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:
XTERRA Costa Rica

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