One of my goals for the year is to race in the 2012 USAT Oly Age Group National Championships in Burlington Vermont in August. USAT still hasn't actually announced the 2012 regional championships and special qualifiers for all of the regions yet, but I did find the Mid-Atlantic region list was up. You can only race nationals if you qualify, and it's tough to get in. The regional championship is the Nations Triathlon, and as much as I want to race in DC this year, I'm not going to pay $200 and two nights in a DC hotel to race an oly. Just not going to happen. The special qualifier this year is the Lake Logan International, which I raced in 2:33 last year and missed qualifying for nationals by only 3 minutes. The tricky part is that Lake Logan is on August 4th, and Nationals is August 18th. So if I qualify there I'll have to register, line up hotel and travel and childcare arrangements, and recover/train for the race all in a couple of weeks. Still it will be worth it if I can qualify, that's sure to be an experience of a lifetime to be out there competing against the best in the country. I bit down and signed up for Lake Logan as soon as I saw the list.
Goal abandonment: The long course nationals is in Oklahoma this year, and I set the goal to qualify but not race. The long course qualifier is the Patriot's Half, which I ran in 2010 and did enjoy overall even though the swim was tough and it was my worst half ever. This year the OBX half is the same day and I'd rather go back to OBX. My mom wants to come with us too, and we're going to take the kids and stay a few extra days this time. I haven't paid this registration fee yet, but I will. Still trying to find the place to stay first.
Side note: When you Google "OBX Half Iron" the registration page from FSseries is the first link, and my race report from last year is the second link. I didn't expect to be that noticeable.
I'm competing in (and I think Kelley also wants in) the Second Empire Grand Prix series for the spring. It's a series of 10 running races in 5k, 10k, and 13.1 mile distances. They take the best 6 overall finishes and add up points. So you only have to race in 6 of the 10 races to get points into the series. The top 5 overall point getters, as well as the top 5 point getters in each 5 year age group get awards and get into a banquet. The Run for Young 5k I did in January was the first race in the series. Picking out the other 5 races is not proving to be difficult.
Kelley and I are both registered for the Run for the Roses 5k on Sunday. It's unique because we entered as a couples competition. The female finishers get roses at the finish line, and it's just a couple of days before Valentines day. In the couples competition, the combined time for the couple gets registered for awards, but the overall male and female standings still get computed for the series points.
The next weekend is the Myrtle Beach marathon, and the weekend after that is the Torch Run 5k from the Second Empire series. So we're going to be racing three weekends in a row. I'm already signed up for the Torch Run, Kelley is not (yet).
Anytime you start a year with three full marathons to Maniac and 6 - 10 running races in a Grand Prix series, add on three Aquathons and you've got 12 races already. And we haven't even gotten into triathlon season yet!
I went ahead and registered for the Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge, a one mile open water swim. At the same time I got into the Big Duece two mile OWS and the Battle at Buckhorn Sprint triathlon. Last year I almost finished in 6th place (if I hadn't missed a turn on the run) overall, so this year I'm going back to win that sucker. I did all three of those races last year.
|Me after one of the Aquathons last year. Brutal, but so much fun.|
So far I've actually paid for seven running events (and still need to register for at least three more in the grand prix series), three Aquathons (swim + run), two open water swims, and two triathlons. 14 races already plus three more running races, the fall half iron, and hopefully the age group nationals. I still want to run the Beaverdam oly again to get an april triathlon as well, but I'm having trouble making that commitment. And maybe another oly in the summer to give me three chances to hit that 2:15 oly finish time goal instead of just at Lake Logan.
This is shaping up to be a busy year. Especially if it's all going to climax at the half iron in OBX September 8th. Fun times! I'm just glad it's all starting to come together.