01 June 2017

XTERRA Alabama

Race Equipment and Setup:
     90ml of Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex Sealant, 22.0 psi Front, 24.0 psi Rear, 2.3 Fast Trak 
     Helmet: Rudy Project Windmax

     
     Pre-Race: 24oz Bottle of 1 serving of EFS Pro + Beta Red, and 20oz of water
                         Enduro Bite Dark Chocolate Espresso
                         3 Capsules of PreRace
     Bike: 2x24oz bottle with 4 scoops EFSPro
               2 servings EFS Liquid Shot
     Run: 1 serving EFS LiquidShot and on course hydration.
     Post Race: Cappuccino Ultragen

First Endurance VIP Friends Discount

After the travel and races in Argentina, Chile and Costa Rica it was great to be back at home in Colorado for six weeks and be able to put in a solid training cycle before XTERRA Alabama.  After those early races I was sitting in 2nd overall in the XTERRA Pan Am Series with Jean-Phillip ahead of me but had to race well to keep from guys like Josiah from catching me later in the year once they had more results.  The weather was a bit wacky with some snowstorms and cooler spring weather, which did not help trying to prep for the heat and humidity that we would experience this year.  After the last few years of cooler and rainy weather racing at Oak Mountain we were back to the normal, it wasn’t the worse it has been but it was tough on everyone.  The warm temps did heat the lake up and made for a perfect non-wetsuit swim.  For many guys this was the first race of the year and it was the best chance to see how strong everyone was and the field was stacked.
I don’t have the best start speed but can hang tough and tagged on to the back end of the front pack and settled in working to conserve energy but also I had to keep aware to make sure no gaps opened.  Right at the end as we were weaving our way through the back end of the amateur field a small gap opened up to a group of 3 as a few guys started to fade ahead of me.  I pushed the last part of the swim to keep the gap small and was able to speed through transition and moved in to 3rd.
Tight racing with Veit throughout the course
Karsten had a small gap off the front and Veit Hoenle was right in front of me as we rode the short distance to the trails, I tried to get ahead before we hit the singletrack but just missed and then at the quickest opportunity passed Veit, and tried to work to catch up to Karsten.  A couple miles in on a short dirt road section Paco Serrano flew by and I had no chance to catch his wheel.  Viet was strong and rode back up to me but I made sure to get back ahead of him when we jumped on the trails again.  It is important to ride as smooth as possible on the trails
 Rudy Project Tralyx and Photochomic clear lens were great for the low light.
in Oak Mountain, if you rush you make small mistakes and those will cost you time, since I was trying to play catch up I was making small mistakes and continued to loose little bits of time to Karsten and Paco on the twisting single track.  Once on the dirt road climb I had to keep the pressure on knowing that Josiah would be coming hard and there were a bunch of strong riders in Brian Smith, Chris Ganter, Ryan Ignatz and Kieran McPherson that would be working together chasing as well.  About half way up the climb Viet caught me and I tried to limit the gap
as we continued up the climb.  About ¾ of the way up Josiah caught me and I just didn’t quite have it to stay with him the last bit as it would have been a great wheel to sit on across the top of the ridge before the next single track section through Blood Rock.  Josiah caught Viet right at the top and Viet had the pleasure of sitting on Josiah’s wheel on the dirt road climb across the top.  I tried to use the 36 tooth ring on my SRM crank to my advantage and powered along but Josiah is so
strong there was little I could do to close that gap down.  I nailed the trails through Blood Rock and down the descent, before hitting a new change to the course hitting the flow trail of Jekyll and Hyde.  I managed to catch sight of Viet and knew that I could catch him as the rest of the course demanded better bike handling.  I continued to make small mistakes here and there thought and it took me until the very end of the course to finally catch him just as we entered transition.


Power File from SRM PC8 and XX1 Eagle Crank
Traction was never an issue with my Inov-8 X-Talon 212.




I headed out in 4th only 2 min down from Paco, Karsten and Josiah and knew that I would need them to really blow up in the heat to catch them.  Viet ran strong and passed me in the first mile and opened up a little gap but once we got on the trails and small hills and the heat were taking a toll and I stayed steady and cool carrying a iced bottle of EFS Pro and passed him back and put in a little surge so he would not stay with me.  I really pushed the sections of the run when the footing was trickier to continue to gain time.   At the start
of the second lap Brain Smith was flying and cruised past me I did my best to stick to him but he was on his way to the fastest run split that day and I had to stay sensible in the heat and not blow up.  There are more and more racers on the course and I used everyone of them as little carrots to keep pushing and focused on catch the next one ahead as quick as possible.  I was happy to make it through without feeling the heat that bad and held on to 5th.  I took over the lead for the Pan Am series and will be racing as hard as possible to keep that spot, there is a lot of racing left and anything can happen.  June will be bring more training races around Colorado before heading to Victoria BC Canada for the next XTERRA in July and that will be followed by XTERRA Beaver Creek the following Saturday.


