Wow!  What a venue!  The Beijing, China Triathlon World Championships, held last weekend, which I participated in, were awesome!  I got my first look at the race venue, which was the site for 2008 Olympic games triathlon, on Thursday for a pre-race swim and bike course review.  Of the 400 plus triathlons I have competed in since 1978, nothing compares in quality to this race site!  Gorgeous overall setting nestled in the green mountains that make the Great Wall famous, and surrounded by ancient history, (the Ming Tombs lie within the bike course's perimeter), with an ancient pagoda, as the focal backdrop for the swim in a pefectly glassy lake swim; this course has it all!  Unfortunately, even the Beijing smog and bad weather.  The aquathlon was smoggy on Wednesday, and the sprint was cold and pouring with rain on Saturday, but the Olympic racers on Sunday had the perfect day to race fast, on an already lighting fast course!  Even the run was completely carpeted with rubberized mats the full length of the loop course, to ease the leg muscles and give some extra spring!  Perfect for my injured leg. I had great fun racing, came out of the water only some seconds behind the leader, and had a good bike, considering the conditions, and then enjoyed the loping run, to protect my injury, but still finish the race.  I accomplished most of my goals, and ran pain free, so 2012 bodes well for Burlington Nationaks and Aukland Worlds  next year. Heading off to do some sightseeing in Beijing today to include the Birds Nest and Water cube Olympic race venues, and then to the Forbidden City and the amazing National Center for the Performing Arts tonight.  Will tell you more about it soon! May you feel the wings on your feet! Scott Endsley

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