Schoolboy Struggling with Math Problems


Season Schedule: The Frustration

For my family, friends, and training partners that know me well, they know I have a very Type A (“A” as in Anal) personality.  This means that I lead a very structured, scheduled, and organized life even though it is very busy with personal and family obligations.  I’m not big on surprises, I don’t like to change my mind once it’s been made, and I really like to plan things way beyond what is probably necessary.

The Original Plan

So, in planning my 2012 race schedule I had a number of goals in mind.  The most important was to compete in the Elite/Open Division at the Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines, IA at the end of the season.


If I did well enough at this race I believed it would qualify me for the 2013 Hy-Vee 5150 Elite Championships and also earn me an invite to the 2013 USAT Olympic Distance National Championships.  Having come away from the race with the victory I felt I had done what I needed to do for 2013.

USAT National Banner

So come early November I couldn’t stand it any longer I had to sit down and figure out what my 2013 race schedule was going to be.  Now, mind you, this is not the easiest of tasks for me.  There is my daughter’s swim meet schedule, my wife’s weekend work schedule, and a number of other family obligations that I have to consider in this complex calculus like equation.  But, alas, even with a few unknowns (like the exact date or location of Nationals) I was able to coordinate most everything and my mind was at ease.

When USAT announced the date and location of Olympic Distance Nationals in Milwaukee, WI on Aug. 10th I was overjoyed to have it within driving distance and on the date I had predicted.  All that was left was to wait for the invite which they announced would start being sent out the middle of December.  As this time approached (and then passed on by) and I hadn’t recieved my invite I began to get concerned and made a few calls to USAT to inquire about the situation.  Upon reaching them just prior to Christmas I finally had the opportunity to talk with the National Events Coordinator who indicated that a few invites where still trickling out and that everything looked to be in order regarding my situation but she would look into it further after she returned from their 2-week winter break.

The Response

Shortly after the New Year, however, I received an e-mail from the National Events Coordinator indicating the following:

“I’m sorry to have gotten your hopes up but you did not qualify for the Olympic distance age group national championship.… “Qualification must be met in the age group category of a race (not in an open, Athena, Clydesdale, etc. category).” It can be found at the link below.”

I replied to her asking if there was any way to appeal this decision given that I had actually won the race and in fact beat the 35-39 Male Age Group winner by 8:39.  But her reply was as follows:

“Unfortunately there are no exceptions in this situation. You did benefit from racing in the Open category and I am sure your times are faster than if you had raced in the age group. This is a main point on the qualification page. I’m sure you would have qualified if you had been in the age group. I am not doubting your credentials but that rule is significant to other athletes who are not able to swim in the open category with far less athletes.”

So, now what…  Check back on Friday and I’ll post a few of the options available that should allow me to qualify for my first USAT Olympic Distance National Championship.



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