11 April 2017

XTERRA Costa Rica

Race Equipment and Setup:
     90ml of Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex Sealant, 22.0 psi Front, 24.0 psi Rear, 2.2 Fast Trak 
     Helmet: Rudy Project Windmax
     Glasses: Rudy Project Tralyx 
     Glasses: Rudy Project Tralyx
     Pre-Race: 24oz Bottle of 1 serving of EFS Pro + Beta Red, and 20oz of water
                         Enduro Bite Dark Chocolate Espresso
                         3 Capsules of PreRace
     Bike: 2x24oz bottle with 4 scoops EFSPro
               2 servings EFS Liquid Shot
     Run: 1 serving EFS LiquidShot and on course hydration.

     Post Race: Cappuccino Ultragen

First Endurance VIP Friends Discount

XTERRA Costa Rica
After a few years I returned back for XTERRA Costa Rica, it was a great experience the first time and I was very happy things worked out to make back this year.  Once significant change I made was flying in to Liberia instead of San Jose and when you do this race that is the only way, it saves you a minimum of 6 hours in a car.  I was very happy about that after all of the travel that I had done in the preceding two weeks to Argentina and Chile.  The XTERRA Costa Rica crew had made some great course changes to the bike since the first year as well.  The race is very hard due to the very hot and pretty humid climate and the first year there was a tremendous amount of hike-a-bike and one very steep hill you were crawling up and trying to drag your bike with you.  They changed the course and there is one very steep hill that if things pack down just a bit would be ride-able but it is a very manageable hike-a-bike.  They added some new sections of trail and fun, so if you did the race in 2014 I highly recommend you go back, it is still tough but you will enjoy it a bit more.
The water is beautiful and a perfect temperature for a non-wetsuit swim that is just a touch chilly when you get in but it feels great once you start swimming and with a high of 99 anticipated for the day being a bit cold out of the water feels pretty good.  Because of the high temps we were off running to the water at 6am but it was definitely welcomed with how hot it would get out there.  The plan was the same get on Jean-Philippe’s feet but he started far left and I started far right and I just missed them after clearing the field after the start.  Ian King, Billy Gordon and I swam through the first lap and JP was about 15 sec up so we were staying closer than in Argentina and Chile.  I felt good and lead through the second lap and ever so slightly managed to shorten the gap to JP just a little bit, about half way through the lap I felt a few funny bumps during my stroke and could see some jellyfish floating around.  I was happy that it was only a few of them and not the thousands we were swimming through a few years before.  The current right at the shore was very strong and our timing was off and it was a big struggle trying not to get pulled back in.  Running to the bikes we were only about 10 sec down from JP.

Ian and JP got out quick and were riding to the beach and I laid chase to them, trying to find the hardest packed sand to ride on as we rode along the beach.  I slowly closed the gap down and we started the hike-a-bike together about half way up we heard someone charging from behind and Josiah was motoring us down.  We peaked over the top Josiah took the lead, with me behind, he got a stick stuck in his wheel and had to stop and I pushed on knowing it would not be long till he would be powering back up to us.  JP and I rode together and we jumped back on Josiah’s wheel when he went by and focused on just sticking there.  Josiah slowed on a corner and when he accelerated out of it neither one of us could match it and he slowly powered away.  We continued to work together to try to keep the pressure on and limit the gap he would get, a few kilometers later Kris Coddens rode his way up to us and powered away as well on the next hill.  Through the remainder of the ride JP and I continued to work together, I was more powerful on the flats and led much of it but JP would always be willing to put in as much work as possible.  We had a common goal to limit our losses to the front and to expand our lead on everyone else.  I knew I would like to get away from JP before the run as he has been quicker in the last two races but I was not quite strong enough on the flats to do so.  A big blessing through the race was that it was mostly cloudy and it kept the temperatures much lower and the sun from beating down on us though the bike, which is pretty well exposed for much of the course.
I grabbed my frozen bottle and bag of ice in transition to help stay cool and JP was able to get a gap to start as we headed up the hill on the run out of transition.  My legs were not going very well up the hill and JP easily ran away from me.  I did see Ian King and Ryan Ignatz come riding down the hill and knew that I had to run hard to keep them at bay.  Ryan has run me down a number of times and I didn’t want it to happen again.  Once I was able to get the legs going on the downhill I felt much better and was able to tick things over and just continued to run scared.  On my the second lap of a small loop in the middle of the run that the Olympic distance did twice a sprint racer, Sebastian Alfaro, was just entering the loop.  We ran together and were able to push each other and it helped keep the pace high.  The last 1.5 km’s of the run are tough on a sandy road that is relatively hard packed for most of it but there is a section about ¾ of the way through that is just running through soft sand.  It is brutal at the end of the race but we charged along, after I got through the soft sand I took a look back and saw Ryan coming.  I really pushed that last little bit in and thankfully for the first time really started to feel the heat of the day.  I held strong and finished in 4th and Ryan was not far behind in 5th.

