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A few top Midwest athletes share their experience from Tuscaloosa


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The 2010 USA Triathlon Elite National Championships took place last weekend in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.   Action began with the women’s race at noon, followed by the men at 2:15 p.m.   The athletes needed to push through a draft legal 1.5k swim, 40k bike and a 10k run.   A few Midwest athletes came home with something to be proud of:

2nd place – Men’s Under-23: Nicholas Vandam (Minneapolis, MN)

QlmaHow did you feel going into the weekend? 
"Going into the race I was really confident that things would click and I would just feel great the whole time. That was true up til the start of the run."

Where in the race did you feel your best? 
"I was 4th out of the water, which was the highlight of the race for me. I have not been swimming very well in the draft legal racing, which has been frustrating because I have been swimming great in the pool. It just takes some time for the training to transfer to racing and being a former swimmer the swim is my bread and butter. So big victory there having a great swim right up there with the guys I should be with."

Where do you feel you could have improved? 
"Got onto the bike and felt like I had some power and speed so the climb we had to do 8 times was no big deal. Although my mistake of bringing one water bottle was costly. It was really hot and I got to dehydrated on the bike so when I started the run there was nothing to give. 

The run turned into a survival run.  I have never really raced in such hot and humid conditions. I always feel like everything could be improved, but the biggest thing I am working on before my next race is putting in some more running. In these types of races you cannot afford to be slow on the run. The race is won and lost on the run 99% of the time. Coming from a swimming background I have constantly been working on getting more miles on the run. It’s tough and that will be my big focus for the foreseeable future."

What's your next focus now that you are past this race?
"My next race is in Tongyeong, South Korea for an ITU world Cup. I am going to be spending 3 weeks in Asia going from Tongyeong to Hong Kong and then off to Taiwan. That will cap the season off for me and then I will take a little down time and get ready for the South America races in January."

8th place – Women’s: Gwen Jorgensen (Milwaukee, WI) 

Img 0159How did you feel going into the weekend? 
“I was excited to race against the big girls. I was fortunate to be able to learn from the other, more experienced athletes.  It was a blast competing against these girls!”

Where in the race did you feel your best? 
“I felt strong on the bike; we were able to work together, talk and get a good group of girls pulling on the bike. “

Where do you feel you could have improved? 
“I could have prepared better for the heat.  The heat made the race challenging for a lot of the competitors.”

What's your next focus now that you are past this race?
“I will be heading to Huatulco and Puerto Vallarta for two more races.  I am excited to be on the start lists, representing USA.”

Congratulations to both of you and stay strong!  We look forward to following you in future races.

Related Topics

Midwest Region