Maarten Bout – USA Triathlon 2021
Maarten Bout competed in the USA Triathlon Olympic and Sprint distance National Championships on August 7th & 8th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Both of these races were the largest fields in USAT history with 6,000 athletes competing.
Maarten placed 6th in the Olympic distance 40-44 category and 3rd in the 40-44 category and 3rd in the Master’s category in the Sprint Distance.
The swimming portion of the course was held in a protected marina in frigid water of Lake Michigan. The bike portion was mostly flat with one large (huge perhaps) bridge to climb. The run was completely flat with beautiful scenery along the lakefront. The heat and humidity in the Olympic race was brutal. The race-time temperature was around 85° with 85% humidity, but no wind.
In the last mile of the Olympic race, Maarten’s heart rate was a calm 191 average. Despite getting dunked on in the swim portion, losing everything out of his flat kit while abruptly braking to avoid collision, and having someone step on and break his sunglasses in the run, it was an amazing race. Landing on the podium to finish the day made everything worth it!
The day after the Olympic race, Maarten was pleased to see so many athletes “do the double” which means competing in both championships back-to-back. During the Sprint race, Maarten was 6th out of the water, and 2nd to finish the biking portion. Maarten passed the defending National Champion Andrew Hollland on the first turn of the ride.
Near the end of the biking portion, another podium contender Jim Hallberg passed Maarten and they exchanged a few words about the field. Jim transitioned just a few seconds before Maarten entering the final running portion, but they remained close the entire run. Andrew Holland found a fresh pair of legs and ended up passing Jim and Maarten in the closing minutes of the race. Andrew ended up finishing about twenty seconds before Jim, and Maarten followed closely, only twelve seconds behind. A very close podium race, with the fourth place finisher over a minute and half behind the top three.
Maarten finished the weekend with his most productive Nationals ever! Maarten’s outstanding performance qualified him for the World Championships in Abu Dhabi and Montreal in 2022!