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USA Triathlon Olympic-Distance Nationals Post-Race Quotes

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Haley Chura (25-29, Atlanta, Ga.), Women’s Overall Champion:
“The venue was amazing. I had not been to Burlington; I didn’t make it up to the race last year, but everyone I talked to said it was an amazing, amazing place to race … It was even better than I expected. It was so beautiful.”

“Since the swim is my strength my goal was to lead it from the start. I took out the swim pretty hard and then I’ve been working on my biking and running a lot the last couple of years. My running has come along pretty well this last year.”

“I knew the competition would be amazing. I knew there wouldn’t be better competition in an Olympic-distance race in the country … If I’m going to do an Olympic-distance race, I want to race the best people possible. I think I definitely found that here. There were some fast, fast ladies out there.”

Brian Duffy (20-24, West Chester, Pa.), Men’s Overall Champion:
“I came out of the swim about where I expected to be — in pretty good position. I felt really good on the bike today, I had a good bike here last year so I had a lot of confidence coming into it. It’s a course that suits me well. It has flat sections and hilly sections. It’s a nice blend that requires different skills.

“When I came off [the bike] I wasn’t exactly sure of my placing. My goal was the overall win. It’s nice to win an age group, but it’s always a challenge when you don’t know where athletes from other age groups are relative to you.

I felt really good coming out of transition two. I knew I was going to have a strong run and that gave me a lot of confidence. One thing I learned from last year was to take that initial hill a little more conservatively, and I did so and I was able to let it rip for the rest of the run. I was feeling good about crossing the line first, but it wasn’t until about a mile to go I heard that I was in pretty good shape relative to some of the other athletes and was able to kind of enjoy the final stretch a little bit — although it hurt a lot”

I was fourth two years ago; I was second last year. This is my fifth year doing the Age Group Nationals race, and it’s always been a race that I set as a goal to win. I’ve always been so close, and it’s kind of been elusive in that regard. I wanted to keep coming back until I was able to bring home the title. Last year it was tough getting runner up, but I’m thankful I was able to put it all together today and all the hard work paid off.”

Matthew Payne (35-39, Columbia Heights, Minn.):
“I made it to the front of my wave on the bike and just held on for the run. To win my age group was definitely a goal.”

“When I caught Mark (Harms) before the turnaround, I knew I was on a good ride. I didn’t think I’d see him until close to the end.”

Gail Kattouf (35-39, Greenville, S.C.):
“I kind of got into a better rhythm on the bike. I had to go all out on the bike and hope I had some running legs, and I did so it turned out fairly well.”

“Nobody should ever underestimate the strength of age-groupers, because they are just absolutely phenomenal. I think that’s something we should all be proud of; there’s a lot to be said for racing age group. I might win a duathlon world championship and come out here and get my butt kicked, and that is delightful.”
 
Dan Hedgecock (25-29, St. Louis Park, Minn.):
“I think I did well. The bike and the run felt great. I felt smooth and tried to stay relaxed on the swim. I think I came out of the water in pretty good position and I just hammered the bike and felt good today.” “The bike this year was awesome, because there was a tailwind all the way going uphill, and then all the way into the wind was downhill so it was a fast, fun bike this year.”

“It’s fun to come here and race all the fast guys and see how everyone stacks up. I like the time trial. There’s not a lot of big races like this where everyone is split up into age groups, so you’ve just got to go as hard as you can the whole time, you can’t really pace off anyone in front of you. I think that’s something fun and different that you don’t see at a lot of big races.”
 
Adam Webber (30-34, Denver, Pa.):
“It was a little hillier than I originally anticipated on the bike so it took a little bit out of me, and then I just tried to come home on the run and finish strong.”

“It’s great to come to a national championship and try to take home the win. It’s hard to go for the overall win when you’re racing and you just don’t know where you stand amongst the other kids. That’s the nature of the beast — you’ve just got to race the clock.”

“This weekend was great. USAT gave me the highest honor you can receive as an amateur athlete (2011 Age Group Triathlete of the Year). It doesn’t get any better than that having my two children here, my parents, my wife, so it’s just an exceptional experience.”
 
Brooke Saunders (17-19, Newark, Del.):
“It was really cool. It was such a good experience. Even after racking my bike yesterday I called a friend and told her how great it was.”

Peggy McDowell-Cramer (70-74, Santa Monica, Calif.):
“This is a great race. I said last year that it was the best nationals since ’97, which was Columbia with Rob Vigarito. I think the race director and USAT do a great job.”

“That’s a big deal here, is to test yourself against the best in the U.S., and I really like it. The other part’s social — I see all these people I know and that’s really fun.”

“Worlds [Championships] are really where my heart is. You get to race for your country, and I’m kind of Mrs. Red, White and Blue. It’s just kind of an experience, no matter how you do. I just want to qualify for my spot and be part of it.”



 



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