The weekend started early Friday morning as I got to the airport around 6:30 to make sure I wasn't late for my flight. Those of you that know me know that flying isn't my most favorite thing to do. I tend to get a little nervous. However, having a direct flight from the 'burgh to Vegas was a bonus and traveling with fellow World Championship competitor and good friend, Beth Shutt, made me more comfortable as we talked a lot about triathlon and the upcoming race.
|Waiting at Pittsburgh International for our Flight to the Championships|
|Las Vegas baggage claim|
|Frank & J.J.'s place in Henderson, NV|
|At the Expo|
|One of 1515 that raced in the Championships|
|Lake Las Vegas|
|"I hope it's that easy tomorrow."|
|Race morning prep begins.|
The bike course was beautiful! I never knew the desert could be so beautiful. We had driven the course on Saturday and got to see all the sites. Good thing too because I was in no mood for site seeing. I pushed hard coming up the hill out of Lake Las Vegas Resort trying to make up ground on those that would ease into the bike. The terrain through Lake Mead National Park was comprised of lots of hills. Go up one and down one. A few glances at my speedometer showed I was reaching 45-46 mph consistently on the down hills. I could only hope this was helping make up time on the rest of the field in my age group. A few miles from the turnaround in Lake Mead Park, I saw the packs of riders in my age group feeding off each. I couldn't help but think they all looked strong on the bike. After all, this is the World Championship. I continued to race the 56 mile bike course hard. After the race, I found out I had moved up 53 places while on the bike. If only I could swim fast. :)
Now onto the run. I must confess, there was little spring in my step on this day. I had gone hard on the bike, but more than anything my body was fatigued from a long race season, the start of school, and all the responsibilities of taking care of Luke while working and training. I wouldn't trade those responsibilities for the world, but they do take a toll. Even though my watch had turned off during the swim, I sensed I wasn't having my best day. However, there was no quit in me that's for sure. The run was brutal! It was a three loop course that was literally half uphill and half downhill. One stretch in particular was a mile long hill. This probably wore on me more psychologically that physically. I tried to stay relaxed and keep a good tempo that would keep me competitive and get me to the finish. A couple bright spots included running with some of the pros like Chris Lieto and Andy Potts as well as giving Beth's mom some high fives as I passed her each time around the course. I didn't have any family come to the race so her cheers were very uplifting. With a mile to go, I made one last push (luckily it was all downhill) and finished the run with a respectable 1:39 and a 70th place finish.
|"Are we there yet."|
|Melissa Rollison and Craig Alexander crowned World Champions 70.3|