Your browser does not support JavaScript!

USA National Championships

The morning of the Sprint National Championships, Jeremy and I woke up on the campus of Alabama University in Tuscaloosa. We were both filled with nerves as the day prior we had watched the pros compete in the blistering sun. Some were being hauled off the course due to heat exhaustion.

We headed out of the hotel at 6 a.m. with a slight drizzle. This is never ideal weather for any race that includes cycling. When roads are wet, crashes are always in the forecast. “At least this will drop the temperature a few degrees,” I thought, trying to remain positive. Jeremy and I looked at each other and lifted up our prayers for the rain to slow down. We then headed to our usual pre-race caffeine stop: Starbucks. When we went to the first Starbucks listed on the GPS it was in a Barnes and Noble, which was closed, and I was hoping this was not a bad sign. “No big deal,” we thought, there is another one on campus.

We headed to the second Starbucks, which was no longer there. As we scrolled down the GPS to the third Starbucks, I was beginning to panic. I decided to save time and call them to make sure they were open. To our dismay it was the Starbucks located in the Target shopping center, and yes, it too was closed. I came to the realization that we would have to proceed without the caffeine vigor. I panicked briefly before Jeremy calmed me down. I knew that if he could make it without coffee then I could do it too.

We parked our car and made our half-mile walk to the race site in the rain. Setting up in transition was pretty breezy. We experienced no major malfunctions and we were ready to go out on our warm-up ride, another race day ritual, but we were informed that we were not allowed out of transition with our bikes. "Great,” I thought, “these people are trying to kill me!" We continued to remain calm and put our bikes back on their respective racks. No coffee, no pre race ride, it’s okay…we are trained triathletes. A kink or two with a little rain in the mix was no big deal, right? Wrong.

We were about to head down to the swim start when I saw the head race official and my closest competition chatting over my bike helmet. I could see the official holding my helmet with one hand and gesturing to the girl racked next to me aggressively. FYI: Anytime a race official has your gear, particularly your helmet, it is not a good sign. I made my way back over to my area in time for the race official to tell me that the nice young lady next to me had pointed out that I did not have the correct American manufacturing sticker in my helmet. It appeared that my aero helmet had been made in Europe and was illegal for the states. If I could not produce the official American sticker that was supposed to be in the helmet or find another helmet—which I neglected to bring—I was to be a no-go for National Championship day.

Jeremy and several others had the same helmet I had, and no one had ever heard of the sticker rule. Apparently this is something they enforce at National Championships. At that moment, I started to break down! Jeremy had me calm down. "Don't do this. Hold it together.” Then he said the single most romantic thing of the whole weekend. "Linz, If you can't go. I am not racing today!" It was a total Ruth and Naomi moment, except husband-wife style. Praise God the race officials were awesome and sympathized with my welling tears. The head marshal found me a loner "training helmet” they happened to have on site. Not exactly ideal for Nationals, but at least I was going to race.

We were now good to go with ten minutes to spare before race start. Jeremy and I rushed down to the water entry where we were able to jog about a minute and get a few hip throws in before his group was called into the water! I watched Jeremy go off and felt good about his position in the water. I turned to look around at my competition, as I knew I had 12 more minutes before it was my turn. I saw one Team USA jersey after another. I started glancing at the back of their legs praying they would be in a different age group. My nerves are always the worst before the race, but before I knew it I was able to make my way to the water. The water is my safe haven and my favorite discipline in triathlon. I had a good swim as did Jeremy.

The bike was a hilly, wet mess, turn after turn perfect for beautiful crashes, one of which coach Jeremy narrowly missed. I felt slightly out of place with my trainer helmet, but I tried not to let that hinder my confidence. The rain, wind, and hills were enough to deal with. Jeremy and I were both ready to get off the bike and on to the run. We were happy to make it back alive. The run was nice. The rain was picking up which helped take some of the focus off of the pain. Jeremy even did a few surges to drop the competition. Not a bad strategy for a first time National Championship participant.

The finish line was amazing with big screens, USA flags, and all the flags of the states represented. We had come a long way this summer and despite the small trials of the day the Lord taught us this very valuable lesson: don't trust your gear or your pre-race rituals, just trust me and I will get you through! Praise God for His strength.

I finished the day with a National Championship title in the 25-29 division. I stood with my little girl (Hallie) on the top of the podium and nothing felt better than that moment. The race marshal that disqualified my helmet even came over to shake my hand. As for Jeremy, he beat several people in his age group. Who would have thought that the once 260 lb collegiate defensive lineman would be racing one day at the National Triathlon Championships. What a stud!

