USAT Collegiate National Championships

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USAT Collegiate National Championships

Blog by Klean Team USA’s Timmy Samec – Sponsored Triathlete.

2015 marks Timmy Samec’s second year on the Klean Team USA. Timmy is a 21 year old age group triathlete currently attending Slippery Rock University, majoring in Physics with Concentration in Computational Biophysics, and co-founder and President of the SRU ROCK Triathlon Club. He plans on attending graduate school to obtain a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering of PhD in Biophysics. When not studying, his focus is triathlon, where he hopes to continue to improve and eventually obtain a professional license and race on the international IRONMAN 70.3 and IRONMAN circuit. Timmy opened his season on April 25 at the USAT Collegiate National Championships. Here’s how it unfolded.

“Let’s dive head first right into 2015!!” That must have been what I was thinking at the end of last season because my first race of the year was USAT Collegiate National Championships in Clemson, SC! I like to put my readers in my shoes during my blogs, especially for those lengthy trips. Gives it a certain feel don’t ya think? Ok, so here we go!!

Thursday morning, day of departing. I had planned ahead of time to go to my Calculus class in the morning, so I did and we (my brother, Hunter, his friend, Zeb, and I) left around 11am. I’m not going to bore you with details here about the drive down but man I was relieved to get there. Originally we had a route planned to take us through WV, VA, NC, TN, KY, then to SC. Thankfully we had a route change as we got into North Carolina which shot us straight down into SC. About ten and a half hours after leaving Slippery Rock, PA we finally pulled into the University Inn and Conference Center in Clemson. How was the hotel you may ask…WONDERFUL. Perfect for our purposes and several other teams were staying there as well so it was a great opportunity to network. Anyways, we got ourselves situated and into bed at a decent hour to get ready for check-in on Friday.

Friday morning, time to check-in. Alarms went off at about 7am to Hunter and Zeb’s dismay but I warned them beforehand it was going to be an early risin’ weekend! Lucky for them we were up so early because I wanted to see the Clemson’s campus and Death Valley, the football stadium. It was coincidental that USATs were chosen to be at Clemson because that is one of the places I am looking to further my education as obtain my PhD in Biomedical Engineering, so this trip was almost like a preliminary visit!! We made our way to campus and pretty much traversed the majority of it making our way to the bookstore (always need to go there!). Getting our new Clemson swag to wear back in PA was a must, then we went to check out the stadium.


Wow. We were very fortunate to actually get IN the stadium, like, down ON the field and on The Hill where Clemson’s team runs down each home game. I was in awe of how great that stadium was; hopefully I will get to see a game there someday! But we had our fun and made our way over to the race site to check-in. You know how this goes…name, number, go to this line, pickup your packet, yadda yadda yadda. The best part about this was the ‘swag’ each of the competitors received. I am actually wearing my jacket now, as I type. Very nice work on USATs end to get the athletes awesome gear. We pretty much dilly dallied for the next few hours until I was able to get into the lake for a practice swim. Now, I will give more details on this later but let’s just say that conditions on this day and conditions on race day were quite different…Nonetheless I did my thing and swam the course for about 20 minutes and headed up to the pre-race meeting. Rules, rules, officiating, penalties, no littering. The usual plus the added weather uniqueness. Everyone seemed pretty concerned about what we were going to be racing in the next day and for good reason. We didn’t stick around for much longer after the meeting and went and had dinner at the USAT Team Pasta Dinner. Again, very thankful to USAT for the awesome things they had for us that weekend. Ok that’s enough about the days up to the race…time for the real stuff…

