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Club Member: Jackie Yukawa
Race: ITU Worlds Budapest
Distance: Sprint
Race Date: 09/11/10
Submit Date: 09/17/10

Budapest Worlds was my first after being in the sport 23 years and going to Nationals four times. Now that I am older, there are much less participants! I now hold the National Champion title in the Aquathlon for my AG! I had expected three other people, but they did not show up. It was held in San Ramon in August. I also qualified for Worlds at Sprint Nationals in Davenport, Iowa in June. Budapest was rather cold and rainy and the water was 14 C or 57 F -- yikes! I hyperventilated terribly in the aquathlon and had to hang on a kayak for awhile, but I finished. They held the Awards Ceremony at the site at 4:00 p.m., so we hung around to watch the elite racers. At the Awards Ceremony they served us nice hot goulash soup and bread! On Thursday, we had Opening Ceremonies but we did not march in as a team, which was a little disappointing. They had flag bearers march in with the various flags. It was held at an outdoor venue (Zold Pardon) with tables and umbrellas. They had dancers for entertainment. For dinner, they served three types of pasta and good strudel for dessert. For the Sprint Tri, I swam continuously and would breathe every stroke. The bike was a two-loop course with only the river on part of the course. The rest of the course was rather boring. The run, however, was great! We ran along the Danube River passing four bridges and historical buildings. At the fifth bridge, The Chain Bridge, we took a right turn towards the finish line. However, after exiting the bridge, we had to run down to the left and do a U-turn and back to the finish. By the time I finished, it was starting to rain. I got my medal and fleece blanket (thank goodness), and hurried off to the boat to take us back to the start to change into dry clothes and get my gear. Since this is Europe, men and women changed in the same tent just like my first IM in Germany in 1992, which was a shock at the time. We returned with our gear on the boat as we had a nice apartment near the finish line. (At least we got a free boat ride on the Danube River.) We stayed a block off the ritzy Andrassy Avenue, down a block from the Opera House. The only complaint I have about the experience was that most people stayed up by the finish where most of the hotels were located, and the ITU had most of the events near the start of the race, so we were always going down in the morning to register and then returning in the afternoon to rack our bikes or have meetings. It made it a little difficult to get in some sightseeing. I only took a bus tour on Friday when it rained heavily. Thus, I only got off at the Budapest Castle to walk around in the town. We did a peloton race from the race as our bus was stopped for them to pass! Luckily, I stayed three days before in Prague where it did not rain; it was a very beautiful and interesting city. We took the train from Prague to Budapest through the fields and through Slovakia and into Hungary. The Closing Ceremony was held at The Rio Cafe, which was very nice. It also was an outdoor venue, but had a covered lounge along the back near the river. Team USA had a reserved area right in the middle of the lounge with white leather couches and tables! They had a variety of meals to select from, a bar, and a video of the races. After the awards ceremony, they had a band playing music and many people were dancing. The fun part was trading shirts and jackets with other competitors! I got a nice tech shirt from the Budapest Polytech Tri Club (college) and a tech shirt from a tri in Brazil. Next week I leave for Age Group Nationals in Alabama. I have a good chance of qualifying there for Worlds in Beijing in 2011. Also being on the Worlds Team this year, I automatically quality for Age Group Nationals in Vermont in 2011, hopefully to qualify for Worlds in New Zealand in 2012! Since I have gotten older and no longer able to do IM distance, going to Nationals and Worlds has been an excellent replacement and more fun (not as much pain)!! Jackie Yukawa

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