Sorry I don't have any photos her is a link to a few:
https://augustteague.smugmug.com/XTERRA-Costa-Rica
XTERRA Costa Rica

07 April 2017

XTERRA Chile

Race Equipment and Setup:
Bike: Pro Cycling Epic with SRM XX1 156Q Crank
     Antiflat Protection: 90ml of Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex, 22.0 psi Front, 24.5 psi Rear, 2.2 Fast Trak 
     Helmet: Rudy Project Windmax
     Glasses: Rudy Project Tralyx 
Run: Colorado Running Company Inov-8 X-Talon 212
     Glasses: Rudy Project Tralyx
Race Nutrition: +First Endurance Triathlon Nutrition Plan
     Pre-Race: 24oz Bottle of 1 serving of EFS Pro Lemon, 20 oz bottle of water
                      3 Capsules of PreRace
     Bike: 24oz bottle with 5 scoops EFS Pro Lemon
              20oz bottle with 4 scoops EFS Pro
               2 servings of Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot
     Run: 1 serving of Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot and on course hydration.
     Post Race: Cappuccino Ultragen

After a brief time touring Buenos Aires after XTERRA Argentina it was time to head to Chile and get ready for the race there just south of Santiago near the vineyard region of Maipo.  It was a dramatic change from the barrenness of Argentina racing through the vineyards plump with grapes and up and down the surrounding hills through a few farms.  The swim was in a pristine and very new waterskiing lake, though the lake is not very deep, the chilly nights and cool mornings provided a wetsuit swim for everyone.  Everyone who raced in Argentina had come over to Chile and then a number of ITU road guys from Chile were racing as well.  The biggest threat was Felipe Barraza who had proven himself at Pan Am Champs with a top 5 finish there and a good race at worlds as well.  The ITU crew took the swim out much faster than last week the speed was just not there to stay on their feet.  Ian King, Julien Buffe, Gonzalo and I swam close to each other and exited the water a little less than a minute down from the front pack.


 The bike started through a flat stretch and I was able to get a bearing on where everyone was and settled into a strong rhythm and my legs felt better than last week.  After a couple km’s the course gets brutal and head up a 15% climb for a kilometer with a short hike a bike section, Gonzalo and I rode together through the first climb, down a steep descent in a controlled fishtailed slide and then worked together through the next flat section through a vineyard to the next climb.  The climb was not quite as steep as but it was much longer than the first one and Gonzalo was turning the pedals over.  My legs were moving much better than in Argentina and I rode a solid rhythm and climbed my way in to 4th by the top.  There was not much technical but the small short sections certainly caused some of the road guys problems on a rocky and rolling hill section before bombing down the other side of the hill.  A little over half way through there was a second hike a bike section and Felipe Molletta was riding his way to the fastest split and through the field and charged past me.  The last climb was almost as long as the first but a gentler grade but let legs were taking a toll from the steep climbing before and it was a slow suffer up the last climb.  I held strong down the last descent and got the legs to move well riding through the last flat section winding through more sections of vineyards and entered transition in 5th.
The legs really came around after a miserable run last week and I felt great off the bike and was running well.  The run mimics the bike for a while at the beginning and it is easy to get a good check on your competition as we wound our way through the flats for the first few kilometers.  Maxi Morales was the next guy back and I knew he could run, he was 8 minutes quicker than me in Argentina but I was able to get some splits to him on the flats and we were running the same pace and I got a huge boost in confidence.  Following the bike we went up the very steep climb and I felt good and kept the legs turning over but Maxi was quicker and was closing the gap.  We both descended like rocks down the steep hill, the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 were perfect for grip and I didn’t slip or slide at all going down the 30+% degree slope but Maxi’s small stature helped him maneuver a bit quicker on the corners and he caught me by the bottom.  We were both hurting but he had a little more in the tank and just slowly pulled away from me.  I was hoping that I could reel him back in but the legs were fading, I held on for 6th on the day.  Overall it was a much more positive race than Argentina in how I felt on the bike and run, there were just guys that were stronger on the day.  I have not met the expectations I had set for myself on this trip and I have one more race to do what I had set out to and it is going to be very challenging.
 






