I closed out my 2014 race season with the longest-running triathlon in the US: the XTerra Mission Bay Triathlon.
More than 4300 athletes representing all 50 states descended on Milwaukee August 9-10 for the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. More than 1700 of those would race the Sunday Sprint event – my first ‘A’ race of the 2014 season – in hopes of earning a coveted spot on Team USA for the 2015 World Championships in Chicago next September.
This weekend marks my (first?) ‘A’ race of the season – USA Triathlon’s Sprint Tri Age Group Nationals. While I can probably lay claim to being the athlete coming from the farthest away, all four corners and pretty much everywhere in between will be represented by someone in my age group in Milwaukee.
This year’s installment of the Solana Beach Triathlon (1/4 mile swim – 9 mile bike – 3 mile run) marked the one-year anniversary of my return to racing after a long hiatus.
The second race of my 2014 was the longest running triathlon in the United States. This year, I opted to take part in the 32nd annual San Diego International Triathlon Sprint race (500m swim – 20k bike – 4+ mile run) as a tune-up for the USAT Sprint Triathlon Age Group Nationals in August.
My race season kicked off on Sunday with the San Diego Spring Sprint (500m-ish swim – 11 mile bike – 5k run). A good-sized, well-organized local sprint race in the San Diego Triathlon Series, it usually brings out good competition to gauge early season fitness, and today was no different.
When the average person hears “triathlon,” most think of Ironman: a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run. In the world of endurance sports, there’s more to life than just going longer.
Racing always serves as the reward for training. Some races are more “rewarding” than others. Usually, those races are new challenges – a new distance, a different course, or a different format. Closing out my abbreviated 2013 race season, I thought the Fearless Double Super Sprint, a 375m swim – 10k bike – 2.5k run – 375m swim – 10k bike – 2.5k run format, would be a fun way to change things up.
Reflecting on a few things: A meaningful anniversary, my dad’s treatment, my next race, and thanks long overdue.
During the early morning drive to Mission Bay Park for the San Diego PurpleStride 5K this past Sunday, my mom asked me if I was in “winning mode.” I chuckled, and dismissively said “No!”
Truly, I wasn’t. I wanted to get in a good run, sure, but I was there with my dad and participating in an event that’s taken on great meaning for me and my family.