start and finish the event. In between, Andrew Levandoski — a 16-year-old who served as captain of the cross country and swimming teams as a junior at Wyoming Seminary this past year — will ride the 16-mile bike course.

The tandem will participate under the team name “The Old Man and the Son.”

“We picked the name based on an old Ernest Hemingway novel,” said Levandoski, referring to the classic “The Old Man and the Sea.”

Levandoski said he’s competed in 12 Wilkes-Barre Triathlons, and all three of his children have completed at least one. He said he was intrigued about the inaugural Wilkes-Barre Duathlon in 2004 so much that he decided to try it.

“I like to do triathlons, but my weak event is swimming,” Levandoski said. “Duathlon kind of plays to my strengths. You get to run and bike.”

And today, he’ll only have to do one of them.

Consider it a Father’s Day gift to the “old man” of the house.

“You go from being the fastest in the house to now all three of my children can out-perform me,” Levandoski said. “It’s kind of humbling.”

But rest assured, dad’s not resigned to sitting on the doorstep of defeat just yet.

“We’re going out to win this thing,” Levandoski said.

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