I am honored to be a competing member of Team USA in the ITU Long Course Duathlon World Championship in Zofingen, Switzerland on September 3, 2017. ITU is the international governing body of multisport events such as triathlon and duathlon. Every National Federation from ITU’s member countries can enter qualifying Age Group athletes in the event, and the qualifying event for Team USA was the Long Course Duathlon National Championship in Cary, NC held in May of 2016. I competed in that race and placed 13th in my age group, which earned me a spot on Team USA.
Powerman Zofingen, the world championship event, is generally considered to be the toughest duathlon in the world. It begins with a 10K run, then a 150K bike ride followed by a 30K run. Powerman is the one duathlon in the world where the top athletes from all countries compete against each other while representing their home countries.
Once a duathlete accepts his slot on Team USA, he is totally on his own in terms of registration, planning and booking travel and preparing for the race, with no financial assistance whatsoever from Team USA or USA Triathlon. The athletes also are required to purchase their own Team USA racing uniform and parade kit for the event. All told, expenses directly connected with
participating in the event on behalf of Team USA, which also includes insurance, shipping and storage of the bike, amount to over $5,000.
I competed in my first triathlon in 1989 riding a department store 10-speed and with no idea what to expect. After a couple of years, I took a nearly two-decade long break before resuming my multi-sport career, but I continued to run and bike for recreation during that time. Since my family and I relocated to South Carolina in 2012, I’ve been able to compete in the USA Triathlon National Championship in Wisconsin and the Long Course Triathlon National Championship in
SC. Particularly at these larger races, I would see USA National Team members racing in their Team USA uniforms and wonder if I would ever be fortunate enough to earn a spot on the team.
I believe that representing your country in an international competition is the ultimate honor and accomplishment for an amateur, multisport athlete. That’s why, despite the time and financial burdens involved, I’m pursuing this opportunity to compete in Zofingen as a member of Team USA.