After XTERRA East Champs in Richmond I stayed out east for the Washington DC tri the following week. Christine Jeffrey and I stayed at Patti and Jon for a few days continuing to train in Richmond. Jon helped us out getting us in to the Univ. of Richmond pool a couple times and Jon and I had a good road ride as well before we ventured off to Fredericksburg. My hometown bud and college roommate TJ let Chris and I borrow his van to get around which we thought looked like a stalker or pedophile van but couldn’t have done without making to transport out bikes and bad around in. We stayed with fellow Xterra racer Suzie Snyder and Chris in Fredericksburg for a few days and she showed us the spots to train and had a great time kicking back. Then late on Friday we swapped cars again with TJ to his Jetta just managing to load all our crap in it and headed up to DC. It was great to get to DC and get to spend the next few days with my cousin Megan who also opened up her house to us going into DC. I was great to get to spend so much time with friends and family during the week between the races. All of you made the week so much fun and your help and support made the trip so much easier.
I did the DC Tri as part of the 5150 series in my attempt to qualify for the 5150 Championship at the Hy-Vee Triathlon later this year. I didn’t have a great race in Miami so I needed to knock out a good one in DC to have a chance to qualify when I did my third race at Boulder Peak a few weeks down the road. I also relished in the idea of racing in DC, I had been once before and we did a quick driving tour of DC but didn’t really get to see the city.
|All set and ready to go|
The swim was in the Potomac it was a clean swim not battling with other athletes and it was easy to know exactly where you were in the swim with some of the largest buoys I have seen marking every 100 meters of the swim. Though the seams were sharp as I skinned myself on one of them. I exited about 1:30 back of the leader and not to far down from the main group.
The 5150 organizers don’t believe in flow through transition where everyone runs the same distance through transition getting their bike. So because my name is Rakita I had to run farther than Bales to get to my bike or if your a race favorite you get special close treatment as well being towards the end of the rack. Sometimes it is the little things that make a difference in whether you decide you will return to the race the next year or not.
Regardless I was still racing and grabbed my bike and took off on to the course. This was the first race with my SRM Rotor 3D+ crank and I monitored it to make sure I didn’t go to hard out of the gate which I think I have done in the past and I pay for it later. I locked into my power as we rounded the Washington Monument and headed down Constitution Ave with the Capitol directly in front of us.
|Locked and loaded.|
|The light rain make the corners a bit dicey.|
A quick U-turn and we then headed out coming with in a couple blocks of the White House and then headed through the George Washington University campus before crossing back and forth 4 times on out and back sections in front of the Lincoln Memorial and the Kennedy Center. I locked in with a group of 4 other guys and we traded off leads for the two lap bike. We did a good job of staying out of trouble as we saw a couple of guys get pulled over for drafting violations. We lost a bit of time to the front group up the road but was hoping that I would have the same legs as I did in Richmond and be able to cruise up a few spots on the run.
|Thinking this is going to be a long day.|
|Slowly making my way past Washington Monument|
After a quick transition our group headed out and I was in trouble, my legs felt like lead weights and I couldn’t get my turnover going at all. I was thankful for the overcast sky otherwise things could have gone down hill even quicker if the sun had really been beating down. I tried to dial into a decent pace but it just wasn’t there. Downhills didn’t help get things going, I was just stuck and one pace and it was slow. I lost a few spots and ended in 18th. Again much lower than what I was hoping for and it certainly wasn’t going to help my prospects of getting the needed points to qualify for Hy-Vee.
After I got home I sat down with my coach and we looked at things and decided that it wouldn’t be worth it to race the third qualifier at Boulder Peak and to just focus on Xterra Mountain Champs which were the weekend after Boulder.
After the race though Chris and I packed things up and then after a nice dinner we headed back down town with Megan as our chauffeur and got some great night pics of some of the monuments.
|Capitol looming over the finishline.|
|Looking back across the National Mall at the Capitol.|
|Lincoln Lit Up|
|Washington Monument with the 50 flags around the base|
|World War II Memorial with the Lincoln Memorial in the back ground.|