Barbara Scanlon didn’t do as well as she had hoped nor as badly she had feared as a member of Team USA in the Dextro Energy International Triathlon Union World Championship Series Grand Final held earlier this month in Beijing.
Battling through a variety of injuries, the Clintonville single mother of four came in 13th among 27 women competitors in her age bracket, “which isn’t bad, all things considered,” she wrote in an email.
“I started catching them on the run which was still three minutes over my healthy pace but better than it has been all season, because of some significant help from Team USA doctors who managed to loosen my heel so that I could tackle multiple steep hills,” she added. “It was a great experience, chock full of talented, interesting people.
“It was just great,” the licensed professional clinical counselor said last week. “I met very interesting people who just inspired me.”
These included, she said, para-triathletes, some of them missing and arm or a leg but still competing in an event that combines riding a bicycle, swimming and running.
“I don’t literally understand how they swim, but they do,” Scanlon said.
The only slightly disappointing thing about the time spent in China’s capital city was that Team USA was housed near the venue for the International Triathlon Union World Championship Series Grand Final, and not with the athletes representing other countries.
Still, Scanlon said, she “met all kinds of athletes” during the actual competition.
“I finished in the middle, I finished 13th, which considering everything that happened I was happy with,” Scanlon said. “Nobody wants to come in last, and that didn’t happen.
“I’m so glad I did it. There wasn’t anything negative about it.”
The run portion of the events was the weak link for Scanlon due to problems with her ankle.
“I actually passed three people in the last mile,” she said proudly.
Next up for Scanlon will be a trip to Myrtle Beach, Fla., for the Oct. 8 nationals in the half-triathlon.