Indian Peaks Xterra Race Report
The day started out cold and misty, with clouds hanging over the continental divide. We stayed at a friend's house, about 30 minutes from the race site. We drove in early so I could get my race packet and get numbers on my bike. Lucky number seven this time. Nick was awesome with helping get my stuff ready. Normally, I have to do that all on my own. The transition area was a free for all, so I just claimed a patch of land that wasn't too muddy and got set up.
This was a time trial start, with about five seconds seperating each athlete. The water was cold!! The race director said that the water was 63. I think it was colder. I was the first woman in the water, with Sara and Jenny right behind me. The one thing I liked about the time trial start was that you got to get in the water and swim. It was not a boxing match in the first hundred yards. After my hands and feet warmed up, I quickly settled in a good rhythm. The swim is my strenth, and I was making up ground on my five and ten second guys. I got out of the water with the best womens swim time, pulled on my shoes and started running to T1. I opted to leave the wetsuit on until T1. I don't know if that was the smartest thing or not. Didn't seem to hurt any. I did struggle with the wetsuit a little more that I wanted. Forgot my Beljum Budder in my last minute backing!
This bike course was a blast. I did not get a chance to pre ride, and made a few mistakes because of it. Shifting, or more accuratly, not shifting. This was an up and down, twisty, rooty, muddy course through the Eldora Nordic Center ski trails. Half the time, I did not even know where I was in relation to the finish. Sara beat me out of T1. I hung on her wheel for a few minutes, longer then at Beaver Creek. Then she was gone. I didn't see her again. I felt like I was holding my own, not using the granny gear as much. Then Jenny passed me on the hike a bike section. At least she was walking too! It felt like I was just in the way, with the top age group men passing me. The time trial start made the bike lonely at times. I was not holding it together mentally this time. Crashing didn't help. Went around a turn, and was not ready for the washed out trail. My bike somehow landed on top of me as I went sprawling into the mud. Just a few bruises, but shaken up enough to be a little more timid for the rest of the ride. Coming into T2, I was still in third, but I didn't think I could make up ground. I just wanted to hold onto my podium position.
The run was just as much fun as the bike. There were some stretches on wide double track, but most of it was twisty single track. My favorite part was more like orionteering then trail running. There were strips of white tape tied to the trees and you were running from piece to piece. Never able to get into a rhythm, just keeping one eye on the ground and the other in the trees. True trail running, that made the race even more fun. I did manage to hold onto third, not loosing too much time to Jenny or Sara on the run.
All of the volunteers were awesome. So enthusiastic about everything, even when they had to be tired of standing around. I had a great time and hope to go back next year.
Next up, change bikes and hit the road. 5430 long course is on Sunday.