Race Report: 2017 Aquathlon National Championships - Austin, Texas

Race Report: 2017 Aquathlon National Championships - Austin, Texas
  2017 Aquathlon National Championships – Austin, Texas Location: Austin, Texas Quarry Lake – Hosted by Pure Austin Fitness Distance:  3k Run, 1k swim, 3k Run End goal: Qualify for Team USA + World Championships Denmark (2018)   Highlights:
  • Pure Austin Fitness was a great host!
  • Weather was fantastic!
  • Ease of check in, self-seeding
  • Spectator friendly
  • Run course path consistency was subpar
  • Loops and distance weren’t accurate
  • Unable to access transition
This race report is going to be very short, just as the race was.  It was really low-stress flying into Austin on Saturday, racing Sunday then coming home directly after the race.    The packet pickup was really easy – uber from airport to Pure Fitness, walked in, showed the usual suspects (ID, USAT Card) and was done!   The next morning arrival was just as seamless.  Some of the interesting parts of the race, that were not really preferred, was the texture of the run course, the long rocky slope into the water, and the set-up of the swim course. For the run, we had 3 loops of run on either side of the swim.  We started single file out of gate and past a few large rocks – not good for a decent start or footing.    Further, it was really difficult to get a “grip” on the ground.  As someone who runs primarily on road, this required a bit more effort and core engagement….but it didn’t break my experience or performance. Albeit, it was a little slower.   The biggest criticism I have is the set-up of transition and the slope of the rocky entrance to the swim.  Transition was set up on this slope and was not conducive to a quick entry into the water.   In fact, it caused extensive back-up with the tiny space and carefulness needed to not really damage foot or other body part by tripping up on the rocks. The swim, overall, was uneventful.  Due to the short nature of the course and the weird backwards-Pacman shape, it resulted in a lot of sighting (more so than a regular course). The finish-line was also a bit awkward with a quick 90 degree turn left, from the kitty litter type rock to the grass was also a change but with only a few hundred yards didn’t make that much of a difference.  For a national championship level race – I was not that impressed with the course itself.   As an end result, I re-qualified for Team USA and will be headed to Denmark next July.  Goal achieved! Please don't think that this race report is a negative review - this is more about preferences than anything else. I just want people to be aware of what they may encounter when it comes to a National Championship at the Quarry course. The camaraderie, professionalism and ease of course access was great for athletes and spectators alike.    I really did thoroughly enjoy the host, Pure Fitness, as their staff was amazing, facility was state-of the art and the nicely allowed us to use post race so we didn't have to get on the planes all nasty.  Not to mention - free race pics! Wahoo!
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