Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hello Win - XTERRA Versailles race report

Just like the trails my blogging has had its ups and downs since Maui. So let's skip the boring descriptions of countless hours on the indoor trainer, all the winter training and race prep, oh and the three races I have under my belt this year - including a less than stellar XTERRA Southeast Championships (despite a World Championship qualification), an OA 1st female at a local sprint tri, and a 2nd OA female XTERRA Logansport.

Let's get to it, my XTERRA Versailles Race Report:
Finish - 1st OA Female, 12th finisher
Finishing time: 2:15
Course: 1K swim, 13 mi bike, 5 mi run.
Rig: Ti 29r HT
Shoes: Salomon S-Lab

Al and I headed out Wednesday morning with the thought of camping for a few days, hitting the trails for our pre-ride early and more or less just chillin'

car campers
Trail conditions were ideal in the days leading up to the race. Nice flow and you could take the turns without fear of wiping out.

The rig "filthy whore"
Last year's 3rd place OA finish and 2012's 2nd OA finish had me thirsty for the win.  Friday night the weather forecast called for a little rain, enough to wet down some of the dryer parts of the trail, I was totally cool with that. But you know, Mother Nature has her own idea of "cool." So what? It rained! Well I hate rain on a bike course, especially a Midwest bike course. It makes roots slimy, rocks like ice and mud like glue. RAIN IS DEFINITELY a negative trigger for me. But I'm learning to talk that monkey down. It's just rain, everyone has to deal with it. You know what they say, "Honey Badger don't give a shit."

XTERRA's are the bomb-diggity in the sense that they don't start until 9 a.m. So the off road athlete need not fear those zombie-eyed triathletes toting their aero shit down to transition at four dark thirty.

No waves for the competitors this day. I lined up in the front and I was off. The non wetsuit legal swim was 1K in distance and my goal was to find feet. Sadly, none were to be had. Although my buddy Brad was deff on mine. I kicked it in the last 150-200 yards, lost Brad and heard a spectator say "first female," daaanggg! I ran into transition, heard Brad call out "go get it girl," and I was off on my bike.

Cliffside trail pre ride #1
The bike course boasts a great hill right off the bat once you duck into the woods off the road. I passed a couple of dudes on the hill and I heard wheels behind me once at the top. I offered the pass, but the guy declined. we go then. I ended up pulling three guys for the next five miles, none looking to pass. I figured this meant I was riding well. Never did I see another female anywhere on the bike course. It was a one loop course with a ton of twists and turns so getting a line on who was where was not an option. There was only one crash for me and I'm fairly certain it was a sniper cuz I couldn't figure out what took me down, but then again I was on my bike again pretty quick.
K & Al Trail selfie

Braveheart Wattie! <3
Into T2 I dismounted, heard RD announce that I was the 1st female and I was off again. I made mental note to tread lightly on bridges and rocks knowing they were slippery from the rain. That didn't seem to matter, I was down before I knew it - snipers be sneaky! Just like the bike course the run sends you up some pretty technical terrain, lots of climbing right off the bat.
Pre ride #2

A little rest along the Cliff side
My legs felt pretty heavy after the bike, I really pushed it this year trying hard to employ all of the countless hours of bike training I've put in since December. Thanks Les! Brad caught up to me around 2 miles in. We shared a few steps and I urged him to go on! I wanted to run my own race, not maintain his pace. Smart mental move on my part, last year I would have never done such a thing - Thanks Si!

The ladies! 

Good friends

The last mile has a nice gradual down hill. Picking up speed I could hear the RD and I hammered it home. I saw Al at the finish and the look of surprise on his face was priceless! I don't think he thought I had it in me - like I said, rain gets in my head. Let's just say there was a lot of self talk on the course that day.

Feeling proud!