THE CONCH CHRONICLES

The “Conch” experience really happened by accident and because I wanted others to suffer if I was going to suffer: In January, 1988, after spending a year trying to hunkify myself and writing about that effort extensively in The Washington Post, I finally mustered up the courage to sign up for a genuine triathlon held annually on Grand Bahama Island called the “Conch Man:” swim a mile, bike ten, run five.

Since I had a year to train, and knew virtually every minute of that training would to me be roughly equivalent in fun to dental surgery performed with barbed wire, I, on the spur of the moment, decided to invite the readers of my column to train with me, and promised them dinner on me in the Bahamas if they actually flew down and participated in the Conch Man.

At The Post we thought fifty people or so would train, and we were happy with that thought. But within ten days, over two thousand people had written me; over five hundred met with me in D.C. weeks later, and in December, over five hundred actually flew to the Bahamas and partied with me for a solid week. What a magnificent time! I’ve made many life-long friends out of that event.

Conchdum lurched along, progressing into four more events—by then called “Conchathons” in honor of our first event and the stately Conch, a creature that seldom moves and would drink beer if it could. We held four events over thirteen years in Washington, Grand Bahama Island, and Key West. Finally, in 1998, we held an event here in Tortola.

FURTHER CONCH CHRONICLES: If you want to know more about our quirky group, browse through these old Washington Post columns of mine which chronicle the crawl of the conch.

 

THE CONCH ARCHIVES
WALK WITH REMAR
Remar Sutton
November 18,2002

Last January many of you took a fifteen-minute walk as part of our devilishly easy “Walk with Remar” exercise program. One person walked only one block in fifteen minutes. —... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

WALK WITH REMAR
Remar Sutton
September 23,2002

This is true, though you are not going to believe it: a little chicken has fallen out of the sky, right here in the BVI. In fact, three little chickens have fallen from the sky. —... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

WALK WITH REMAR
Remar Sutton
July 29,2002

I have both wicked and wonderful matters to report to you, starting with an uncensored account of the goings-on at Bomba's Beach Shack last evening, a mile down the north shore from my home. —... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

WALK WITH REMAR
Remar Sutton
June 17,2002

The past three weeks have brought the arrival of a Caribbean summer, with all its wonderful changes, but out of the blue, summer also brought my scariest personal moment in years —... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

WALK WITH REMAR
Remar Sutton
May 20,2002

If you've ever been in business for yourself, you know the attempt takes courage, hard work, and luck. Doubly so if you're on a tiny island. —... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

WALK WITH REMAR
Remar Sutton
April 23,2002

The well-known weather principle—that cold weather displaced by an unexpected hot spell must land on some other unexpected place—... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

WALK WITH REMAR
Remar Sutton
March 25, 2002

My life has been filled with many momentous moments. But this morning... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

WALK WITH REMAR
Remar Sutton
March 11, 2002

Upsets and life-changing surprises hit the Conch world here in Tortola during the last few days. Though I didn’t smile when one of my favorite persons failed, I think I did have an inward grin of sorts... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

WALK WITH REMAR
Remar Sutton
February 25, 2002

Things are gathering speed in the Conch world, named after the lowly Conch shell that doesn’t move much and would drink a beer if it could. ... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

CONCHATHON 2002
Remar Sutton
February 11, 2002

A few evenings ago, I was driving by J.C’s. and Samantha’s beach cottage, a fierce tropical sunset illuminating the waves to my left, my mind far away, when I caught the image for a millisecond... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

CONCH OUT FEVER
MORE THAN 500 TRIATHLETES-IN-TRAINING MEET

Remar Sutton
Column: STYLE PLUS; FIT OVER 40
March 28, 1988; Page c5

Hold on to your hats (or more appropriately, your training schedules) because the Conch Outs are getting ready to take over the Washington area. I realized that yesterday when 500 mini-triathletes-in-training gathered at the Washington Hilton and Towers ... COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

THE CONCH MAN
Remar Sutton
Column: STYLE PLUS;FIT OVER 40
November 22, 1988; Page e5

GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND -- Last January, a lot of nonathletes in Washington, D.C., started their day with an extra 15-minute walk that led last Saturday to a 1-mile swim, 10-mile bike ride and 4-mile run, and to the Conch Outs celebration here. You might like to read a few of the written thoughts they left behind...
COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

ON THE TRAINING TRACK
Remar Sutton
Column: STYLE PLUS; FIT OVER 40
December 5, 1988; Page c5

GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND -- As you contemplate a festive and indulgent holiday season, please take a minute to read the comments of another formerly "normal" person who spent 1988 pursuing Conchdom ...
COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

CORNUCOPIA FOR CONCH OUTS
Remar Sutton
Column: FIT OVER 40
December 19, 1988; Page d5

ST. THOMAS, U.S.V.I. -- As the jeep turned on to Charlotte Amalie's harborfront drive and headed to Government House, "Jingle Bells" started playing on the radio. A bright blue banana boat -- loaded also with a cow and goats -- floated snugly against the harbor wall...
COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

CONCHATHON III, ON THE HORIZON
Remar Sutton
Column: STYLE PLUS; FIT OVER 40
May 21, 1990; Page b5

What's your favorite summer memory? What and where was it? Who were you with? Well, this calendar is going to help you create new, life-changing memories this summer.
COMPLETE ARTICLE

 

CONCHS HAVE THEIR DAY
Remar Sutton
Special To The Washington Post
Column: STYLE PLUS
December 21, 1998; Page C4

TORTOLA, B.V.I. -- Sharon Schumacher, grandmother to nine, after tentatively touching the six-foot shark hanging by the bar at Smuggler's Cove, marched into the water with no hesitation...
COMPLETE ARTICLE