With absolute resolve, Ethan Porter, a junior at Boulder City High School, finished the 2019 USA Triathlon Junior National Championship on Saturday in West Chester, Ohio, while suffering from food poisoning after eating at an area restaurant.
Porter finished 69th out of 75 competitors.
Barely able to compete, Porter’s aspirations of a top 25 finish were dashed. For him, the silver lining was just being able to finish the race after a treacherous year of training.
“Nationals was really bittersweet for me,” he said. “I had all these hopes of finishing in the top 25, and going into the event, I felt really good about my chances. I’ve worked really hard for this, so it was disappointing that I wasn’t able to compete anywhere near my best. I am happy I was able to finish though.”
Physically and emotionally drained, Porter said he thought of quitting during the triathlon several times before powering through to complete the course with an overall time of 1:09.36.
“Honestly, there were a lot of times where I wasn’t feeling well and I just wanted to stop,” Porter said. “I really wanted to quit, but I just couldn’t. I trained too hard for this moment, and I gave it everything I had to finish the best I could.”
Porter powered through the 750-meter swim, 12-mile bike ride and 3-mile run to the finish line.
Starting out strong, Porter placed 31st after the swimming event before running out of steam because of dehydration and lack of food.
Porter’s splits for the race were a 10:14 swim, a 32:38 bike ride and a 23:42 run.
Motivated now more than ever, Porter said he is excited to get back to the grind of training for next year’s event with the hope of reaching his top 25 goal.
“Honestly, I’m frustrated with how nationals turned out, but I’m motivated to get back to training,” he said. “This is what I love to do. I plan to train year-round to reach my goals.”
Porter will compete in cross-country this fall for the Eagles, where he will look to earn an individual state meet berth.
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.