I was away from my computer most of the day yesterday so imagine my surprise to see a comment on my blog about a new date for the 2012 USDAA Nationals. I guess people were freaking out about the weather. Or something. Ironically according to a local meteorologist they've moved it to dates that actually have a higher chance of precipitation (14%-18% for the Sept. weekend vs. 12%-14% for the Oct. weekend). Admittedly these statistics are only slightly useful and the difference is probably negligible. However the temps. are likely to be warmer and if nothing else it eases people's fears which is perhaps more important than the reality of the situation because really it's probably 6 half a dozen which weekend they have it on as far as weather goes and if Sept. makes people feel better then I can see why they made the decision. I have to give USDAA credit for starting to listen more to competitors. I like the new kindler, gentler, more responsive USDAA and I'm feeling more likely to do more USDAA these days as a result.
However on a purely personal note they've moved Nationals to 3 days after Xterra Nationals in Utah. No matter how I do the math I can't see myself recovering from Xterra Nat's. in time for USDAA. Plus the 7 1/2 hour drive to and from UT, that will add to my required recovery time. Driving wears me out these days and for me that's a very long trip. Haven't driven that far in years. Plus it's difficult to gear up mentally for 2 such different, big deal events so close together. One of them has to go and I'm leaning towards Xterra Nat's. because USDAA is so close. And it's likely Strum's only opportunity to enter such a big event because I'm not willing to travel for USDAA Nat's. though maybe my mind will change depending on how the Denver event goes. But Strum is going to be 7 in March, hitting his prime really, and this is his time to go.
Before USDAA announced the date change I was already wavering a little on Xterra Nat's. anyway because I'd read some unpleasant things about the race in a couple of race reports, mostly stuff about competitors being rude and outright dangerous. Most triathletes are nice people, especially the folk doing the off-road tri's but apparently Nat's. attracts more of the over competitive assholes and I don't enjoy that sort of atmosphere. The mass start swim was a nightmare with the men in particular being really violent, kicking and punching and not only swimming over the backs of people but pushing and holding them under. Also there was a guy who started screaming at a woman who got off to walk a rocky part of the trail. She moved out of his way at a wide part but he came over to her and elbowed her hard. Then the same woman was elbowed by another woman near the finish line who was trying to prevent the first woman from passing her. I'm sorry but I have no patience for that sort of behavior and I don't want to spend the day racing with people like that. On the other hand the race reports were written by a pro and someone who is way younger and closer to the front of the pack than I would be so it's possible I wouldn't encounter such bad behavior further back in the pack.
Then there was the hoopla over Lance Armstrong which sounds like it was very annoying as I expected. But there's no guarantee he'd return. He didn't do so great for someone with an ego like his (finished 5th and 5 minutes behind the leader, his bike time was 5th as well) and he did even worse at Worlds (finished 23rd, 10 minutes behind the leader and 10th place on the bike, even got beat by some age-groupers, ie non-pro's) so maybe he's done with the Xterra lark. But who can say if he'll return next year? It's not a deal breaker but makes me feel not so bad about missing the race.
I'm a little irritated that USDAA moved Nat's. so close to DOCNA Champs. They're also the weekend before USDAA Nat's. I wish the venues would have a little more respect for each other. DOCNA has had those dates scheduled in Denver for at least 6 months, maybe longer, maybe even since last year. Ironically though this means I may actually enter a few runs of DOCNA Champs. since I won't be at Xterra Nat's. If I enter only the Jumpers/Standard runs and the North America Challenge it might make for a nice warm-up for USDAA. 2 runs on Friday, 3 runs on Sat. and 0-2 runs on Sun. (depending which if any Finals we made) wouldn't be so much that it would wear Strum out for USDAA Nat's. plus it's only 40-45 minutes away so we'd be home every day at a reasonable hour. Heck it would barely take the edge off of him.
The plan for now though is to try to qualify for everything and see what works out the best nearer the events. If Strum gets injured I have Xterra Nat's. to fall back on. If I'm good to go for both then it'll be USDAA. I feel fortunate to have so much fun stuff to choose from. What a great year for agility in the Denver area.