Triathlon, trick or treat make for busy weekend in our town

By Ernie Sochin….

Ernie Sochin

Everyone that knows me knows that I try hard but unsuccessfully to be a lean, fit athlete. A lot of my exercise comes from running up and down the cookie aisle at Publix looking for some old favorites and hoping to find something new as well.

How do you think I felt watching 2,100 trim, conditioned athletes riding their bicycles through my town during the recent triathlon? I’ll bet there wasn’t an ounce of body fat among them. Their bikes and beautiful Spandex outfits looked great. It is a shame that they don’t make Spandex clothes in my size. I might look trim too in one of those outfits. Their helmets looked like they were going 25 miles per hour by themselves. Mine just makes me look like a dork.

Am I angry or just jealous? Yes. I am jealous. Now let me address the anger.

I had a tennis doubles match on the morning of the Ironman Miami Triathlon. Three of the four players (me included) were unable to get to our courts because of the race. We all came from different directions and none of us were successful. No matter what route we attempted, “you couldn’t get there from here.” Once I decided to head home in disgust I found that I couldn’t get there either.

I finally found a cop who told me that if I was quick on the accelerator I might make it across 87th Avenue, if I started immediately after he gave me the go ahead. I made it! Whew! I think the Ironman is a great thing for South Florida but someone has to find a better route that doesn’t tie up three or four cities for an entire morning. Let’s hope.

I was expecting another tough part to my weekend when I decided to see for myself what so many (four or five?) people were complaining about regarding the Halloween event that takes place around Whispering Pines Lake each year. I missed the last two because I was out of the country at the time, but I heard about drunken beer drinkers, gang toughs, hooliganism, etc.

Being trained in Mu Du Kwan Karate, I was prepared to defend myself and fight off the villains. Unfortunately all I saw were tons of kids in unbelievably beautiful costumes with bags full of candy and some incredible homemade haunted houses and other displays at people’s homes. I finally spotted an older guy lugging a cooler behind him in a Radio Flyer wagon. Aha, I thought…I finally caught one of those beer drinking troublemakers red handed. I followed him closely by several houses until a couple of cute little girls in costumes ran up, opened the cooler and each took out a bottle of cold water. Foiled again.

In truth, this Whispering Pines event was absolutely fantastic and something that made me proud to be a part of the community. Yes, I am sure there were people there who did not live in our town but I’ll bet they were saying to themselves, “What a great place to live!” I would.

Things have changed. The Town of Cutler Bay did a great job by hosting a Haunted House and using the track at Cutler Ridge Park to set up trick or treat stations sponsored by local merchants. This was done pre-Halloween so as not to deter from other events taking place.

The one negative…I left a ton of candy in front of my house and when I got back later in the evening, not a piece had been taken. My accomplice saw the look in my eyes and decided that she had better give it all away before I gobbled it up, so we made a run back to Jordan Arutt’s house near the lake and donated it all to the overwhelming hoard of kids being attacked by a giant spider falling from a tree in front of his house.

I noticed a few houses around the lake with no lights on. The kids seemed unconcerned and simply bypassed these homes. Maybe these folks were away or maybe they just don’t like kids in scary costumes. Some of the young women’s costumes were not quite so scary, but that is another column.

It did cost the town a few bucks for the security etc. The cops were giving out little flashlights and glow sticks, so even they got into the spirit. I can’t think of town money better spent than for this fabulous event, and I for one hope it continues.

Previous articles by Councilmember Sochin are available on line at

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