Friday, June 29, 2012

Spider Alum Rechel Set to Compete in 2012 World University Games Triathlon

Julie Rechel (UR '11), showing her record setting 10K form
while competing for the Richmond Spiders,
 is in Taiwan for the 2012 World University Games Triathlon
Follow former Richmond distance star, Julie Rechel (UR'11) as she competes in the World University Games Triathlon in Taipei, Taiwan. The Spider 10K record holder is 1 of 3 athletes representing the U.S. Follow here as she updates us through her daily blog...

Step back to the post on how she made the U.S. Triathlon Team last April (2011)...."Richmond’s Julie Rechel 2nd in the 2011 USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championship": 

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UPDATE #1 from Taiwan
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Hi all,
       I successfully made it through 30 hours of travel to Taiwan! I traveled Richmond to Chicago, Chicago to Tokyo on a flight without inflight entertainment, Tokyo to Taipai, which the coaches said was an hour and a half long flight but was really 3.5 hours since they didn’t factor in the time change, and Taipai to the hotel (2 hours) via a double decker party bus complete with neon lights, karaoke machine and disco balls. We’re staying at the race hotel, which is nice but somewhat run down. Kaitlin, Jess and I are in a two floor, triple room with a large balcony that would be pleasant to sit on if it were less than 100 degrees. We eat all of our meals at the hotel buffet style. Breakfast choices included “dry chopped shredded pork”, various forms of duck, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and miso soup. Lunch choices included various forms of raw fish, octopus, duck and lots of generally indistinguishable items. I’m glad I packed lots of food!
       This morning we went to do a swim (at an outdoor pool…we traveled in style via the party bus again) and run (the heat is oppressive) before lunch. We then napped and went on our pre-ride of the bike course. That was definitely the highlight of the day so far since we got to see some of Taiwan, including a massive pagoda temple and people paddling down the river on rafts with pointy hats. It was basically straight out of Amazing Race. We are hoping to buy some of those pointy hats as souvenirs. After dinner, we have the option to go to the night market. We’re all tired, so we’re hoping we have the option to go on Saturday after the race. Other notes about Taiwan- there are lots of scooters here and people just tool around on them with tiny little kids holding on…often with no helmets. Sometimes the scooters have windshields. These are like deluxe scooters. Also, there are mountains in the distance and blockbuster is still in business over here.
       Tomorrow we have the same type schedule with opening ceremonies in the afternoon. We got our race numbers today – I’m seeded 22nd out of like 45. Kaitlin’s seeded 3rd and Jessica is seeded 14th. The seeds are based on ITU rankings, and since I’ve only done one ITU race, I’m ranked pretty low. Two years ago, the team members finished 2 (Gwen Jorgenson, now on the Olympic team)-12 (Jessica Broderick)-13 (Lauren Goldstein-Kral) and got second overall as a team. Expectations are to do just as well. There’s pressure on all three of us, though, since we all have to finish for the US to have a complete team. That seems easy until you factor in 105+ degree heat index at 9am this morning.
       Overall, this is a neat experience and I’m so thankful/fortunate to be here. Not many people have the opportunity to be on Team USA at an international competition of this caliber. USA Triathlon sent 4 crewmembers, and it’s cool to seem important enough to have all these people wanting to help you with everything. Also, I haven’t had a “team” race experience since I graduated from UR, and racing is a lot less stressful when someone else is figuring out the logistics and I just have to show up ready to compete.
That’s all from Taipei,
Julie Rechel (UR '11)

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