Saturday, yuck. So its race morning, 50 degrees, steady rain. This ought to be fun! Pulled into transition around 5:35am, of course I need to be one of the first ones in transition like always. It was a nasty set up. Everything was soaked well before race start and I had to adjust my area from the norm to keep some things drier than others. Headed down to the swim start and desperately struggled to get my wetsuit on because I was already so wet. Big problem. I couldn’t completely get the arms pulled up to where I usually do and it cost me. Thankfully my Xterra Wetsuits Vendetta Full Suit is so form fit and buoyant because I made my own error with not putting it on completely right. Within the first 600m I could already feel my shoulders fatiguing, I knew what I had done and I had to just push through it. The weather caused some moderate water chop and the amount of guys in my wave (~150) made it even harder to get comfortable. Over 26 minutes later I was out of the water and headed to T1. Here’s where things went from bad to worse. After a swim about 5 minutes slower than my norm, I dropped my goggles, which are still somewhere in South Carolina, and my cap. I couldn’t locate my goggles so I had to settle just to pick up the cap so I didn’t obtain a time penalty. Let’s call this strike 1.

T1, the turtles passed me. Now I am usually REALLY quick in transition, but not today. Wetsuit was reluctant to come off, I had my set up different so I had to put things on in a different order, just not a good time. I finally made my way and was out on the stream, err, I mean bike course. Yes I am sure you can guess the course conditions by that last comment. Water. Everywhere. Continually coming down steadily with temps still in the low 50s. May have been one of the worst bike course experiences I have ever had. Bottles strewn all over the place, people pulled off the road, fear of hydroplaning at any moment, and actually people pulled out with hypothermia concern (or so I heard…). Now this was also a three loop course, all bikes in one traffic lane, with about 700 athletes on course at the same time. A bit nerve wracking don’t you think? Thankfully everything went well for the first 22 of 25 miles. Then, due to another dumb mistake, my right quad cramped badly. When it’s cold and raining you don’t really feel like you need to drink all of your fluids…guess what, you do, and I know better. The combination of that plus the cold and wet took its toll and likely caused my poor run time. So let’s call this strike 2.


T2, more like a mud run. Coming into T2 was relieving because I made it back safely which was the biggest concern and it had stopped raining. By the time I was heading into T2, plenty of other athletes had already and it created a huge area of mud right after the dismount. Unfortunately for me, as I was running the bike into T2, my front wheel caught one of the edges in the mud and shot to the left, causing the cable cover on my Trek Speed Concept to snap off. Of course, I had to go retrieve it. Strike 3. I was frustrated, cold, and hurting. Definitely not the best way to start 2015. I’ll save some disparity and just state that I ran a 44 minute 10k. Again, almost 5 minutes slower than what it should have been, especially the way I have been training. But on the positive side, I made it to the finish line which is the intention each time. I could have thrown in the towel plenty of times but decided not to. I was upset with myself but these things happen. That’s part of the sport. That means that things can only get better from here on out.


We really hit it hard over the winter and I can’t wait to show it. Now onto my sponsors, Epix Gear (race suit), Top Gear Bike Shop, Klean Athlete (nutrition and recovery), Gu Energy Labs (race nutrition), Rudy Project (helmets and sunglasses), Xterra Wetsuits, and RockTape. I could go on forever about these companies but I think I’ve rambled enough. Definitely check each of these companies out if you are getting into triathlon. They are the best in each of their respective categories and I couldn’t ask for anything more. Looking forward to another great year with you all!


We’ll be featuring Timmy more as the season progresses and until then, please visit him on via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!


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5/25/2015 Timmy’s Mom

Who else can be more proud of every single accomplishment this incredible young man has made??? I saw his first steps turn into the way he runs today. He was the kid that never needed training wheels on his bike. He just got on and rode. Look at him now. My Mom, his Grandma, LOVED the water and had him in the pool moving his arms when he was 10 months old. She’s looking down on him as he swims with pride.
Academically? I have a Master’s degree too. I work in Architecture. But his academics? Unreal! How he trains and keeps his grades so high in a major that most people cannot pronounce the name of the classes? He makes me so proud, every day, to say he is my son!
Love you Timmy! Thank you Klean Athlete for having such confidence in my son! You will never regret it!