Yes, I've got it.
I've had triathlon fever since I saw my first sprint triathlon watching Mr. Handshake 2.0 race in 2007 – the Angels Race in Lynchburg, Virginia – after which I began immediately to dream of the New River Valley Triathlon for the Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Radford regions of Virginia. I started a triathlon training blog, did my first event in 2008 – the next year's Angels Race as a relay with friends – and have completed 13 sprint triathlons solo since then.
About triathlons, I am passionate both for myself and for regional economic development. Triathlons are big business news: Triathlons create companies, generate a local triathlon economy, and offer local opportunities for triathletes to be consumers and customers.
To receive a Virginia Triathlon Series award, a triathlete must complete 5 races. Residents of Blacksburg, Virginia, home of Handshake 2.0's headquarters, now have 5 sprint triathlons within a 3-hour drive. I have a vision that the New River Valley will be a triathlon and multisport destination itself. Some day, local residents will be able to join visitors in swimming, biking and running in many, many venues. In the meantime, I'm planning my 3-hour-drive-radius 2011 triathlon season!
Here are the 5 sprint triathlons in Virginia closest to Blacksburg:
Angels Race, 5/1 – Lynchburg, VA
Appalachian Power Smith Mountain Lake, 5/7 – Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Roanoke Valley YMCA Sprint, 6/5 – Salem, VA
Bath County Triathlon, 6/18 – Warm Springs, VA (near the The Homestead)
TriAdventure Summer Sprint, 6/26 – Christiansburg, VA
I've never done an international distance triathlon before, but I'm tempted to set a new goal and try the Big Lick Triathlon on 9/24 at Smith Mountain Lake.
And this sprint triathlon in Beckley, West Virginia, also only a few hours drive, is the most fun triathlon I've ever done – I just whooped on the bike leg because the steep hills are so close together it's like riding a roller coaster: Glade Springs Charlie Williamson Memorial Triathlon 8/13 – Beckley, WV.
I will be at my computer at 6:45 AM eastern time on Wednesday, January 5, 2011. Why? Because registration for the Virginia Triathlon Series opens at 7:00 AM, triathlon is a booming sport, demand exceeds supply, and others with triathlon fever will have their fingers poised over their keyboards, too, competing with me for spots in the races!
If you want to join me in triathlon fever, here are my suggestions on how to increase the chances you'll get in the race – or races! - of your choice.
Register with Set Up Events now. Consider becoming a member of USA Triathlon to receive a discount on registration fees. You'll need a credit card to register – cash or checks are not accepted. If you register for a race with a pool swim, as compared to one with an open water swim, you'll be asked for your swim time. Here's how to estimate your 100-yard swim time so you'll be ready to enter that number quickly. Make a list of the races you want to enter in the order of priority to you. Be at your computer and log in to Set Up Events well before 7:00 AM. Go to the link of the race you most want to enter. Here's the link for the Triadventure Summer Sprint Triathlon, the closest to Blacksburg. In the upper right-hand corner, you'll see a black button that says "Closed Event." Just before 7:00 AM on registration morning, start clicking refresh. When registration opens, that button will turn from "Closed Event" to "Register"! Click "Register"! Follow the directions. Done! Go to the link for the next race on your priority list. Repeat like a maniac until you've registered for all your races!
That is, if you've got triathlon fever. 🙂