Coach Karen Mackin participated in the USA Triathlon Sprint National Championships in Burlington, VT on Sunday Aug 19th. This event was particularly fun for her as she loves the head to head competition more typical of bike racing and less typical of Triathlon. It is common in a non-draft legal triathlon that has multiple waves of racers going off at different times to loose track of who it is you are competing with and not really know where you stand until the results are posted. You often don't get to race side by side with your competition. This race was different. As Karen came out of T2 and began her run, she spied a women about 30seconds up the road who was running about the same pace who's bike was racked in the transition very close to hers (age groups are racked together). She knew she was in the same age group, so Karen tried very hard to close the gap. She'd get a little closer, then the women would open it up again, and this went on for 2 miles. Then with 1 mile to go, a women ran by Karen, and Karen realized she was also in her race (same age group body marking). In this final mile, the race was on, gaps were closed, but the order remained, leaving Karen in 4th place (just 6 seconds from 3rd and 10seconds from 2nd). "It was the closest, most exciting Age Group Triathlon Racing I've ever experienced!" exclaimed Karen.