Man, talk about a GREAT racing season! Team Great Divide, in all of its incarnations had had one busy, exciting, threshold-busting year! I for one am immensely proud of, and more than a little awed by, all of you. You always seem to be raising the bar, and setting new levels of ‘amazing’. We’ve got one great group of athletes and competitors, and you all deserve to take a moment and congratulate yourselves on a phenomenal year. Y’all ROCK!
Now, with Mother Nature deciding to finally grace us with appropriate weather to match the season, thoughts turn to the off-season…easing off a bit on the training (or stopping it entirely!)…resting…recovering..gettin’ fat ‘n sassy…kickin’ back and doing like the bears do. And why not? You’ve earned it.
But really – how much football can you watch? How many episodes of Dancing With The Stars can you suffer through? How many forays into the mysteries of new (old) releases in the Redbox can you make before the legs start twitching…before the voice in the back of your head starts nagging…tempers get short…and the house keeps getting smaller and smaller…and you realize you aren’t a bear, and you need to MOVE?!
To coin a phrase: Have I got a deal for YOU!
…and just in the nick of time – before you do something you’re really, REALLY going to regret with that jar of chocolate-covered caramel macadamia nut clusters that have been calling to you from the bottom shelf of the pantry.
Hard to believe, but a mere two weeks out from now marks the beginning of the 2011 USA Triathlon National Club Challenge. Whew! We’re saved!
For those of you not familiar with the NCC, in a nutshell it’s a three-month challenge (December, January, and February) that presents an opportunity for triathlon clubs across the country to compete against one another for off-season yardage/mileage, in each of the three disciplines: swimming, biking, and running, as well as overall miles. You still train in all the disciplines, but each month, one of the disciplines will be the focus:
December is Swim month…
January is Bike month…
And February is Run month.
Team members will track their training yardage/mileage for ALL challenge related workouts – overall cumulative mileage is ALSO tracked – which is then updated weekly on the USAT NCC website, so individual athletes can see how they are stacking up against other athletes, and teams against other teams. So for example:
Say in December you swam 26 miles….but also biked 240 miles, and ran 35 miles…
All of that mileage would be recorded, and applied against the Challenge cumulative overall totals…but for the December, the push is for swim yardage – the more, the better! You still get credit for your run and bike miles, but in for December, your 26 miles would be compared against the swim mileages reported by athletes from across the country. Not only for bragging rights, but yes – there are prizes as well! How cool is that? Not only do you get to skip another dose of “Reality Television”, find a reason to get off the couch…earn the right to eat all kinds of wintertime comfort foods (do I smell cookies?)…feed the competitive animal within…come together and workout with your Teamies…but you could win some cool stuff on TOP of all that! Woo hoo! Merry Christmas indeed!
So tell us, O’ Verbose One, what we must do to participate in this wondrous, sprit-enriching, we’re-gonna’-kick-their-butts event?
First, you need to be a member of USAT. Renewal season is upon us, and there’s no better time than the present to renew for the next season.
You don’t have to be a member to START the challenge (though it’s preferred, and looks better on the Team registration form), but you will need to be a registered/renewed member at the beginning of the 2011 racing year – so pretty much anytime between now and the first week of January.
Not a member yet? No problem! Follow this link to the Register/Renew page, and you can do it online!
Why should I?
Great question! The quickest answer is because it officially resisters you as a member of the one of the most recognized and accepted organizations in the sport. Active membership also ensures you never again have to pay the One-Day Fee at any USAT sanctioned race, which is required – largely for insurance purposes to protect you and the race organizers. Active membership takes care of this, and represents one less thing you and the race organizers have to worry about on race day. Heck if you do only four races in a year, you membership is paid for right there.
But wait – there’s more!
USAT is also at the forefront of triathlon racing, regulation, education, and safety, for all distances and all competitive levels: from newbie to Pro. They work diligently to make sure their sanctioned races are as safe, competitive, and as standardized as possible, to ensure (among other things) it’s about the athlete – and not the technology. The standardization of allowed equipment, race procedures, rules, etc., helps to ensure a safe and level playing field for all athletes. And isn’t that what we want? A chance to test ourselves against other athletes? USAT helps to maintain that.
USAT is also very active in the youth communities, introducing and teaching the sport of triathlon to new generations of athletes, offering wholesome, active, healthy, and nurturing lifestyle opportunities to thousands of youths. One look at the child obesity rates in the U.S. is more than enough to show this is a GREAT idea…
You get regular updates in training philosophy, nutrition, gear, race and training strategy, who’s who in the world of triathlon, swim/bike/run techniques and pointers…
And on top of all that, you get a year’s subscription to Triathlon Life magazine. It just doesn’t get any better!
Er… wait. Yes it does!
Ann G filled us in on this, and we are FLAT OUT FREAKIN’ PUMPED!
Team Great Divide is also (independent of the NCC Challenge) competing in the Pacific Northwest USAT Club Championship Membership Drive – competing for some kick -ass prizes including – get this – a CompuTrainer as the top prize, as well as some Comp entries in PNW short-course events! We have a shot at some SERRIOUSLY cool prizes there – and all it takes is..well…YOU.
Competition…community…camaraderie. I’m getting goose bumps! So come on, and come with! Your Team is calling (and we’d really like to leave Washington and Oregon eating our dust)!
If you do triathlons – Bring it!
If you like/love triathlons – Bring it!
If you’ve ever thought about kinda-sorta, maybe, doing a triathlon…someday…. BRING IT! You quite frankly can’t ask for a better collection of friends, athletes, and mentors, than those we have right here in the Queen City. Period! This is DEFINITELY the time!
And hey – I’ve got to tell you – there is NOTHING cooler than watching a transition area fill up with scarlet and gold jerseys and singlets..and then being out on the course with a dozen or more of your friends and Teamies. Come on out and race with us!
And now……back to the Challenge:
Second, (once you are a member) you let me know you wish to participate in the Challenge with your Teamies. In order to complete the registration forms with USAT, I will need:
Your USAT membership number
Date of Birth (to identify age groups)
And third, you’ll need to keep track of your yardage/mileage, and update me each week with that info, so I can enter it into our team page – and add it to our totals. Once the program has started, you’ll be able to track your mileages, your Teamies mileages, the Team’s mileages…and our placement nationally against other teams. It’s one heck of a motivator, let me tell you, and we had some INCREDIBLE performances on our team last year. What say we do it again, only better?
So there it is in a nutshell, brothers and sisters – your chance at glory while pursuing some off-season pain, with a side of competition, served up on a hot plate of ‘bring it on!’
Unless of course you think you’ll get a better offer from DWTS…?
Let me know in the next week or so if you’re interested in a highly coveted spot on the most kick-butt, hard-chargin’, swim-bike-running crew this side of the Continental Divide, ready to help us remind them San Diego wannabes where Montana is!
More info on the National Club Challenge:
And again, the Register/Renew page at USAT:
Thanks for your time Teamies. I look forward to another awesome year racing with you!