How I blew my chance to compete on Team USA

Today I received a pleasant surprise in the email:

Dear Athlete,

Congratulations! You are being contacted because you have earned a spot on Team USA for the 2008 Long Course Triathlon World Championships because of your outstanding performance at the 2007 Grand Columbian. The 2008 World Championships are set to take place August 30-31 in Almere, Holland. For more information about the World Championships please visit the Team USA website (http://www.usatriathlon.org/AthleteFocus/TeamUSA/LongCourseTriathlon.aspx).

Apparently, the 1st and 2nd place finishers in my AG did not want to go, so the slot rolled down to me. It sounds pretty nice … Patrick Mann, Team USA representative for 2008 Tri Worlds … and for a brief moment I toyed with the idea. Then I wrote my ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ email.  

Summer of ’08 we’ll be in the middle of our first big construction project on our new house; not a great time to take off several weeks to do a race. Not to mention all the logistics of travelling to Holland with all my tri gear. Finally, I know this would make me train harder, and devote more time to triathlon, than I really want to. There are too many fun things to do – I would rather not spend all of my spare time on running, swimming, and biking.

So I prefer to savor the knowledge of having qualified … but give somebody else the opportunity to do the race.

12/01/07 Update
Turns out I did not benefit from roll-down but actually won the Almere World’s slot fair and square: it is awarded based on USAT rules, which means I was in the running for the 45-49 age group (age on 12/31/07), not the 40-44 age group. And what do you know – I won that age group with a very comfortable margin of over 14 minutes. Too bad that the race awards weren’t based on USAT rules too. Now I really have a good reason to go back again next year and take another shot at winning my age group.

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