When Club President Daniel first proposed starting Austin Triathlon Club the first thing that came into my head was NCC... I love NCC!
NCC is the USAT National Challenge Competition: a triathlon club team competition where club members log swim, bike and run miles to collect points for their team. Triathlon clubs across the country compete to become NCC champions. Throughout the competition athletes can log miles in any discipline, but prizes are given for teams logging the most swim miles in December, bike miles in January, and run miles in February.
I did my first NCC in the 2013-2014 off-season and while I was a little sluggish in swim month and bike month (DC is cold!), when run month came I decided it was mine for the taking. In my previous on-season I had done an Ironman and an ultra marathon, so my legs were capable of doing a lot of miles. And when I saw that I could help DC Tri win the competition, and that I had a teammate on my heels racking up points at the same rate as I was, that was motivation to not miss a day.
In my 2014 season, I was supposed to be not taking it and just racing for fun, but even without trying very hard I got a PR in practically every distance - marathon, half marathon, 70.3, Olympic... The friendly competition of NCC had been enough to get out there and build the base for my best season ever and led me to meet some really great people - including husband Club President Daniel Riegel, who had chased me around the pool as he tried to figure out how to ask me out.
Since then, every year I get excited about NCC - even though I'm not in the same shape I was that first NCC year, it's great motivation to keep me training and not give in to the winter. In 2017, I'm excited about the prospect of entering an Austin Triathlon Club team. With the amazing community of triathletes and the resources we have for winter training - not least the weather - I'm convinced that Austin can be up there competing with DC Tri, Salt Lake, and San Diego.
The best part of NCC is that it doesn't matter how fast you run the miles or swim the laps, it's the taking part (or the points) that count!
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