Season Schedule: The Options

So now what?  Well that is the question that has been frustrating me for 2+ weeks now.  While I struggle with USAT’s ruling I can at least respect their stance on sticking to the rules, I just wish that they were easier to understand.  If the National Events Coordinator didn’t even understand the qualification rules to begin with when I made the first inquiry how is anyone else supposed to understand them.  Beyond that, why are athletes that want to compete head to head against the best competition at a particular event, regardless of their age, punished for doing so?  For me personally, my Overall placing at an event is way more important to me than my Age Group placing and beyond that, at least in Minnesota where most of my races are, it is expected that the top Male & Female athletes compete within the Elite/Open Division not within their Age Group.

At this point given the response of USAT the only option I have left is to find an early season USAT sanctioned race to qualify in before the race fills, which it did in mid-June last year if I remember correctly. After extensive research and again some calculus like equations I’ve been able to come up with the following two options:

Option #1

April 28th: St. Anthony’s Triathlon in St. Petersburg, FL (USAT Regional Qualifier)

June 2nd: Buffalo Triathlon in Buffalo, MN

This option is really exciting to consider from the standpoint of the potential competition that I would face at St. Anthony’s.  From what I’ve been told this is one of the most competitive early season races in the country and being that it is a Regional Qualifier the top 33% in each age group qualify for Nationals.  Based on last year’s results this would mean I would have to place in the top 75 or so of my age group.  Along with that, I would then be able to compete in my home town triathlon with my wife, daughter, and the rest of my super supportive training partners at one of Minnesota’s Premier Triathlons.

Option #2

May 18th: Blaine Triathlon in Blaine, MN (USAT Sanctioned Event)

June 2nd: Leon’s Triathlon in Hammond, IN (USAT Special Qualifier) or Best of the US Championships at the Leon’s Triathlon if I were to receive a roll down slot.

With this option I’m afforded an opportunity to try and qualify for Nationals at a local event but it would require me placing in the top 1 or 2 in my age group, based on last years attendance.   I am mostly likely able to do that but it would not leave any wiggle room if I would have any issues during the race.  However, what I’m most excited about with this option is the potential opportunity to compete at Leon’s Triathlon as a member of Team Minnesota in the Best of the US Amateur Championships, if I were to receive a roll down slot.  This race is billed as the “World’s Fastest Triathlon” and sounds like a really fun race to be a part of.

Option #3

May 18th: Blaine Triathlon in Blaine, MN (USAT Sanctioned Event)

June 2nd: Buffalo Triathlon in Buffalo, MN

As stated in the options above there are some really good things with both of these races.  However, this option does make me nervous in regard to qualifying for Nationals.  If I were to have any type of equipment malfunction during the Blaine Triathlon it will most likely take me out of position to qualify.  From a cost standpoint this option is very attractive though as neither race will require any expensive travel.

In the end all these options have their pros and cons.  From a financial stand Option #1 will be the most expensive but if I can work out a few deals it shouldn’t be cost prohibitive.  I do however have to wait on a couple unanswered questions before I can make a final decision on which way I’m to go, but time is running out and I need to make a commitment soon.  Stay tuned for an official announcement on my 2013 race schedule, hopefully coming soon.

* Shortly after writing this post I received an e-mail from the best triathlon website in the mid-west, Minnesota Tri News, indicating that the Blaine Triathlon was within 50 spots of selling out.  Unfortunately, this news has forced me into making the decision to register for this race and keeping at least two of my three options open.



Matthew Radniecki

January 25 2013 Reply

This whole qualifying thing is a pain! Matt Dickinson, Thomes, and I settled on qualifying in Michigan using the Mideast’s qualifier.

    Marcus Stromberg

    January 25 2013 Reply

    I heard that from Thomes. Unfortunately that is the same weekend as Lake Waconia (Best of the US Qualifier). This has certainly been a frustrating ordeal but I’m wading through it and should have things set in the near future, especially since I had to commit to Blaine to at least keep some of my options open.

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