10 July 2012

Quick and dirty XTERRA East

Well XTERRA East Champs were a few weeks ago and here is a quick and dirty recap of the race.  Thankfully we did not have the complete cluster of riding through 90% of the field like last year, XTERRA finally listened, or rather learned by their mistake of not listening to us last year.
Setting up transition and getting pumped.  (Jesse Peters/Backlight Photography)
It was an earlier start time but I will take that any day when the heat is on!  The swim was the best it could be for swimming in a mid town river, it was the clearest I have ever seen, which could be good or bad depending on your point of view.  It was easy to see all the rocks and trees and random trash in the water, the water level was perfect so we weren't scraping over rocks.  As has been custom, Conrad and I swam together and trailed Craig by about 45 seconds.
Exiting the water at Belle Isle with Conrad for the mid swim jog. (Jesse Peters/Backlight Photography)
I hammer the long run to transition threw on the GPS tracker (hopefully you watched the race unfold live and enjoyed it) and put a small gap the big man which was very necessary since I bobbled getting my shoes on but managed to jump in his draft on the road section that lead into the singletrack.  It is a sight to see trying to follow Conrad on the trails, some innovative lines that just make you think and wonder if there is anything he hadn't tried.  I held as best I could but the power he put down would blow me to smithereens half way through the first lap if I tried to follow him and just tried to use him as best I could to get up to Craig.  I did get Craig in sight but after having a problem getting in my pedal after a dismount run up section I lost the chance as he took off with Conrad.

Stepped run up, after a quick culvert ride.  (Jesse Peters/Backlight Photography)
I tried to stay smooth through the Forest Hill section of the course but I was not comfortable riding through the corners and felt like I was constantly stopping and going.  Then on a small drop I had ridden well in pre ride I hit a faster than planned and the front tire turned out from under me and down I went down with the saddle catching the loose bits in the process.  I got back up but I had to ride easy for the next few minutes from the intense pain in my crotch.  Josiah was flying and passed me while I was soft pedaling and gave him room so that he could easily pass on the trail.  Slowly the pain subsided and I managed to pick up the pace just enough to go through what I would call the Mardi Gras section of the trail.  An intense cheering section had set up on a short rock climb that was a huge boost and helped to bring a smile over the pain of all that had happened and I just wanted to get back to this section of the course as fast as possible.

Some idea of what was going on, hill billy-redneck-mardi gras!  It rocked! (Jesse Peters/Backlight Photography)

I pressed on trying to keep Josiah in sight as much as possible but he slowly disappeared.  I hit the aid station and noticed I had lost my bottle in the crash and was thankful for Chris to be there with my second bottle as with the temperature climbing it would have been a very long day without my EFS.  I hit the last section of the first lap and Josiah was off the trail with a mechanical.  The only thing I could think was sorry but you have to take advantage of every opportunity presented and I charged ahead since he was just fixing things and not injured.

Opposite of the run up, the rock garden decent into the stream and back through the culvert. (Jesse Peters/Backlight Photo)
I was getting a little more comfortable on the second lap but my riding was still suffering after the crash.  Was smoother through the small drop and didn't crash this lap as I slowly heard someone coming back up on me.  I assumed it was Josiah and thought it was after he passed only to realize that it was actually Will Kelsay that was tearing it up on the bike.  I sucked on to his wheel, Josiah caught up a bit after and we three rode together from the Nickel Bridge to the aid station.  On the North Side trail I pushed too hard in a corner and washed the front tire out scraping up my forearm and sending a bit of a rattle through my confidence again.  Picking myself up once again I knew that with a good run I could battle my way back into it and pushed it in to transition.

SRM Powerfile from the XTERRA East Championship
I was about 45 seconds down from Josiah and Will heading out on the run and put my head down and found my stride.  Slowly I chipped away at the gap to Will through the first couple miles leading into the Mayan Ruins and got to within 10-15 seconds of him at the steps.  As we headed down the long gravel road to the turn around I started to get the familiar overheating feeling and was looking for shade and water where ever I could find it.  Through the exposed dry river bed and on Belle Isle Will slowly slipped away and I crossed the line in 5th.

XTERRA East Champs Podium (Jesse Peters/Backlight Photography)
Next up XTERRA Mountain Champs in Beaver Creek, many changes to the style of racing through the rest of the year.

Photos Courtesy of Jesse Peters XTERRA East 2012 Photos

Nitty Gritty Details:
Clothing: 2XU Compression Tri Singlet, 2XU Compression Tri Short

Swim: 2XU Comp goggles and 2Toms SportsShield.

Bike: Pro Cycling Specialized S-Works Epic 29, 2.2” Fastrak @ 25psi on the front and 2.0” at 29psi on the rear, Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex sealant 80ml in each wheel, SRM Rotor 3D+ crank 40-27 Q- Rings, Sidi Terra, Ergon HX2 glove and GS1 GripRudy Project Windmax helmet w/large visor and Rudy Project Noyz w/ImpactX Photochromic clear lens.
Bike Nutrition: 2-20oz bottles of First Endurance EFS Orange and 2 gels.

Run: Colorado Running Company Inov-8 X-Talon 212 with 2Toms BlisterShield and Rudy Project Noyz w/ImpactX Photochromic clear lens

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