Fast forward 2 weeks and it’s game on at Nationals. We arrive in Minnesota on Thursday January 25th and gather our ski’s from REI and our Bikes from Now Bikes & Fitness. On Friday we search out the race venue and set out to attempt a course familiarization session. The race director said it was not going to be a challenging course but it tested out limits with some steep sweeping downhills and uphill’s. So we both feel confident that at least we will be able to complete the course and the race in its entirety on Saturday. We covered the entire course which ended up being 7.19 Kilometers.
Now its off to packet pick-up, no problem, pre-race meal, check, final preparations back at the hotel room and off to bed for a sound nights rest. Fortunately, the triathlon did not start until 9:00 am. We packed the car and off to the race venue to set up transition and figure out how to stay warm and warmed up before the race. The race consisted of a 5K run, 17K bike and a 7K cross country ski. We are super excited to have an opportunity to challenge ourselves for a spot on Team USA for Winter Triathlon.
A mass start ensues with the run being the first event in the triathlon a 5K loop around Lake Phalen, mostly flat with a couple short climbs. Headed into T1 where I will add one layer a windbreaker jacket to keep the wind chill off my body while riding the bike. The bike course also went around the lake 3 times with a short extension through the park to get the 17K. Despite a couple spills in some deep snow I survived the bike segment without incident. Now the segment we were all kind of dreading, the skiing. Now it was time to couple finesse with speed of which I had neither. I got off to a slow start and as one might expect and would be passed by many more proficient skiers along the way. Based on the fact that this was my fourth time on cross country skis I did fairly well staying upright and moving forward. By the time I covered 19.3 miles and 2:12:42 later I was done and grinning ear to ear as I crossed the finish line. I had accomplished my goal of successfully completing a Winter Triathlon. The journey was sensational because along the way I had challenged myself to do things I’d never done before, met new friends and been to places I’d not seen before.
I was excited to finish 4th out of 8 athletes in the 55 to 59 AG and secured a spot on Team USA. I’m pleased to say that I am currently training for the Winter World Championships in Asiago, Italy held on February 10th, 2018. Always set goals and believe in your dreams. It may not always be easy but it was sure worth it.