10 June 2011

Lets get caught up shall we

Its been a busy month since ITU Cross World Champs in Spain, after a weekend at home it was back to the road for the next Xterra.  It was a return to northern California for Pacific Champs in Santa Cruz.  Leading into the race the weather was great, warm temps the course was dry and a bit loose, however a strong rain storm overnight change the course so it was a bit wet and slippery and chilled things down greatly.  It was a split transition so after setting up T2, we jumped on the bikes and rode over to T1 for a brisk warm up along the coastline.  Thankfully I brought my 2XU Cycle jacket to keep me toasty on the way over.
Pre-Ride to Transition, Photo Conrad Stoltz
The swim was as to be expected a chilly mid 50’s two lap affair through some decent chop to help break things up.  The chop made it hard to stay on the feet in front of you but I managed to find my usual spot behind Seth and Chris through the first lap.  During the run between laps I jumped to the front and pushed hard to see if I could gap things out a bit more and held strong till we rounded the final turn buoy and Seth jumped back in front.
Chris J, Seth W and myself in 2XU V:2 headed for 2nd lap, Dan H is just getting out of the water, Photo XTERRA
Seth and I headed out on the bike and charged along the first 5 mile section all along the road working together to try to keep the gap we had built out of the swim unaware of how close anyone was behind. 

Seth and I starting the first section of the bike, Photo XTERRA
Dan Hugo caught us just before hitting the dirt and that is when I felt my legs go.  I felt like I was riding a flat tire but it was not being able to put together great training for the last month with all the racing and traveling.  I tired to ride solid and consistent, after a few more miles Conrad powered up to me and I rode hard till we reached a point where he could pass.
Cranking over the top of the first climb, the Ergon GX2 Leichtbau Carbon grips perfect choice, PHOTO XTERRA
After finally peaking out over the top we reached one of two good sections of fun singletrack through the redwoods.  The dirt section consisted of three sections, sunny long bumpy, rocky undefined singletrack and road climbs to soft tacky sweet singletrack where it was almost dark from the redwoods over head to a slick, wet dirt road descent where there was no traction and you were just sliding though the corners.
Hitting the descent into the Redwoods staying stable with my Sidi Terra's, Photo Nils Nilsen
I lost one more place to Josiah along the second stepped road climb and lost a bit more time on the descent after sliding out and hitting the deck on the road back down to T2.
I started the run and immediately saw Craig and Trevor Glavin coming up the hill in to T2.  It gave me a bit of worry since Trevor had just rocked Ironman St. George the weekend before and was crushing it here.  Thankfully the legs responded and I was able to stay steady through the run.  Along the way is was inspiring to see Jamie Whitmore out racing again after her battle with cancer and then having twins.  Having her out helped boost me knowing that this is nothing compared to what she went through with cancer.
Headed along a short section of beach, Photo Nils Nilsen
There was a bit of fun on the few quick sections of trail, dropping down to a small beach section then along the cliff edge trail back up.  It was then a long flat run through farm fields back toward the finish.  I held Craig and Trevor off and finished with another solid 5th place.

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