USA Triathlon National Championships – Sprint Distance

On my way to 19th place.

On my way to 19th place.

On August 9th I raced the USA Triathlon Sprint Distance National Championships in Milwaukee, WI. I had raced in the Olympic distance race the day before so this was going to be more for fun, but I was still going to give it 100%.

My wife Laurie and I began the long weekend by flying into Chicago and staying with my Mom for 1 night. From there, Mom and I drove to Milwaukee for Nationals and Laurie drove to Benton Harbor, MI for the IM 70.3 Steelhead Triathlon. On 8/9 I raced the Sprint and Laurie raced Steelhead. We both had good days. The local MI paper even published Laurie’s picture during the bike portion of the Steelhead race.

Sprint Nationals was going to be short and sweet. The swim was 750 meters in Lake Michigan. My swim split was 12:14, putting me in 18th place. The bike was 20K (12.4 miles). I biked an average of 21.7 mph for a bike split of 34:22. This was the 57th fastest, dropping me to 37th place. The run was 5K (3.1 miles). My run split was 19:02 and the 5th best on the day to finish in 1:09:31. My run moved me up to finish in 19th place, just like the day before. I’m not great, but I am consistent. I was 19th out of 116 men in the 50-54 age group and 211th out of 1,673 overall finishers.

Laurie works with Maggie Riley-Hagan. Maggie is one of the pediatricians at Rady Children’s Hospital and also a great triathlete. In fact, Maggie placed 5th in the women’s 60-64 age group in the Sprint. The day before the Sprint race Maggie and I exchanged text messages. She was going to start 17 minutes before me. I was just kidding around, but I warned her that I might pass her in the finish chute. It was just a little friendly trash texting. During the race I had completely forgotten about Maggie. During the run I was focused on catching a guy named Jeremy who had passed me during the bike. I don’t recall Jeremy ever beating me so I really wanted to catch him. As we approached the finish line I could see Jeremy, but I simply ran out of real estate. Jeremy beat me by 3 seconds. But I did pass Maggie. I should pick on someone my own size. I really had no idea it was her until after we had finished. Click on this link to see me outsprinting Maggie. I nearly fell over in the process.

Some of the athletes race “The Double” where they race the Olympic on Saturday and the Sprint on Sunday. The Double is more of a badge of honor than anything prestigious. I did win The Double for men 50-54 back in 2014 and was 5th this year.

Click on this link to view my photos including some classics of the finish line sprint:

It was a great weekend. I got to spend quality time with my Mom. She’s 94 years old and a joy to be around. I also saw my sisters and their husbands. And Laurie and I are healthy enough to race at some really cool events. God has truly blessed us!

Living the life…

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