The family and I just returned home from a quick trip to Chattanooga, TN for the 2022 USA Para-Cycling National Championships. This consists of a two-day event. Saturday was the Time Trial (TT). It is done by each cyclist taking off one at a time with a minute in between each athlete. This allows each athlete to "race the clock" and the final results place each athlete on their time. I took home second in this event.
Day two, Sunday, was the road race. This was a great opportunity to race one another together through the mountains. The course was brutal, to say the least. The day before, during the TT, there were
multiple cyclists who wrecked. The course was slick from rain and the winding mountain was no match for our equipment at those speeds. I came in third for this event and I am happy with how both events turned out.
I went into this weekend relaxed and with the view of just enjoying the weekend. I had my family with me, and with this being only cycling and not a triathlon there was hardly any work they needed to do. They were able to stand along the course and watch me race. This is a big deal for my wife who was happy to watch and not work. With her help she never gets to see me race, this was a first and she enjoyed that. It was great seeing my family along the route in different areas and cheering me on! Going into this weekend I was excited to catch up with athletes I have competed with in the past at marathons and a bonus was catching up with a marine buddy who lives in Chattanooga, who came out to watch too.
Although I have competed in marathons cycling, this was my second ever para-cycling event. These events are the furthest distance on the handcycle only that I have conquered. The first was in Huntsville, AL. I came in the same place on each of the TT and road races. I am happy to podium on these events with my main focus on triathlon and showing up to these events.
I will give this course its credit. I was sorer after the road race than after any other event, except for my 2019 IRONMAN. I am still recovering from this event. The hills were a lot, both the climb and the descent. Coming down that mountain with speeds of low 30 mph and hitting 90-degree turns one after the next was daunting. On the first lap (of five), I came down the mountain where my family was waiting and watching and what I thought was just a short 90-degree turn surprised me and continued longer than I had anticipated. I took that turn and skidded to the side, by the grace of God and I honestly don't know how else, I placed my hand on the pavement to help stop myself from sliding. My hand and bike slid across the road and it was a save with not a mark on my hand! Praise God, because I needed that hand for another hour and a half and 4 more laps.
This week I am back and focused on my next triathlon event in NYC. This will be my last event of the summer. The family and I can spend what is left of summer relaxing and enjoying vacations and time at the house or away just being together not focused on work, something we are looking forward to.
Until next time,