Another rainy day, another competition — 2009 Toyota U.S. Open Dallas Triathlon

October 12th, 2009

Tri- and duathlete Nicholas Sterghos (West Point, '09) recently competed in the 2009 Toyota U.S. Open Dallas Triathlon. He finished 5th as an Amateur Athlete and 20th Overall. This places him 3rd in the Local Elite Category (Amateur).

When I found out that I would be going to Fort Hood, Texas (an hour north of Austin) for my first duty assignment as an Army Lieutenant, I was expecting heat.  A lot of heat.

However, at the Toyota U.S Open Triathlon in Dallas, I discovered that Texas can get cold, too.  Not Antarctica cold — but cold enough to need sweats, gloves, a knit hat, and a hot meal from my mom back home.

Despite my low percent body fat and the rain, I was able to maintain focus and pull off another great race.

My first Olympic triathlon since July’s Philadelphia Insurance race, Dallas provided a great end to my Olympic distance racing for the year.  Coming up are two Ironman 70.3 races:  the Longhorn Triathlon in Austin and the World Championships in Clearwater, Florida.

In Dallas, I placed 5th as an Amateur Athlete and 20th Overall, posting an overall time of 2:01:42.  This also allowed me to take 3rd in the Local Elite Category (Amateur).  (Since this was the championship race part of the Lifetime Triathlon Series — including Pro, Elite Championships [Amateur], Local Elite, and the usual age-group, relays, and Para Triathlete categories — I competed as a local elite.)

My time only put me 1:22 behind Brian Duffy, Jr., the first-place amateur athlete.  Some might perceive that as a big gap.  However, because of my constant improvement in the sport, it feels so close to me.

It seems this year that, no matter which race I have been to, gains have been made and improvement measured.  Because no course is truly comparable and times are relative, improvement can only really be based upon an assortment of variables that statisticians go crazy over — including the finishing times of other athletes.

Take my run for instance.  Not the easiest run at this race with an out-and-back — all uphill out and downhill back.  When I reached the turnaround with about three miles left and headed back to the finish, I said to myself, “I could have sworn I just ran uphill.  Where is the downhill?  This hurts too much to be a downhill.”  No wonder it hurt:  I managed to run my fastest run slit since starting Olympic distance triathlons — posting a time of 33:22 for the 10K.  Not to mention, I did most of this in no man’s land with no one around with which to run.

It was well worth the drive from El Paso and I look forward to Austin.  Not only did I get the pleasure of putting myself through a good kind of pain, I got a chance to bump into some Olympic and top-ranked professional athletes who I look up to in the sport, including Matty Reed, Javier Gomez, and Greg and Laura Bennett.

As always, a special thank you to all my sponsors, who support me and my dream to eventually join these great athletes one day:  Sable WaterOpticssbill swimmingSerottaTGI Healthworks, and Total Immersion Swimming.