Tuesday, July 20, 2010
It took some time, effort and a 9-hour drive one way but I accomplished my goal of qualifying for the USAT Age Group Nationals to be held September 25th in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Whew!
Qualifying was my only triathlon goal this year and this was my last chance to do it. The race was the Evergreen Lake Tri in Hudson, Illinois, an Olympic distance race. This was the closest regional qualifying event left before Nationals...that's why I drove 9 hours to race (I should say 'we' drove because my good friend, Rusty, volunteered to come with me to keep me company and help drive....GREAT guy!).
Being the middle of July I expected race day to be hot, even in the middle of Illinois. It didn't disappoint. There were a few things I didn't expect, however. The water temperature was 82-degrees race morning which is very warm. I've never done a race with water temperatures that high. That meant no wetsuit. I also didn't expect there to be big rollers like there were on the bike. I expected Illinois to be flat and fast. The wind was blowing harder than I expected as well.
Overall times were slower than I've come to expect. The winner of my age group crossed the line in 2:25:and change. Usually the winner of the male 45 - 49 group finishes the distance sub-2:10. My time was 2:53:and change, good enough for 10th out of 30. I guess the heat and hills wreaked havoc on all.
I was more relieved than anything when I realized I qualified. I wanted to accomplish my goal.
Now I have one more race this season. One more good, hard block of training weeks to go in 2010. I will concentrate on my run, try to strengthen my swim and maintain my bike.