Aug 2, 2009

Here I Go: World Championship Attack! Win something!

The day I finished the Breck Epic I got an email from USA Cycling;


As you may know, your top ranking in the USAC Ultra Endurance Rankings has given you an automatic selection to the Marathon World Championship Team. The Marathon Worlds are in Graz, Austria on August 23rd.

USA Cycling will not be providing any logistical or financial support at this event so if you decide to accept your spot on the team you will be responsible for all your travel, lodging and support at this race.

Please let me know if you would like to accept or decline your spot on the team or if you have any further questions."

I read the email and sort of gave a dismissive 'whatever'. It seemed like such a casual and almost reluctant message that I didn't really understand what it was saying. I guess I'd expect an invitation to the World Championships to have a positive tone to it. Maybe it would start off with "Congratulations" or maybe at least my name. Plus the encouraging message that I'd be responsible for all the financial logistics after finishing an expensive race in CO pushed the reality of the message further from my cerebral cortex.
So you'll have to forgive me if it was a couple of days before I returned to the message and realized that I was invited to wear 'Red White and Blue" and represent team USA at the Marathon World Championships! That should all be in caps!

I was invited to wear 'Red White and Blue" and represent team USA at the Marathon World Championships!

There! That is almost how I felt. The emotions surprised me since I tend to keep my patriotism in a well contained box of sarcasm most of the time. But this is different.

I'm going! With support from my parents, friends, supporters and credit cards I'll be on team USA.

It's a rare opportunity and since you never know what the next year might bring, it's important to seize the moment.

So the Patriotic pride has filled me and I think I'm going to let a tear of happiness slide down my cheek as I stand in the last row of a huge field of the worlds best cyclist wearing the only USA jersey in the field. It would have been two jerseys but unfortunately Jeremiah Bishop had a bad enough crash in Canada to fracture a vertebra. This news from last week really made my heart sink since I knew he was probably the most deserving to be there through his years of effort.

I also feel a little reluctance in going, since I can say that I feel a little unprepared for the race and don't really know if I can be at the ideal top of my game in time. But this is what I know; I can go and be the best I can be that day, and as long as I do that I'll walk away happy and sure that I represented the USA as well as I can. Besides the USA I feel the weight of all the people in the region that I race with regularly and those people in the scene that have supported me and others because they feel so passionate about the importance of cycling in this world. Thanks to all those people a hundred times over!

If anyone reading this would like to help with this "financially unsupported" endeavor please feel free to click the "World Championship Domination Button" above. Since I hate asking for help without giving back, if you donate you will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer! It's been donated by my local CycleOps rep. Or you can buy raffle tickets as a way to support the effort of myself and the entire IF MTB team. I salute you all!!

And that course profile above is the World Champ course.
12,300ft of climbing
4% trail
96% asphalt, gravel, cinder path, grass!!