14 March 2012


I wanted to add a big of adventure to the season and so I decided to start off the year in style with a three week journey to the South Pacific.  I took off from Colorado Springs on March 5th at 6am and once all was said and done landed in Guam at 8pm on Tuesday March 6th.  I tried to figure out the best way to deal with the possible jet lag and laid out a plan of sleeping on the two flights from the Springs to Honolulu and then would stay up on the long leg from there to Guam.  Overall it worked pretty well, it was hard to stay awake the last couple hours of the flight into Guam but made it and I managed to sleep in Wednesday morning till 5 then managed to fall back asleep for a couple hours.  My stay in Guam was supported in a rather unique fashion and shows how small the world can be.  My homestay was with Julie Mages a fellow Durango Demon and CSU alum, also the sister of an old soccer teammate Matt Mages.  It was great to start the trip with a friend and "local" to help get to know the area, Julie and her husband Mike were amazing hosts and I can't thank them enough for everything you went way above and beyond, you really make my journeys possible.

The first few days were focused on pre riding and running the course and getting a little fun mixed in with some meet and greets arranged by the race director Eric, who did an amazing job getting everything organized.  On Wednesday we did a q&a of any mountain bike tips then we went down to Chamorro Village for dinner and a little of the local culture.  On Thursday had a quick press conference (Article) and that night the pre-race briefing and a little mixer to meet more of the athletes.  On Friday I met up with Will Kelsay, Jamie Whitmore and her husband Courtney for a quick final course preview on the bike so see how the conditions would be slightly muddy and to get a feel and dial in the right lines.  It proved a little costly.  I cut a corner a bit to much and ended up in a bit rut and came down hard on the saddle and broke the clamp on the top of the seatpost.  We finished out the ride with me standing the rest of the way, thankfully it was mostly downhill and we were towards the end.  The rest of the day was spent getting things organized for the race and I managed to track down a seatpost to borrow for the time being.  Though to keep things an adventure on the way to pick it up Will and I ran out of gas in the car (it really isn't our fault, the gauge still read 1/4 tank remaining!).  Being in a "foreign" country it was fun with no cell phone to call anyone, so we walked around the neighborhood searching for a wifi signal to poach and managed to send our savior Erin an email.  Luckily she got it and came and bailed us out going to get gas and then proceeded to get the seatpost at her house and Will proceeded to shave his head.  

After all of that it was race morning before I knew it and time to get it on.  I am not used to XTERRA's starting so early but I knew I knew I would be very thankful to get it done early out of the heat.
The swim was a two loop ocean swim in a calm bay, I knew that I needed to get out quick and wanted to try to jump on Ben Allen's feet but couldn't hold them, I lead Olivier Marceau through the first lap and he led the second as we exited the water a little over a minute down from Ben.

The bike starts on a paved section with a mile flat then heads up a nice hill to the top of the course.  I stayed with Olivier till about half way up the climb as we tried to reel Ben back in.  I was hoping that once we got on the dirt I would be able to use some technical skill to help close the gap but it never happened.  I am not used to slick muddy conditions, and these weren't that bad but I just did not ride well in the race.  I rode pretty well the day before but I think the crash was mentally affecting me and I went down early again on the dirt which didn't help.  I tried to keep it smooth but just was not feeling the flow of the course and slowly was losing time to Ben and Olivier.  About half way through Cedric Lassonde came storming through and I did my best to stay with him for as long as I could but he was the strongest man on the bike that day and I just didn't have it.  I kept fighting knowing that anything can happen and came into transition about 3min down from the lead and a minute and a half behind Cedric.
It was then on to the gem of the race, the run.  Just on the preview a few days earlier it was a blast and I couldn't wait to get out and race it.  After slogging back out the road you start heading up hill which slowly gets steeper and steeper then a quick jump off of a small cliff and then to the river.  I was hoping that one of the three ahead would falter and I might be able to gain some ground.  Pushing as I ran under the bridge to the first of a series of waterfalls.  It was a stupid amount of fun half crab-walking, half running down some of them.  It was crazy to think that some were near vertical and 10-15 feet high but if you stayed in the path of the water your shoes stuck like glue and you didn't slide at all.  After decending a number of them it was all about how fast you could run through a flowing river bed that varied from ankle deep to chest deep.  I dove through the sections that were chest deep and swam and used the best of my trail running abilities to fly downstream.  I never managed to close the gap the the racers ahead and after trying to ford the ocean along the coast line which was 3 feet higher than when we pre ran the course I crossed the line in 4th.
 A big congrats to Ben Allen for taking the win, he really improved his riding and was impossible for me to catch, Olivier was strong as always in 2nd, with Cedric rounding out the podium.
Race Reports from local Guam paper and the XTERRA Report
 I will post some video of the bike and run courses after I edit the footage down some but you can enjoy some more pictures, through my website.
I will also have a quick update of some for the post race activities and getting to go scuba diving for the first time, all I can say is that it was awesome I am working on getting the pictures!

1 comment:

  1. Great race report! Thank you for coming to Guam to race. Hope to see you and your friends next year!!