TOUGHMAN – USAT Long Course National Championship:
🏊🏻‍♂️: an honest course with nowhere to hide. Straight out and back, the rising sun on one side. I was with the leaders most of the way. 6th out of the water in my wave with a 1:37 pace. Happy with that.

🚴🏻‍♂️: basically controlled chaos. Punchy course with hardly any flats, just up and down all day long. Not a closed course, so throw in cars and motorcycles, all going both directions at the same time, down harrowing descents, into roundabouts, all the while dodging potholes and cracks and rough spots. Lots of gravel riding courtesy of @greenmountaingravel meant that all of this played to my advantage, where others suffered. Pushed too hard the first lap, was way over target watts. Finally calmed down and relaxed for the second and ended up very close to my watt targets. Broke a spoke at mile 51 and could do nothing but grit my teeth and hope she’d hold together. By luck or the Force, she did.

🏃‍♂️: 13.1 miles, all uphill. At least that’s how it felt. The course was unforgiving, unrelenting and punishing. Very proud of my pacing though, as I exercised restraint and stayed within myself for the first half. Kept it solid for the next 4, then at mile 10 I still had fuel in the afterburners to kick it up a notch. Alas, the terrain had other things in store. Namely a hill climb on a rocky trail. As if we were suddenly doing an Xterra race. Extremely hard final 5k. I had the strength to push through but we Clydesdales can only go fast up hills for so long. Gravity always wins, eventually. Made it in under 2 hours, which I considered a victory on a course this tough.

The tracker lumped all Clydes into their age groups so I had no idea where I placed. Surprised to hear my name called, even more so to hear I won it. 1st place. Clydesdale Long Course National Champion. I couldn’t believe it.

Thanks to my family and friends for support, coach @c26_triathlon for guidance & patience, @thegearhousevt for so much tech support. Now I wait for details on the World Championship!

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