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Collegiate Nationals 2011

posted Apr 20, 2011, 6:26 AM by Michael Lindler
On Thursday April 7, 2011 eight members of NC State’s triathlon club took a road trip down to Tuscaloosa Alabama. There we met hundreds of college kids from almost every state ready and pumped to race in the 2011 COLLEGIATE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. After a ten hour drive we pulled into our motel which also held accommodations for several other Atlantic coast teams including UNC Wilmington, Duke, and Maryland. We all passed out within an hour of arrival, and awoke to find the hotel packed with college kids. Our hotel also happened to be behind a Food World and across the street from a fair of some sort. Friday morning was mostly spent checking out all four vendors at the expo, picking up our packets, and checking out the race course. Some of the team took a quick dip just to make sure the water was still cold, then quickly hopped out. On return to hotel, we did a short triple brick just to keep sharp. At this time we fixed a couple of the small problems in the bikes and prepared our gear. USA Triathlon prepared a pasta dinner for all of the teams which included 70 giant pans of spaghetti! The night ended early for many of us after we prepared the gear and tattooed digits onto each other (see pictures). Early Saturday was all a blur as we threw gear into the vehicles and drove out to the race site. By this time we had found at least 8 different ways to get to or from the University, most of them unintentional. By the time our transitions had been prepared, the sun woke up to join us.
Some quick warm ups and a “GO NC STATE,” then the guys were lining up to jump into Black Warrior River. Beginning at 7:30AM, Zack, Kory, Michael L, and Michael H took off. Amongst the freezing cold water, hundreds of limbs, and slick suits, it was time to power through the race that we had been training for all winter. At 10:00AM, Colleen and Brooke experienced a slightly warmer fate. The two loop bike course offered many opportunities for passing. The hills on the far side of the course slowed us down a little, but we saw a strong flat finish. The run course looped through a greenway and then on the last stretch of the bike course. On the side of an open road in the high sun and 115% humidity all of the runners had to deal with brutal heat.
Bryan and Dwayne participated in the sprint version at 12:30. At half the distance, this race was taken at a very high pace. Beginning in middle of the day, these triathletes had to race smart and show what they were made of. Both of our guys made it back through the heat.
The night after our race, we visited the local “Dreamland.” The menu is ribs. Sides and sweet tea were also available. The tri-club celebrated the race with some other teams on Saturday night. But as all great things must eventually subside for school, we packed up and headed back on Sunday.
Good job to all of the racers and thanks to our sponsors and club sports for the support.