Hi sponsors.  The 2012 season is a wrap and I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your generous contribution to a successful year. 

My last race was Junior Elite World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.  This race is the pinnacle of junior triathlon talent and often displays future stars of the sport.  Prepared as ever, I had my sights set 100% on gold and would settle for nothing less.  During the race, I was 30 seconds down from the leaders on the bike and knew that if I took some risks to catch them before the run I would have a realistic shot at the win.  As I began to chip away at the gap, the pouring rain and slick roads posed the threat of crashing.  Going through a downhill section I decided to take some corners at high speed, and before I knew it I hit the deck and slammed face-first into a barrier.  My natural instinct said, “Get back in the race, there’s still a chance!”  So I immediately grabbed my bike, mounted, and tried to pedal.  Unfortunately the gears were jammed and I had to hop back off to fix it.  Once I reached down to find the problem, I realized that I wasn’t able to fully use my left hand.  Then the worst feeling of helplessness sunk in, as I stood there dazed in the middle of the racecourse unable to fix my bike and continue.  Later, I discovered that I had broken my wrist during the fall.  In hindsight, I am proud of my effort and tenacity going for the win despite the resulting crash and disappointing withdrawal from the race.  It was still a great trip and experience that I look forward to applying toward future World Championships.

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To recap the season, I finished the year ranked in the top 200 elite triathletes in the world and ranked #14 in the USA with 8 top 10 finishes and two overall wins.  My year included a bronze medal in U23 National Championships, a bronze medal in Junior National Championships, and an 8th place finish among USA elites in the National Championships.  I believe I am the first USA triathlete in history who has raced in both junior and elite national championships in the same year.   I am also proud to have been one of 7 athletes to be selected to attend USAT’s “Road to Rio” camp this summer in Europe. 

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Next year I will be race age 20 and will no longer be a junior.  My racing will consist primarily of ITU elite racing but I will also hopefully be racing in some collegiate races as well as other non-draft races.   I will continue my triathlon career under the guidance of my excellent coach, Greg Mueller, as we strive toward our goal of the Olympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.   I can’t thank you enough for your support this past year and I hope that you will consider continuing your support into 2013. 

Thank you so much! 

William Huffman