Thursday, July 18, 2013

Up Next - Triathlon Age Group National Championship

In just about 3 weeks I will be participating in the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship race.  This will be the largest event USA Triathlon has ever hosted and possibly the most competitive field they have ever seen.  It has been on my "must do" list of races and it's just about here.  I don't know how it will all shake out but here is my take on it.

What Is It?

Each year USA Triathlon hosts this championship race for basically the top 10% of triathletes in various age groups across the country.  In order to race at this event you you qualify by winning your age group or by finishing in the top 10% of your age group at a sanctioned race.  Last fall I did that at 3 different events.

The race itself is an Olympic distance event which will consist of a 1500 meter swim in Lake Michigan, a 24.85 mile bike, and a 6.21 mile run in downtown Milwaukee, WI.

What's At Stake?

At this race there are two things up for grabs.  To be a national champion in your age group and qualify for the 2014 International Triathlon Union Short Course Triathlon World Championship (Team USA).

The Reality For Me

I am going to give it everything I have.  No question.  The reality is my likely hood of being a national champ or qualifying for team USA is somewhat thin.  But hey, I've got a horse in the race and anything can happen.

To me, this is a race I have been wanting to do for a long time.  A race where only the best show up.  A race where I can see how I stack up against the best in the county.  A race that will provide me with valuable experience and memories.  Not everyone gets this opportunity and I plan to go hard and enjoy it. 

My goal is to get a personal record time at this distance and not finish dead last in my age group.  2013 has been somewhat of an off year for me.  I have struggled to find speed.  I did an Olympic distance race a week ago with a mediocre performance.  My bike was good but the swim and the run were awful to say the least.  It was good to do that race as it woke me up and refocused my mentality. 

It will also be fun just to participate in a race with a field of this size.  Being the fierce competitor that I am I relish in this opportunity.  I have had friends and acquaintances who have participated in various State and National championships in various sports.  Some of which won it all.  I always thought to myself, "man, that would be awesome to compete on a stage like that".

Now is my chance.  I don't know what will happen on race day but I anticipate it to be a nerve racking, exciting, and humbling experience.

More to come...

Train.  Race.  Repeat.

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