You know that polite look you get, with the little head nod, from someone you’re talking to and you know they have no clue what you’re talking about? I’ve been getting that a lot lately. Questions on what exactly I’m doing in Spain have run the gammet from “Are you competing in the Olympics?” to “What’s a Duathlon?” and I want to set the record straight…for anyone who really cares that much. Luckily, my dad is still reading…
What’s a Duathlon?
It’s pronounced DO-ATH-A-LON and is a run/bike/run race. It’s similar to a triathlon but there’s no swimming! Get it? DU means two disciplines and TRI means three. There are different distances for every duathlon and are categorized into Sprints, Standards and Long Races. There’s set rules for the different distances and types but the one I will compete in in Spain is a Standard Race with a 10K run (6 miles) followed by a 40K bike (24.8 miles) and then a 5K run (3 miles) at which point I will collapse on the road, begging CRS (Coach Rocket Scientist) to hose me down and give me sugar.
What is the name of this thing again?
It’s the Duathlon World Championship but it is absolutely not part of the Olympics. In fact, Duathlon isn’t even an Olympic sport, only Triathlon is. If only I could swim, maybe I could make the Olympic Team by the time I reach 40. Right.
If you’re really interested, you can visit the official website HERE.
The website explains the competition like this:
Team USA was created by USA Triathlon to be a team of age group/amateurs who will best represent the United States and compete in the International Triathlon Union’s (ITU) world championships, which attracts the best athletes representing over 50 countries each year.
You see that word “amateur” right? Definitely not the Olympics but it’s my Olympics.
Did you have to qualify?
No, they just saw me at Target with the twins and thought the competition would be a nice break for me. Um, yeah, no that did not happen. I actually had to work my ass off to qualify for this baby. First, I competed in a local duathlon and placed first in my age group and seventh overall. After that, I was “invited” to the Duathlon National Championship in Tucson, AZ this past October. You all remember that race, right? I came in sixth in my age group and qualified for Worlds!
How many people are representing Team USA?
Not that many, actually. Basically there are age groups from 19-70, divided by fives, and the top 10 in each age group at Nationals qualifies for Worlds. I don’t know exactly how many teammates I’ll have, but at this point but the web site is currently listing 78 people, seven of which are women in my age group.
When and where is this thing?
It’s on Sunday, May 31, 2014 in Pontevedra Spain. I’m currently working on my Spanish but also bringing my Cuban born father to help with the language barrier. The hubs, the twins and my step-mom are coming as well and we’ll be traveling in Spain and Portugal after the competition. I’m sure the boys will know how to say “butt” in Spanish and Portuguese by the time we leave. They are obsessed with that word.
Do you get to wear a cool outfit?
Why yes, yes I do. Not only do I plan on wearing it in the competition but around town and basically every day of my life. A friend suggested that I wear it to get perks. For instance, at the grocery store I can ignore that silly sign about “12 items or fewer” because clearly, it doesn’t apply to someone wearing this:
Any other questions? Have you ever traveled abroad? Where and why?