John Baxter just earned a spot on the Worlds team!

John earns a spot on the Worlds team headed to Sweden in 2015!  He was the bronze medalist at this weekend's National Championships in Michigan.  Way to go John!!  Read his race report below...

Alarm! Ugh 4:40 AM, not enough sleep with a graduation party in the hotel room above us. Morning routine is smooth, I’m feeling relaxed at the athlete drop and I’m so fortunate to have Kim’s (my wife) complete support. It’s 6 AM, dark, raining, 63 degrees. It makes T1 decisions easy, everything’s wet.
Wave 4 in the start, I’m calm. Great training for this race, I’m ready. Lots of good messages and vibes from friends and family. Starting with M55+ and W39- wow, the ladies are aggressive! Swim smooth and pass most by 200yds, catch some feet and draft. This feels too easy , stay calm. 500 yds and I’m on my own-turn buoy was described as “candy stripe”-Ha! it’s yellow and orange, they meant candy corn. 1/2 way, get the rhythm. 1,2,3,1,2,3 sight, reach roll rip is the mantra. Two orange caps out 100 yds, I might be third. Out of the water and I feel great, really just warmed up.
Smooth T1, it’s still raining, be careful, keep the rubber side down. I like data, Marisa encourages me to pay attention to my body and push to the edge by feeling. Deal! I won’t look at the computer until mile 10. Left, left, left, I’m screaming by the early waves, my legs are feeling great. OK mile 10 sign, check the computer. HAHA!HA! I forgot to start it-no data! Drinking Tailwind before water at the aid stations, my energy is good, this is a good plan. Mile 40 the quads have gone from talking to shouting, better ease up a little. I know this is a fast ride. Roll over the hills, ooh, quads again. Eight guys go by in a train, two from my age group, I hope the race officials are watching. Mile 55, I have to pee. Marisa’s advise is if you race hard enough, you don’t have to pee. I’m racing hard so I guess I don’t really have to pee.
> Out of T2-there’s Kim with my parents. Yeah! First two miles, run by feel, no clock, and get my legs under me. Quads are still shouting but I’m in charge. Time mile 3, no judgement, it is what it is, 7:55. OK don’t look until mile 10, run tempo and listen to the quads. Sun’s out now, get lots of water. Roctane at 4 and 8 is the plan. Energy is good, pushing to the limit on the quad muscles. Kim signals I’m in 4th at the 6 mile mark-I recognize the guy in 3rd. He was 3 minutes ahead but now at mile 9 it’s only 200 yds. I feel a lift, Mile 10, still on 7:55’s. Fly past for third place, now it’s just a 5k. Push to fast tempo, great encouragement from other competitors, 7:20, focus on form, 7:15, focus on breathing in, in, out, in, in, out. There’s the finish, Kim, parents, I’ so happy.

OMG, do the math. 5:05 running clock, less 15 minutes. 4:50! Yes 4:50! Sweaty hugs and kisses. 3rd is nice but I did 4:50!! 18 minutes faster that my best ever half. Qualified for the USAT National Age Group Team, #1 goal for the year-worlds in Sweden in 2015! An incredible sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and thanking the universe for everyone’s support.
Great preparation, great race. Endurance was outstanding, hmmm, what do I do now to go faster?
John Baxter