Updated: Jan 3
August 19th, 2012
750-meter swim, 20k (12.4 mile) bike, 5k Run
Finish Time: 1:20:12
AG 25-29: 19th
I never wanted to be one of those people who looks back and says, "I wonder if . . ." If I have a goal, I'll go out and set forth to achieve it. When something is your passion, it becomes everything. You put everything into it without hesitation. No, questions. No, doubts. Nothing to stop you. The best of the best traveling from all over the country, coming to Burlington to compete for 18 coveted slots per age group for the world championships in London. Burlington is a beautiful city and perfect location for the race. The course was just enough bit of challenging for the age group national championships.
Expo/Packet Pick up Packet pickup was not run very well in my opinion. it went very slow and of course I got in the wrong line because the numbers were hidden. so I ended spending a half hour to get my packet. I had my bike shipped up to Vermont which made the whole process very easy and not strenuous like south beach was. We had to drop our bikes off in transition the night before but for some odd strange reason they made us wait until 4:30 to drop our bikes off. So that meant a lot of waiting. But thankfully normatec boots had a stand/booth that was still open even after the Olympic distance racers had left. So mom and I chilled in the boots for like a good 40 minutes until the line started to get long, so we had to leave. Finally, I dropped my bike off and we went to the hotel. In our packets, we were given TriTats and those suckers stayed on real well. 5 days later and the USA triathlon part of the tattoo is still on my arm.
Race Day The morning of the race, I went into the transition to set up my tiny but assigned area. I had to put more air in my tires as we had to leave our bikes outside overnight and as I was taking the pump off the valve, my valve broke in half... as a result, flat tube! Sweet just the anxiety I need the morning of one of the biggest races of the year. Thankfully tech support was in transition so I waited for them to fix and replace the tube. I would have done it myself except I just screwed up the pump and I wanted a professional who could do it much faster and more efficiently.
Swim portion took place in lake Champlain on a beautiful and calm morning. the waters were clear and you could even see the bottom. the water temperature was a lovely 75 degrees, much warmer than the air as around 6 am it was in the high 50's low 60s. My wave was 29 and under so there were a lot of us... and surprisingly all of the top finishers were in my wave. While waiting I had to deal with a tight squeeze and being pulled under. During the swim, people were constantly pushing me and close to kicking me. This was definitely more intense that what I had dealt with in the past. So I just swam and did so at a good pace or at least what I thought was good. According to my time... not so great.
T1- 1:41 The transition area was rather large and my bike was located right by the swim in the entrance which was nice, but that meant a long push out to the mount line. That and coming in from the swim the ground was soaked and very slippery so I had to run very carefully. Even though, my transition time was a tad bit slower than what I had hoped for I tied for 3rd best T1 time.
The bike course was predominately on a highway which was nice and easy, but there were a lot of potholes which I had to swerve around constantly as to avoid getting a flat. There were a lot of turns in the beginning and turnarounds' which was a nuisance because I had to slow down constantly. The beginning of the bike course had a lovely hill climb and a bunch of speed bumps once you got to the flat. I did not enjoy the speed bumps and I wish they found a way to not include those on the course. There was an even amount of ascents and descents, but I powered through on my road bike nonetheless, listening to the sounds of the discs on the tri bikes whizzing by me.
My T2 went faster than my first which was expected and would have been faster had I not missed my transition area because the people who had come in before me made a mess and I couldn't find my spot. But I still had the 6th best T2 time.
They warned us ahead of time about the hill right in the beginning... it was steep, but I powered through and up the hill while watching others succumb to the steep incline and walk up it. Once the hill was done, I got my heart rate under control, took a couple of breaths and took off. This was where I would make up time on the flats and downhills and I did. I had some very lovely negative splits and ran strong putting in some nice long strides especially on the last 10th of a mile to the finish. Somewhere though around mile two I could feel my heel rubbing against my shoe but disregarded the pain and kept going. Once I finished though I saw I was bleeding just a little. No pain no gain, right? I checked my place... 19th... I missed qualifying by one spot. So I am now an alternate. For a minute I was bummed and disappointed but then remembered that most of these people have been competing for years, were/are collegiate athletes and then there was me, in my first year of racing tri's with a standard entry level bike, intermediate running background with natural athletic abilities, but none up to par with those who raced in college. It changed my negative attitude into optimism because I competed with the best of the best, placed 19th in the country for 25-29 and am now an alternate for worlds and I finished 174 overall for women. Just think how I will do next year. That and I PR'd... so for a tough field of competitors I think I kicked ass. Perks: beautiful town, very spectator friendly, expo, Ehh... Not a Fan: Bike course conditions, run course big hill, transition too congested Grade: B+