Race Report: USA Triathlon National Championship

Swim: 

It was windy at the start of the race so we knew it was going to be a choppy swim. Having dealt with similar race conditions during Liberty Island swim and Governor’s Island this year I knew I would be more comfortable with this swim.

Burlington, Vermont made for an awesome championship venue for the Age Group Championships. Anh P. and I got to spend race weekend with Adam G. who also participated and his father Jim who spectated with Anh. Couldn’t have asked for better company.

We got to enter the water before our wave started for a warmup swim which I utilized and made sure that my goggles and body was ready for the swim.

As the gun went off I made sure to get to my comfort zone for the first 100 meters or so before I figured any race pace strategy. The day would not be ideal for any sort of short course race pace effort as the sun glare, navigation and choppiness made for a tough swim for most athletes. My strategy at this point was to enjoy the swim and be as relaxed as possible.

As I made my way to the last yellow turn buoy I was able to pick up the pace and the water was a bit smoother as well.

Made it to transition and saw Anh P. along the way.

Swim Map

Bike: 

After studying the course map and listening to the webinar going into the race we knew that the first 5 miles or so would be hilly. So I kept my cadence at 90+ during the uphills to save my running legs and down to 85-88 during the flats and rollers. The wind would be a factor throughout the course especially while coming back to town from the turnaround.

To keep in check with the non-drafting rules I made sure to only hammer and pass athletes when there was clearly a clear and legal spot for me to sit in after the pass. I have to say having so many marshalls out on the course and preventing a penalty kept my passing at bay. Most times during the bike I just sat back, saved my legs and only pushed when there was enough spacing up ahead.

Did I mention how scenic this course was (I am loving Vermont and I’m tempted to do the marathon there next year). The roads could not have been smoother. I kept soaking in the scenery as much as I could during the race.

Heading back into transition I had ample time to undo my strap from my *almost new* Shimano tri shoe and do the pro dismount 🙂 Made it into T2 found my rack and quickly slipped on my kinvaras for the run.

I spotted m honey and the base of the run and gave her a kiss 🙂 and continued my road to the finish.

Bike Elevation Map

Run: 

The first half mile or so of the run was what could be described as a straight up brutal hill. I kept my strides nice and short during that part of the run. First mile split was at 7:55.

I took 2 salt tablets at the first aid station washed it down with water and gatorade. I would grab water/gatorade at all subsequent stations except the last one heading to the finish.

The rest of the run was a progression in my splits down to 6:50 for mile six. The couse had a combination of all terrains, dirt, gravel, trail. Really enjoyed it, especially while running to the finish on the cliff above transition with Lake Champlain (the venue of the swim) to the right with Vermont mountains in the far ground.

I am extremely satisfied with my overall race performance at the Age Group National Championship and I’m looking forward to visiting/racing in Vermont again. Since the race in moving from Burlington to an new venue next year this venue should be used again for Tri racing. Rev3 Burlington anyone?

Run Elevation Map

Overall Time: 2:31:56

Level of field: Outstanding ++

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