8 athletes, including our DL racers, and Gina departed for the airport Wednesday morning, and spent the afternoon relaxing and acclimating to the heat in Tempe. On Thursday, the first group rode and ran a course preview, and then went for a swim. Meanwhile, the rest of the athletes, along with Eric, arrived in Tempe, stopped for tacos, and did a little course previewing themselves. Finally, we all assembled for a team dinner at the park. I’m not sure which was the bigger hit, food from Pita Jungle or the playground equipment, but regardless, it was a great start to the weekend.
Our men’s DL racer, Ben, woke up bright and early to head to the course, and our women’s DL racer, Elena soon followed with the rest of the team. Ben and Elena both crossed the line in incredible 18th place finishes!
After the race, we did a little riding, and USAT ran an official swim course preview. No one really knew what was going on when we got in the water, but we just kept swimming until we had a completed a sizeable chunk of the course and it was a good time. Shoutout to Amy for completing her first open water swim!
After more down time, we returned to the park for another team dinner. There was no official pasta dinner from USAT this year, but we successfully had our own (despite Olive Garden forgetting plates/silverware) with just as many breadsticks.
The men’s team headed out nice and early to setup, warmup, and got ready to rock! The women’s team soon followed, looking “Incredible” and ready to cheer them on. After watching the men’s team kill it on the course, the ladies warmed up (not that we weren’t already pretty “warm” at this point) and got ready to race. Meanwhile, the men finished and found their supersuits, to help power the women through a pretty toasty race. Shoutout to Lucas for cheering everyone on, despite being too sick to race!
The first four men (out of 624) were:
Ben Hoskins - 58th
Brian Ly - 114th
Nick Johnston - 212nd
Ryan Humble - 230th
The first four women (out of 461) were:
Anne Alter - 32nd
Cayla Miller - 65th
Hollis Crowder - 83rd
Sam Maticka - 94th
Women's team: 10th
Men's team: 22nd
After some relaxing and trying to stay cool in the heat, it was MTR time! Ben, our incredible triple-event racer, led off the MTR relay, followed by Elena, who put in a super swim. Brian and Anne followed with some great racing as well, and crossed the line with what ultimately ended up a 5th place finish!
We regrouped at the hotel and various T3 activities included In-n-Out and a viewing of the Incredibles.
We woke up nice and early to head to the airport and after some difficulties with Southwest we all made it back to the Bay by the end of the day (thank you to Patricia for driving up to Oakland to get Hollis and I!) We continued the tradition of the lower ranking gender wearing their costumes, although I don’t think TSA was quite as amused as last year.
Altogether, it was a great trip and I hope everyone had as much fun as I did! Thank you to all the people who helped out, and to everyone for making things run smoothly!
Finally, a huge thank you to Gina and Eric. We’re incredibly lucky to have such awesome and inspiring coaches :)