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ITU World Championships - Recaps from the Midwest participants


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This past weekend, a group of 350 individuals all made the choice to pack up their race gear, board a plane and represent the United States of America at the ITU World Championships.  There were 4 main events: Paratriathlon, Aquathlon, Sprint course and Olympic course.  All the events took place over two days. 

From Kris Swarthout, Team USA Coach from Minneapolis, MN

"Getting there was the easy part, the hard part was molding 350 individuals into a team, that was my task when USA Triathlon chose me as the team coach for Team USA.  To accomplish this I had to get everyone ready with training tips and research documents. 

Once I arrived in Budapest, I had a mere 3 hours to learn the city well enough to lead several group rides and group runs.  This was where I earned my keep.  Over the next three days we had 5 group training rides with groups ranging from 50-125!  Our group runs were right around 50 people.  In a city I knew well this would have been a challenge, but in a city I knew hardly anything about, it was downright comical at times.  In a city where there are no left turn lanes, you have to get creative on how to have 125 bike riders turn left during rush hour.  Somehow I did it. 

Team USA showed up on race day as a TEAM and with that sense of team, we ended up taking the second highest number of medals of any country.  Only Great Britain beat us in the medal count.  I was fortunate enough to be on the worlds team in 2005 and I can honestly say the there was no real team feeling then, but there sure was this year.  If I had to place a personal highlight it would have to be handing flags out to athletes as they entered the finish chute.  The pride that rolls through you when you see someone doing something great in the name of their country, is almost unexplainable.  I was never able to serve my country in the military, but I feel I gave back to the US everything I had this past week and let me tell you, it felt great!  Thank you USA Triathlon and thank you Team USA. "

Below is a picture of Kris (green jersey, right hand side) briefing a group before one of the training rides.
Kris Swarthout with training group

From Tanelle Berard, USA Triathlon Junior Elite National Champion from Clive, Iowa

"So this weekend was a lot of fun for me. I didn't have the perfect race by any means, but it all turned out great in the end. I started out in the second bike pack after the swim which was not usual for me. I had a slower swim than usual, but I caught up to the main group quick on the bike. There was a big group of us that did the whole bike together. The race was really technical, so there was no chance for a break away. Therefore, we all came off the bike together about 30 seconds off the second pack. I had a great run. I had been focusing on my running for the past month before the race, so I knew I was prepared for a quick run. I ran my way to 7th place and crossed the finish line in 59 minutes.

I had a good race, despite a slow swim. In the future, I am looking to improve my run even more, so I can continue to improve. I am focusing on cross country for the rest of the season, so I won't pick up triathlons again until the spring. Overall, I ended my season very well and I am super proud of my performance at my first Worlds race."

Winning photo of the Junior Elite National Champ
Tanelle Berard

Related Topics

Midwest Region