Monday, August 31, 2009


(YndeCam Photo: That's Devon, not Cathy.)

Via email, Devon Palmer described his Nationals experience:

"The best part of my Nationals story has nothing to do with my race. The MJETs drove to Tuscaloosa, leaving Thursday afternoon and arriving at 5:49 am on Friday. The trip was uneventful except at 4:00 am when I spontaneously remembered that I had NOT remembered to pack my race suit.

"I quietly cursed my faulty memory the rest of the trip. Luckily we were in the company of good Minnesota friends so I had a few options to borrow other suits. Kerry Yndestad was kind enough to loan me his Blue Seventy swim skin and Cathy herself loaned me a red and black Gear West fastskin. I tried it on and it fit! I looked goofy as all hell and I had "Yndestad" on my butt, but it worked just fine.

"Race morning we woke up to relatively mild weather by Alabama standards, 70s and humid. My teammate Nick (Madrinich) and I made the classic mistake of starting right at the center of our wave and I spent the first section of the swim dodging feet and elbows. Eventually things cleared up as we started our epic journey upstream, the current was going strong and I got out in a stunningly slow 26 minutes.

"I felt good on the bike and took great pleasure knowing my competitors might think they were getting "chicked" as I rolled past them. Kris (Coach Swarthout) told me, "One more ahead!" going into the second lap and it took the entire lap to bring him back. He out-swam me 22 to 26 and I out-biked him 53 to 57, so he was just a few seconds up going into the run. He took off running hard and I came out running, well, at least I was running. He put 90 seconds on me the first half and I may have closed that down a little the second half but I knew my legs didn't have the juice to chase him down.

"My mystery competitor turned out to be Joey Maloy, the eventual overall champion. I spoke with him, and later with Sean Jefferson (2nd place), and both were excited since they were both in their rookie year as triathletes! Unbelievable athletes.

"The weekend was a tremendous success and those who went represented our state with pride. We took 2 AG wins, 3 AG 2nds, 3rd overall for both men and women and put another man in the top 10 (even if he--Sam Hauck--claims to be from Nebraska). Our spirited standing ovations for MN podium finishers put the other states to shame."