Never competed in Age Group Nationals before and I must say that I was super impressed with the race and competition. I went into the triathlon with the one goal and that was qualifying for ITU Age Group World Championship in Edmonton, Canada for 2020.
The 2019 USAT Age Group Nationals was held in Cleveland this year. This was the 2nd year that they have held it in Cleveland, OH. Cleveland is home to my family and I still have relatives living there. This was one of the reasons why Mike (hubby) and I decided to give Age Group Nationals a try and we certainly were not disappointed.
Both Mike and I are coaches with AJ Baucco Coaching and we enjoyed hanging out at the AJBC tent in the race expo. Got to meet a ton of like-minded people, some new friends and some old friends. It was a blast, for sure!
The weather leading up to the Olympic distance triathlon was quite blustery! The waves in the water looked crazy rough and I feared that we might have to fight those waves on race day. As it got closer, there were mumblings of the swim being cancelled and the race becoming a duathlon. And although the swim is my weakest sport, I certainly didn’t want the race to be a run-bike-run. So, come race day, they decided to keep the swim, but shortened it.
The swim was really uneventful for me. I was in one of the last waves to go off, but that was fine since the swim was shorter. During my swim, I heard my watch lap itself and so I just turned off my Garmin and raced by feel.
The bike was pretty good. Definitely not as fast as I could go, but I just wanted to get into a groove and pass as many people as possible without emptying out the tank. I passed a ton of people, but towards the end of the bike, a speedy group of 40-44 males flew by me. It was impressive!
Going through T2 was a breeze, even quicker than I expected. Got out on the run and was running uphill immediately! Now I know why Coach Ryan McCready had me do all those hill repeats. :-) Again, since I didn't have my watch, I had no clue what I was running. I just kept trying to pass people and just staying in the top 18 to qualify for Worlds. I felt pretty confident that I had accomplished my goal.
Got to the finish, which was really neat! USA Triathlon did a great job making you feel like a pro! I'm happy to say that I will be competing for Team USA in 2020! I'm thankful to all my great training partners, my coach, and my husband for helping me meet my goals.