31 March 2017

XTERRA Argentina

On the eve of XTERRA Chile I figured I should get this out there.


Race Details:
     Antiflat Protection: 90ml of Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex, 22.5psi Front, 24.5psi Rear, 2.2 Fast Trak 
     Helmet: Rudy Project Windmax
     Glasses: Rudy Project Tralyx 
Run: Colorado Running Company X-Talon 212
     Glasses: Rudy Project Tralyx
     Pre-Race: 24oz Bottle of 1 serving of EFS Pro Lemon, 20 oz bottle of water
                      3 Capsules of PreRace
     Bike: 2 - 24oz bottles with 5 scoops EFS Pro Lemon in each,
               3 servings of Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot
     Run: 1 servings of Vanilla EFS Liquid Shot and on course hydration.
     Post Race: Cappuccino Ultragen

XTERRA Argentina
It has been way to long since I have updated the blog so here is to hoping I am starting on a right foot this year, I think I say this every year in some form.  I ended 2016 with a big trip to Australia and the ITU Cross Triathlon World Champs and then going on holiday in New Zealand, 2017 is the opposite with a big trip to start the year with a three-week trip to XTERRA’s in Argentina, Chile and Costa Rica.  I had been to South America one other time with a trip to XTERRA Brazil a while ago and was excited to see a couple new countries before returning to Costa Rica.

One of the best parts about racing XTERRA’s is they will take you to places that you would not really think to go and experience and that is certainly the case with the race in Argentina just out side of San Juan at Dique del Ullum.  It is a unique landscape at a man made lake with the foothills of the Andes on one side and the race venue is in a barren desert with hills and ravines all over.  Being in South America in March it is the tail end of their summer and the temperatures were still very warm and the lake was warm as well for a nice non-wetsuit swim.  I started well but could not catch the feet of Jean-Phillepe or Julian Buffe.  The first open water swim of the year always feels long to those of us that do not have the opportunity do it in the off season, but the crew at XTERRA Argentina set a perfect and accurate course.  I worked to stay as smooth and efficient as possible and not let JP and Buffe get to much time.  I lost about 45 secons and exited the water in 3rd with Gonzolo Tellechea just behind.
The bike is two laps and very reminiscent of the old XTERRA Vegas course but a lot more fun.  After a loose gravel ride around the edge of the lake we reached the trails that are short punchy climbs then twisting descents down the ravines, with pumping rhythm sections.  The legs struggled to fire smoothly and I need it with all the moon dust and loose gravel and sand, Gonzolo was floating across everything and I was fighting to keep the bike going and you can’t fight the bike and try to power through in these conditions.  After he got away I was in a back and forth battle with Julian for most of the ride.  There is a brutal steady climb a dry riverbed in loose sand and gravel that really zaps the legs and I continued to struggle just feeling like I was sinking to the bottom while others were floating on top.  The climb does earning a fun twisty descent with sets of whoops and but on the first lap I could not get in to a good flow.   On the second lap Maxi Morales floated by on the loose gravel and sand.  I did get into a good grove and found the flow of the trail and managed to really break free on the last section and earned a little gap heading in to the run over Julian.
The temperatures were climbing and there is no respite from the sun on the barren course, I grabbed small icy bottle of EFS as I started the run to keep hydrated and cool from the inside out.  The run is very hard and a lot of it is a sort of choose your own adventure as there was rarely a defined trail.  Trudging up a dry riverbed that seems to never end, there are a mix of red bags and the red XTERRA arrows lining the course giving a guideline of where to go.  I kept my head up trying pick the shortest line but trying to find the hardest packed earth as I went from one bag to the next.  After a dismal stagger up the river bed I finally reach the peak, I used every bit of traction my Inov-8 X-Talon 212 provided on the steep dusty rolling hills along the top before and heading down another dry loose gravelly river bed spotting one red bag to the next while avoiding long spine cacti.  I was never sure where I was until the last kilometer of the run and it was a very welcome sight.  I was grateful that I did not have to battle anyone coming up from behind and crossed the line in 4th.









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