Thank you to Linzie Herbert for writing this story. Do you have a story about how God showed up at a race? Let Joe know at

16 comments (Add your own)

1. Catherine wrote:
slots for free slot 2 motherboards toy car slot track how play black jack trnoacipa hotel and casino in las vegas 97.9 wgrd grand rapids mi meaning sloth online own poker room start las vegas palms casino sports gambling affiliate bubble puzzle 97 free game download casino poker sport book vegas blackjack seattle washington casinos sterling comet casino philadelphia mississippi teen strip poker regime le grand mensonge poker chips unencumbered shipping casino pachanga resort link poker suggest auto cheat pogo game freeze out poker tournaments abe odyssey the game tsw slot wheels car games polizei visual boy advance game shark code pigeon-hole width combination panel side fae2€a1ade back flap the game black monday make money manufacturing the sands casino reno woody allen take the money and run rapidshare snowball fighting game slot players gambling game online video bonus deposit new no pokerrooms party poker virus play free poker online no downloads lotto number prediction car game slot watch lakers and celtics championship game 07 slot fabric file organizer distanza san diego las vegas cheat codes for grand theft auto 4 com paradise poker result how to play casino card games bet betting canada gambling sports casino ic1fag online online poker poker poker tournament connect to casino free slots games no download no sign in . introduction to slot antenna online poker software development resorts hotel casino internet gambling regulations nebraska sweepstake chairman james quinn free online dinosaur games eight other dinosaurs casino coupon free in las vegas slot car lay out world poker tour video game review poker for fun and free iphone erotic games oregon lottery results kimiko tohomiko sex games pokemon crystal game genie royal dalton, rip van winkle mug poker listing suited felt michigan lottoery texas holdem poker tip algiers hotel casino casino square footage spiderman online preschool free games lotto 649 how phil mickelson gambling debts excaliburhotelandcasino free online downloadable games free video bonus slot games unabomber poker louisiana pilottown legit online casinos slot load 8x double layer make her pregnant game hair dressing games gmax game pack download unconstrained online casinos free slot tip winning casino scams hat and cane poker chips rayman games to download free vegas style slot machines for sale shock wave roulette ballys hotel casino vegas casino comment leave online p wordpress turn based game funny killing games high roller bonus casino casino chest new orleans treasure free games seven wonders of the world 1972 munich olympic games casino supplies dice free online virtual strip poker luckyday lotto netherland msn games survival games pc casino craps games how much money did candidates raise internet gambling dispute play strip poker online for free pogo slot atlantic casino city hotel jersey new sands atlantic city poker room reviews resultat de loto quebec the mathematics of games and gambling casino iowa vacation free poker web sites mars volta roulette dares casino review online gambling chess games played best online casino usa blue chip casino michigan city indiana hard money lending how to get weapons fast in rainbow six las vegas tips for ps3 stake poker looking kid

Tue, August 28, 2012 @ 11:14 AM

2. pnnncmmsayy wrote:
knAIdL bczzjkkeelic

Wed, August 29, 2012 @ 7:24 AM

3. wrote:
Hurrah! In the end I got a weblog from where I can really obtain helpful data regarding my study and

Tue, May 7, 2019 @ 2:13 PM

4. wrote:
Can I simply say what a comfort to discover somebody
that genuinely knows what they are talking about on the net.
You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make
it important. A lot more people need to look at this and understand this side of the story.

I was surprised you are not more popular because you surely have the gift.

Mon, June 10, 2019 @ 11:04 AM

5. wrote:
What's Happening i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found
It positively useful and it has helped me out loads.

I'm hoping to give a contribution & assist different customers like its helped me.
Good job.

Fri, July 19, 2019 @ 4:47 PM

6. wrote:
Howdy! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you
knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having problems finding one?
Thanks a lot! natalielise plenty of fish

Mon, July 22, 2019 @ 4:46 PM

7. wrote:
Howdy! I could have sworn I've been to this site before
but after checking through some of the post I realized it's new to
me. Anyways, I'm definitely glad I found it and I'll be
bookmarking and checking back frequently!

Wed, July 24, 2019 @ 12:18 AM

8. wrote:
Terrific work! This is the kind of information that should be shared
across the web. Disgrace on the seek engines
for now not positioning this put up upper! Come on over and
talk over with my web site . Thank you =)

Sun, August 18, 2019 @ 8:51 AM

9. wrote:
Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from.
I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity,
Guess I will just bookmark this page.

Fri, August 23, 2019 @ 9:18 AM

10. wrote:
Hello, this weekend is nice in favor of me, as this time
i am reading this impressive educational paragraph here at my house.

Tue, September 3, 2019 @ 6:48 PM

11. wrote:
Touche. Solid arguments. Keep up the good effort.

Sat, September 28, 2019 @ 11:50 AM

12. wrote:
Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it ;) I will come
back yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

Fri, October 25, 2019 @ 2:55 PM

13. wrote:
I've been surfing online more than 4 hours today, yet I never found any
interesting article like yours. It's pretty worth enough for me.
Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be
a lot more useful than ever before.

Mon, November 4, 2019 @ 8:39 PM

14. wrote:
Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a
amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
By the way, how could we communicate?

Wed, November 20, 2019 @ 6:15 AM

15. wrote:
Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I'm impressed!

Extremely useful info particularly the last part :) I care for such information a lot.
I was looking for this certain info for a very long time.
Thank you and good luck.

Wed, December 11, 2019 @ 10:06 PM

16. wrote:
Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads
up. The text in your post seem to be running
off the screen in Safari. I'm not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured
I'd post to let you know. The design look great though!
Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Cheers

Mon, December 30, 2019 @ 6:31 AM

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.