Monday, March 12, 2012

The Southern Double

2012 Valparaiso ITU Triathlon Pan American CupAny American triathlete who has chased ITU points in the past 5 years has at least considered traveling to Argentina and Chile in January for the mythical “Southern Double.” You race two Pan American Cups on back-to-back weekends, in La Paz (Argentina) and Vina del Mar (Chile). January is the offseason (or often base season) for Northern Hemisphere athletes, so these races are an opportunity to race in a probably-less-competitive field and also to leapfrog a few other Americans in the rankings. I thought about going there in 2008, in 2009 and in 2010, but each year came up with reasons to not go --- generally that I was already racing into November in the US, needed a post-season “break,” and wouldn’t be fit again in time for January.

Last year PATCO started hosting races in Santiago and in Valparaiso, Chile, in March. So even though triathlon isn’t quite as central to my life as it once was, I’ve ramped up my training a bit and booked a flight to Chile! I’m excited to go south of the equator for the first time. I’m excited about the possibility of finally picking up some ITU points, even if I’m not chasing Olympic Trials anymore. I’m excited to be racing again on the international circuit.

I’ll try to post some photos and travel notes once I get down there. It will take 20 hours to get there from Seattle, with connections in San Jose and in Dallas! But I bought the ticket for 40,000 Alaska Airlines frequent flyer miles plus $97 in taxes and fees, so I’m not complaining!

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