A first look below the equator

April 16th, 2010

A little caught up in the moment ...

I doubt that the Incas ever thought their home at Machu Picchu would ever become one of The New Seven Wonders of the World.  I also don’t think they imagined that a sport that involves swimming, biking, and running — not that they knew what a biking was — would be combined to create the sport of triathlon and be held in their region.

Nicholas Sterghos in Peru.Just recently, I got the chance to go south of the equator to the beautiful coastline in Lima, Peru. I was here to compete in the 2010 Lima ITU Pan American Cup and South American Championship.

In a field of 40+, I placed 28th with a time of 1:54:45.  Personally, not a great race for me, but it was still a positive experience.  I was able to gain more ITU draft legal race time, more great travel, and another chance to interact with the culture of another country.  Although I did not finish on the podium, I do want to recognize Alicia Kaye of the USA, fellow teammate, and, like me, part of Olympic coach Tim Crowley’s TC2 coaching program, who won the women’s race in a time of 1:59.02, almost 2 minutes ahead of the second place female.

Nicholas Sterghos in Peru.

Team USA also had two other females in the top 4, to include Amanda Felder (2:02:27, 3rd) and Lindsay Anne (2:03:40, 4th).   Congratulations to all the team USA athletes who competed and hope to see you all again soon on the race course.

On another positive note, I found out that I helped sell my first pair of Sable Water Optic goggles, or that I know of.  Kathy Rakel (2:06:55, 10th), also racing for USA and a sister cadet Air Force Academy graduate in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She told me after the race that she visited my website and saw that I wore Sable goggles, which prompted her to buy two pair. Here’s what she said: “I loved the Sable goggles.  They were extremely comfortable and easy to see out of, with no fogging whatsoever.  Also, they didn’t leak at all which was a nice change from other goggles I had been wearing.”

Kathy spent a semester at West Point, too, training with our tri team, so the bonds between us continue to give us both great race energy.

Nicholas Sterghos in Peru.

I want to personally give a big thanks to Gustavo Svane and ITU who selected me for a U23 scholarship, which helped me with air travel and hotel arrangements.  This support is so important, and the fact that there are people and organizations that make it possible for us new guys to train and compete needs to be recognized.

Thanks ITU, Gustavo and Katie Baker, the National Team Manager at USA Triathlon. In addition, thanks to all my sponsors – Total Immersion Swimming, sbill swimming, TGI Healthworks, Serotta, and Sable Water Optics, who have provided their continued support to help me race and train, too.

Nicholas Sterghos in Peru.