In April 2018, I had the distinct honor of competing with more than 1,000 top amateur athletes in the country for a national title at the USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships held in Greenville, South Carolina. Furthermore, athletes have the chance to qualify to represent Team USA in duathlon competition at the 2019 ITU Multisport World Championships Festival in Pontevedra, Spain.
The event was held over two days. On Saturday, the Draft-Legal Sprint Duathlon National Championships was the first event held where athletes competed in a 5k run, draft-legal 18k bike and finished up with a 2.85k run (Draft Legal allows the athletes to ride in packs, like you might see in a major cycling race such as the Tour de France). The Non-Drafting Standard Duathlon National Championships (8.45k run, 39k bike and 4.5k run) and the Non-Drafting Sprint Duathlon National Championships (5k run, 18k bike, 2.85k run) were held on Sunday.
Because this would be my first time participating in an event of this level, I kept it simple and chose to compete in the Non-Drafting Sprint Duathlon National Championships. Glad that I did because it was raining and cold for the Draft-Legal Sprint Duathlon National Championships Saturday morning and then cold and windy for the Non-Drafting Standard Duathlon National Championships Sunday morning. Even though it had warmed up a bit by the start of my event, the wind was still going strong, which had an impact on my ride. Weather aside, the course for both the run and the bike were great.
So how did I do? Here are my results:
Finished in 1 hour 22 minutes (Run 1 – 23:04/Bike – 41:23/Run 2 – 15:03)
Number 213th of 300 overall
Men's Rank 161st of 202
Number 15th of 16 in my age group (M45-49)
Definitely not my best performance. I admit that I did expect to do better than I did but my intention was to “complete not compete” since this was my first time at this level. I was a bit nervous. The weather conditions were a factor as well. Nothing goes as expected. However, I now have my baseline on training and preparing for the 2019 National Championships. Oh yeah, I’m gonna do it again.