Burning up the racetrack — 2009 Du Championships

October 3rd, 2009

Tri- and duathlete Nicholas Sterghos (West Point, '09) recently competed in the 2009 ITU Duathlon World Championships in Concord, North Carolina. He finished 8th Overall for Amateurs and 2nd in the 20-24 Age Group.

Having just graduated from Basic Officer Leaders Course at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, I am now starting my Air Defense School at Ft. Bliss, Texas. I’ll be there, near El Paso, until February.  El Paso is an elevation increase from anywhere I have lived, and the surrounding area provides a good training environment for additional fitness for my upcoming races in Dallas, Austin, and Florida.

But this blog is not about those races, it’s all about September 26th — the 2009 USAT Duathlon World Championships at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.  We got to ride on the track — in the rain.

This made it challenging, but not different from any other world championship I have been to — in terms of an extra twist to make things interesting.

Even with the rain, I managed to represent Team USA well, finishing 8th Overall for Amateurs and 2nd in the 20-24 Age Group.  I clipped off my fastest 10K yet for a duathlon (32:07), as well as my fastest bike split since June’s Philadelphia Insurance Companies Triathlon (57:00).

A special thanks to Ironman Gregory Close, who was kind enough to lend me his Zipp disc and 808s.  Like a lot of athletes, I’m not a rich guy, so this was the first time I have raced on a great set of wheels.  I know that nothing replaces focused training, but the wheels sure felt great.

There are always people I want to thank after every race.  First, thanks to Kay and Paul who let me stay at their house in Greensboro, North Carolina a couple of days before I made my way to Concord.  An athlete is only as good as his coach, so thanks to Louis Tharp and Tony DeBoom, who continue to give wise advice and knowledge — helping me to efficiently increase speed.  It was also a pleasure to meet up with my parents, who I have not seen recently.  I took them out to party after the race at Panera Bread (man, it gets crazy there).

As always, a special thank you to all my sponsors, who continue to support me and my competitive pursuits:  Sable WaterOpticssbill swimmingSerottaTGI Healthworks, and Total Immersion Swimming.