Since 2009 I have qualified and competed in USAT National Championships for Olympic and Sprint Distance Triathlons in Tempe, Cleveland, Omaha, Milwaukee, Burlington, and Tuscaloosa.
This year the championships are returning to Milwaukee and the races are scheduled for the weekend of August 7-8. I have enjoyed traveling to all of those cities – the local community is always very welcoming and the USAT does an excellent job of organizing the races.
But by far my favorite venue is Milwaukee. It’s a beautiful setting on the waterfront next to the Art Museum and it’s only a ninety minute drive. This year, after a dozen years of training me, my coach Heather Collins of Monarch Fitness Training will be able to actually watch me compete in the championship race.
When I started competing in triathlons back in 2005 my aspirational, somewhat wishful goal, was to one day finish in the top 10 in my age group in one of the triathlon national championships. While I have achieved that goal in the Duathlon Championships (no swimming) there are more competitors in the triathlon championships.
These races attract a lot of great athletes. My first championship (in Tuscaloosa) I didn’t finish the race. Since then I have gradually improved my showing and have made it into the top 20 a couple times, but never the top 10.
But this year, I am once more the youngest in my age group of 70 to 74. I am going to only compete in the Sprint Distance race which may give me an advantage over those athletes who compete both days. There are 73 athletes in that age group racing this year (including 8 All-Americans). I am ranked 17th, so I will have to have a very good race to finish in the top ten, but I have a shot.