2021 National Championships -Clermont, Florida

I returned to Florida again this year to compete in the USAT National Championships for the 104.6 mile distance.

It was a brutal race and lived up the hype of being the toughest race in the southeast with no wetsuit, 90 degree air temps, and 6700’ of climbing on the bike (in FL of all places)! I missed the podium by 11 minutes and placed fourth in my age group. (I got a flat on my bike and that set me back a little.) But I have no regrets. I had nothing left in the tank. I gave it all I had and I have nothing but respect for everyone who raced.

To that point, I race for life, and when life throws you a flat tire, your training kicks in and you do what you have to do. Not only do I train for each discipline, I practice all my transitions, changing a flat, going through aid stations, etc. (My neighbors think I’m weird running around the house and in and out of my garage changing gear. 😆) All the little things make a big difference over the course of a race.

Life is the same. All the little decisions we make along the way, especially when no one is looking, is what defines us. Am I sad that I missed to podium? Sure. But to see the face of the guy that got third at the awards ceremony the following day was special. He was the only athlete that brought his entire family to the ceremony. They were also dressed to impress. They weren’t in their comfy clothes like the rest of us. I don’t know what his story was, but I could tell his finish and placement meant something more. Yes, for humanity, I was completely satisfied to step aside and enjoy the success of others. Few if any other sports are so difficult and bring out the best in people.