Tuesday, June 5, 2012

AF Tri Team/CAT 3 Upgrade/Summer Plans

5 June-

Over the past 3 years I have applied to the Air Force Triathlon Team.  Last year I was not able to apply and was the first year that I was close to the level to be on the team, however we had a big inspection at work so my boss wouldn't even let me apply.  I still sent my resume to the coach so that I did not fall off the radar.  Since last year’s application a lot has changed on my end; my training habits, getting a coach, getting a power meter, and having a breakthrough year last season.

I put in my application this year and my boss was behind me 100% and was happy to sign off on it.  This is the first year that I thought I actually had a really good shot at making the team.  I had put in a lot of work last year and put up some solid results, more on the long course side of things, but still had some decent short course results as well.  I was thinking to myself if I was not selected to the team I needed a break from Korea and was considering funding my own plane ticket back to Cali to do the race and then spend some time at home.

Luckily I got an email about 10 days ago informing me that I had been selected to the Team and would be representing the Air Force at the 2012 Armed Forces Championships in Pt Mugu, California.  It is a 1 day Olympic Distance Race (1.5K Swim/40K Bike/10K Run).  It is ITU Style, which means you can draft on the bike but must use road bikes and not triathlon bikes.  It does not suit my strengths, but I believe I can still have a solid race and help out the team.  The race has individual results as well as team results.  They do Cross Country scoring and take the top 8 males from each branch.  We will have 10 guys and 6 girls there racing officially for the Air Force.  Others that were not selected may fund their own way, which is what I was considering doing.  If you do this and have a good race it will get you noticed and more than likely selected to the team for next year if you beat some of the official representatives.

I posted this on my FB page when I got the official word, and this pretty much sums up how I felt about being selected:

“Woke up to some GREAT news this morning......Selected to the '12 Air Force Triathlon Team, and will be racing in PT Mugu, CA on 23 June! It has been a long journey to this point, and one thing is for sure " I " had very little to do with getting to where I am. There are 4 reasons why I am where I am: The great support of my Family and Friends, the amazing mentors and coaches I have, All of the g...reat training parterners and teammates I have and have had, and then lastly all of the people that step onto the same start line as me and push me to my limits! And there is one person that got me into all of this, so if you ever need someone to blame Gen. Brad Becker, thank you for inspiring me to do my first triathlon and putting on that event (And kicking my rear as well that day) THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!”

I am looking forward to representing the AF and hopefully contributing to our team results so that we can keep the Title for the guys in the Air Force's hands.  The past 2 years the guys have won the title and the past 3 years the girls have won the title.  As well as the past 2 years Maj James Bales and Capt Kathy Rakel have both won the individual titles.

In other news, I put in for my CAT3 upgrade through USA Cycling.  I fall under the NorCal region, since that is where home is and submitted through them.  Being overseas makes the situation for upgrades a tricky situation.  I have racked up some solid results the past couple weeks out here as well as participating in the TdK, however none of my TdK results counted for points due to not placing high enough.  So I took my race resume and submitted it to the upgrade person in NorCal.  He approved the upgrade so now I am officially a CAT3 road cyclist.

I have made travel arrangements and plans to head to SuperWeek while back in the states and hopefully have some solid results out there to upgrade to CAT2.   I will also be racing a few races while I am back in California, after Armed Forces Triathlon.  Check out the Race Calendar link off to the right for more information on the races.

I am looking forward to being back in Cali to represent the Air Force at Armed Forces and then follow it up with wearing the stars and stripes of the US Military Cycling Team throughout the US for a few weeks of racing.

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