Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Feel Sanctified

USA Triathlon has always had a rankings engine so triathletes can find out where they stack up against others in the their age group in the United States.

The rankings have been a valuable benefit for USAT members for several years. The system uses a mathematical formula to rank athletes according to their performances at USAT sanctioned events throughout the year, with the final year-end rankings determining All-America and Honorable Mention honors.

See the rankings engine in action at

An athlete must be an annual member by December 31 in order to qualify for that year’s final rankings. In addition to membership, one must have competed in three USAT sanctioned triathlons to qualify for the final rankings. Other disciplines such as duathlon, aquathlon, and off-road are available and only require completion of two USAT sanctioned events.

Last year I competed in two USAT sanctioned triathlons and one USAT sanctioned duathlon so I fell short of getting an official ranking. This year, I'd like to change that. Not only that, I'd like to try and qualify for XTERRA ranking as well.

For XTERRA, one can enter as many races as they want. Your best four (4) finishes count. You must compete in at least one (1) race in your XTERRA Region of Residence and count at least two (2) races in your XTERRA Region Of Residence. Athletes do not have to qualify to participate in XTERRA Regional Championship Series races. Example: John finishes 2nd in one regional race. He gets injured and cannot compete in another regional race. He can simply count a zero for his second regional race and use his one regional finish and any other two finishes for your final ranking.

So, this is where I need your help. What are the sanctioned races out there that will allow me to complete my goal of completing three triathlons, two duathlons, and three XTERRA sanctioned events? They must also fit my current race calendar availability as follows:

May 15 (signed up, not USAT) - Lakes to Pines Triathlon - 500 yd swim - 14.7 mi bike - 5K run
May 22 (signed up) - Fargo Half Marathon
June 5 (does not appear to be sanctioned) - Grand Forks Duathlon - 3 mi run-15mi bike-3 mi run
June 20 (does not appear to be sanctioned) - Bismarck Tri - 500m Swim, 20k Bike, 5k Run
Jun 26 (signed up, sanctioned) - XTERRA Pipestem Creek Off Road Triathlon - Swim 1000 meters, Mountain Bike 13 mi, Trail Run 5 mi
Aug 22 (does not appear to be sanctioned) - Mandan Triathlon - Swim 500 meters - Bike 13 mi - Run 3.1 mi
Aug 28 (sanctioned) - Maple Grove Triathlon - Sprint or Oly

So, let's start with the duathlon calendar. I just need two races. Possibilities:

Saturday, May 01, 2010: Falls Duathlon
Cannon Falls, Minnesota Hannah's Bend Park
USAT sanctioned status unknown. AG is 40-49, not five year.

Sunday, September 12, 2010: Treadman Duathlon
Pine Island, Minnesota The park at Center Drive & 1st Ave NE
USAT sanctioned status unknown. AG is 40-49, not five year.

Saturday, September 25, 2010: Cannon Wells Duathlon
Faribault, Minnesota Shager Park on Cannon Lake

USAT sanctioned status unknown. AG is 40-49, not five year.

Can anyone verify if these du's listed above are USAT sanctioned? I could certainly be able to fit the Falls Du into my early season calendar along with one of the du's in September. Otherwise, going south to late season warmer climes such as Texas could be possible.

Onto the triathlon calendar. I need three races. Possibilities:

Saturday, July 3, 2010: MinneMan Triathlon
USAT sanctioned

Sunday, July 25, 2010: Chisago Lakes Triathlon - (Half + Sprint)
Chisago Lakes, Minnesota Paradise Park
USAT sanctioned

Sunday, August 01, 2010: Waseca Triathlon
Waseca, Minnesota Clear Lake Park
USAT sanctioned status unknown, but I know it was last year. AG is 40-49, not five year.

Saturday, Aug 28, 2010: Maple Grove Triathlon - Sprint or Oly
USAT sanctioned

These are possible and can fit into my current calendar. But I will have to make a decision fast as some of these fill up quickly. Otherwise, I fit in what I can and again look south if need be.

Finally, XTERRA. I am already signed up for one event which is not in my region of residence. Weird that North Dakota is not in the same region as Minnesota but there you go.

Mid West: (MW) = Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio,
Mountain: (MT) = Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah,

So, I need to find two (?) events in the Mid West region and find one last event nationally. Possibilities:

8/1/10 XTERRA Sugar Bottom, North Liberty IA, USA
1500m swim - a slightly crooked out and back
22km bike - pure single track goodness on the south half of the trails
10km run - equally pure and challenging single track on the north half of the trails

8/1/10 XTERRA Forest Drive, Aberdeen SD, USA
The Race Consists of a 1100 meter swim, 14 mile mountain bike and 4.5 mile trail run

8/14/10 XTERRA B.O.L.T., Lincoln, NE, USA
The Course consists of a 1000m swim, 21k mountain bike and an 8k trail run. But they specify no cross or hybrid bikes and not sure what that means. I plan to use the Cannondale Bad Boy which I think is OK.

Getting ranked for XTERRA would seem to not be very possible at this point. We'll see how that falls out. I may be content to do the one, my first, this year and see what 2011 may bring.

If you have a fav USAT sanctioned race that you think I should consider, please leave a comment and let me (and others) know. All suggestions welcome!

Note - Gear West put together a handy race calendar. It includes all races within a couple hundred mile radius of the Twin Cities.

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