I was thrilled to be invited to the 2021 USA Triathlon Nationals competition this year in Milwaukee, WI!
This was the culmination of 2 years of work after every triathlon I scheduled in 2020 was canceled. It was also the first time I’ve ever been to Milwaukee! I was invited with a qualifying time from the 2019 Edinboro Triathlon (2019 results) which carried over due to the unfortunate events (or lack thereof) in 2020.
The course was beautiful. Despite the rain (actually, “rain” doesn’t adequately describe the deluge of water, thunder, and lightning that took place) the night before, the weather on race day was fine.
The swim course had us starting from the pier, then swimming out under the bridge (which was a godsend for someone like me who has some work to do on sighting in open water!) before looping back to a set of stairs and then a short jog back to the transition area.
I accidentally counted the run back to transition as part of the swim, which of course Garmin freaked out over. Relax, I haven’t suddenly increased my stroke speed by 200%!
The bike portion was very challenging – look at that elevation profile! The hills made for a lot of gear changes, so it was quite technical. The course ended up on the Lake Freeway, which made for some amazing views as we returned along the lake.
I have been riding an excellent Klein Reve, which I borrowed for this summer, and it made a big difference. I have a confession – this year is the first time I have used clip-in pedals. They are game-changing!
The run always feels like holding on at the end of your rope, and this was no exception. The course ran out along the lake, then turned right along the trail before looping back to the finish line.
As I ran through the water station, one of the volunteers yelled out “here comes the best tan lines at Nationals!” So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
As we came down the final stretch, at least one fellow competitor made an attempt to pass. Not this time, my friend, but I hope we’ll have the rematch next year!
Running down the tunnel at the end of a race is an experience like no other. As the biggest race in my career thus far, the tunnel at 2021 USA Triathlon Nationals was really something else. The announcers, the music, the dead heat at the finish; everything combined to make an incredible end to the triathlon season. I can’t wait for next years competition!