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Marriott qualifies to represent U.S.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

(Photo)
Delbert Marriott
MASON, Ohio -- Delbert Marriott, a substitute teacher for Sikeston Public Schools, qualified to represent the United States at the Duathlon World Championships in Newfoundland.

The National Duathlon Championships, held May 7th in Mason Ohio, consisted of a 10k(6.2mile) run, a very brutal 25.5mile bike, followed by a 5k(3.1mile) run.

"I went into this race thinking that it was just another race, but as I stood at the starting line, I realized that I was about to race the nation's best athletes, 250 guys all trying to be the National Champion, the best from each state, all willing to bleed to be victorious."

Marriott admits to racing too conservatively in the opening 10k, putting him at a 5 minute deficit starting the 25.5 mile bike course. In fear of not qualifying for Team USA, he had no choice but to "put the hammer down" on the bike course.

"I thought of my close friend and fellow athlete, Tony Rigdon, and drew inspiration from that. Tony's in a lot of pain right now, but I know that he wishes he could be on that bike course with me." (Rigdon was struck by a vehicle while competing in the Steamboat Classic Triathlon in Cape Girardeau and is now recovering at his home in Columbia, MO). Marriott pushed a pace of 25mph on the non-drafting course with several 200-300 ft. climbs, producing the fastest bike split ever on that course. "The (bike course) record belongs to Cyclewerx just as much as it belongs to me," Marriott claimed "They're my pit crew and I'm the horsepower."

Marriott held his position through the final 5k run to secure his spot as a member of Team USA.

"It's an honor to be a part of Team USA and have the opportunity to represent my family, community, and country at a world level event. I'm excited and hope to make everyone proud."