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Triathlete Emanuel: ‘You can never say I’m an unfit mayor’

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Updated: June 21, 2012 3:50PM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday described the Life Time Chicago Triathlon as a “great way to push off your mid-life crisis” after a 9th-place finish in his age group of 50-to-54-year-olds.

“You may say I may be unfit to be mayor. But you can never say I’m an unfit mayor,” Emanuel, 51, joked at an unrelated event.

Apparently referring to an ankle injury suffered when he landed funny on the sidewalk during rigorous training for the event, the mayor added, “Thank God my son ran with me on the last leg, since I haven’t run for four weeks.”

With a time of one-hour and 36 minutes, Emanuel finished 9th out of 80 for his age group of 50-to-54 year-olds in the Sprint, the shorter version of the Chicago Triathlon. The Sprint includes a 820.21-yard swim, a 13.67-mile bike ride and a 3.11-mile run. He finished 334th overall out of 1,879 Sprint participants.

Along with 10,000 other athletes whom Emanuel described as “my closest and dearest friends,” the mayor completed the Lake Michigan swim against a stiff wind that put an uncomfortable chop into the waters of Monroe Harbor.

“It would have been nicer with flatter water. But all that said, it was great to do. It was great to finish. It’s a great way to push off your mid-life crisis,” the mayor said.

Emanuel noted that on the night before he tested his physical fitness skills, he got a chance to indulge another one of his major passions — for dance. He introduced some of the world’s greatest dancers performing the work of some of the world’s greatest choreographers at the Pritzker Pavilion.

“Ten thousand people. ... The only place in the country at one place free for five days. ... Some of the greats of the 20th Century performed by six different companies here in the city of Chicago free for a whole week. Some of the best dancers in the world [performing on] one night,” the mayor said.

“The next morning, with 10,000 other of my closest and dearest friends, I got a chance to also participate in one of the largest triathlons in the world, let alone the country. And there were other things probably happening. ... I didn’t get to participate [in] all over our city. We have the greatest city with the greatest people.”

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