Nationals 2006
 

Kansas City Nationals 2006

1500m swim in a good chop, 1-2ft, no wetsuits, 40.8km, 10.2k.
Times of 25:45, 1:09, 43.
Relative swim/bike/run positions were 15/20/15 on AG, 313/262/175 on OA.

Needed to finish top 16 to qualify for the world AG championships. I was 17th in the provisional results, kinda bummed, but went to the awards thinking I’d probably get a rolldown. Moved up to 16th in final results since 13th got a 2min drafting penalty, sent him back to 17th (snakes and ladders ;-) I was happy. Everyone at Nationals had to qualify with a top 10% AG finish in one of the qualifier races, it was a reasonably deep field.
                                                          
Course was long, half-a-mile on the bike, 6.3 mi for the run. Thought I could do a good sub-2:20, so the 2:20:53 was a bit disappointing. However calculating 1m improvement on the swim if we’d been allowed wetsuits, 1:20 for long bike, 40s on run, gives 2:17:50 instead. I'll salve my ego with that. There weren't any big hills, so I thought the course would be fast, but merciful heavens there wasn't a single flat spot the whole way, even the swim wasn't flat. 
        
Talked to two guys in AG at swim start, a French-born doctor who'd done a lot of Aids work in Botswana, based in St. Louis: and a Florida guy, who was cold in 72degrees, worried about getting a shirt on for the bike so he wouldn't get cold.                                
Choppy water, long run in/out through muddy shallows so dolphined some, felt good though all through the swim, strong and happy.
25:45 out of water.   

Bike very hilly, unrelenting rollers, and twisty: slow course, tough going with burning legs. Kept passing the 50-plus women, some 25-29s came flying by.  Passed by a couple of guys in AG, fought back, but lost 2 of them, Neal being one. Big drafting pack of 37-38 y/old guys on the back end, the marshal broke it up, but there didn't seem to be any penalties for them.    

Started run with #740, Steven Maves, but lost him quite quickly. Battling all the way, never felt good, big hills at 4-5 miles, walked 3 steps on the first. Passed 2 in AG, then Russell Hamilton (ponytail) flew by in the last halfmile, fought back level but he jumped again, nothing left. Steven said he usually runs 36-37, ran 41 today, definitely a slow course. He saw the chalkmark 'GO DOUG #739' that Helen and Ian had written for me, thought 'what about #740 ??' hah.    
He'd had the same travel nonsense as I did, long drive in, had to do the last race meet at 6pm, then get lost driving to the race for bike checkin, and on and on. I was utterly exhausted on Fri after the drive, left 5:30am, no airconditioning since the damned Toyota had a hole in the exhaust. Kids travelled well, but still hard work getting there. Hotel didn't have a room ready, I snarled at the clerk and regretted it, but really. Saw Kylie at bike checkin, or more accurately she saw me, I was spaced. She'd driven in on Thur, a much better plan. Could not sleep that night, took 4 ibuprofen for the headache and sore throat, eventually dozed a bit off and on toward morning.    

Charlie Crawford was funny at the race meet, southern drawl. H wasn't enjoying the vibe in the hotel, lots of self-obsessed tri-geeks yakking on their cell phones and being irritable. Everyone was much more relaxed after the race. After the race, drove an hour down to our friends Mike and Wendy in Overland Park, dropped off H and kids, then another hour back to hotel for race awards and worlds spot etc, then back to M&W, geeze. Never a moments rest.
                                                   
Prize for longest transitions to Peggy Gudbransen, 71, 10min, grandmotherly old gal who was still a clear winner in her AG.    
Oldest finisher 85, took 5 hours, heavens. 
Fastest run just 35:40, only 4 under 36, definitely a hard slow run course. Organizer said they'd never had so many people in the med tent at an Oly distance.  

Steve less than 3min ahead of me, Neal also just a minute ahead,  and beat Kylie by 2min, so I think I actually had a good race.  Steve in fact didn’t qualify for worlds, 20th in 40-44, which really surprised me. He was waiting for a rolldown but not sure if he got it. Have to wonder if a better trip plan and more rest could have improved my run, but oh well.            

Two comments from Christopher:
upon seeing the crowds at race start, "oh no, that's too many people for me. I'm staying here"
on the way home "so why did we just go to a hotel on this vacation ? shouldn't there have been a canoe, or a campsite ? "