Xterra Lory Race Report

I know that this is out of order, but I still haven't finished writing the 24 Hours in the Sage report! It's coming, I promise.

Xterra Lory was a great race. I loved the course - The swim was in a protected cove of Horsetooth Res and was very well marked. The bike was a good mix of terrain, from a long climb with rock gardens, tight switchbacks and water bars to a fast and technical descent to the long undulating valley trail. The run climbed up the hill from the bike course and then back down to the finish line. And I thought the slip and slide at the end of race was perfect for a hot day. My plan going into the race was to push the pace on the swim, then try to hammer the bike and survive the run. A little different then how I normally approach a triathlon, but given the Achilles issues I've been working with, it seemed logical. And it worked out well. I had a strong swim, a really good bike and held onto the win with the run, finishing in 1:47:28. Tess Amer was second woman in 1:50:04 and Jaime Brede was third in 1:50:10.

Because the water was 74, I was not allowed to wear my wetsuit. Happy about that because it would take me longer to put the wetsuit on then it would to swim, but unhappy because I really wanted to practice getting the darn thing off. Oh well. I was in the first wave with Jaime, the men elites and the younger guys. The mood at the start was relaxed. At the sound of a buzzer, we were off. I got into a good position and started swimming hard. The bouys were moving quickly and I was swimming through the faster starters. At the turn, a brief pause for sighting and off I went back to shore. Had one near collision with an on-coming swimmer, but made it back to sure without any other incidents. I felt really good about the swim, worked hard and made sure that I pushed the last half.
12:13 - including a beach run

My transition was a little slow (1:21) - someone knocked Jaime's bike over my set up and I needed to re-rack it. But other then that, smooth and efficient with the transition. I was off on the bike and pedaling hard. There was a short section of single track, then a bit of road to spread out the field, then onto the main climb. I knew that Jaime was behind me and she is a strong rider. I would need to ride hard to hold her off. Onto the climb, and I was steadly pedalling in middle-big. I caught a few of the faster swimmers, had a few slower swimmers catch me. Cleaned almost everything on the climb, with the exception of one really tight switchback and two silly errors on some water bars. Then it was time for the down hill. Fast, fun, with a few tight switchbacks and plenty of rock gardens. At one of the trickier corners, there were three guys cheering for everyone. I think they expected me to crash or unclip like the man in front of me - no such luck. Made it through cleanly. After the fun of the down hill, it was time for the Valley trails. Mostly big, some middle ring riding - just steady pedalling, watching the sandy corners and keeping the tempo high. A few more guys caught me on the valley trails, but no sign of Jaime. That was the good news. I also was surprised how strong I felt on the rolling single track. Given how tired I felt coming into the race, I was a little concerned about that.
53:27

The second transition was a little faster (:48) - not many other bikes around. Swapped cycling gear for running gear and took off. I was not looking forward to the run. My Achilles tendons were both tight and irritated from the marathon in Oregon and from the long hike after Xterra Mountain Championships. Running uphill hard with already irritated tendons was not the best of ideas. I was very concered about that, so had planned my race accordingly. The first thing I noticed when I got off the bike was how tired my legs were. I had ridden harder then normal and was feeling it. There wasn't any pain in my calves, so I took off at a steady tempo. It wouldn't get much faster then that through out the climb. Unlike most of my races, I didn't catch a single person on the run. I did have several guys pass me on the climb, a few of whom I'd see again on the down hill. I was very happy to see the end of the climb and be able to start running a little faster. Not much - I feeling the efforts from the prior weekend. I was also surprised to see the number of cyclists still on the climb and descent of the bike. Onto the flat trail leading to the finish and I knew it was time to try to pick up the pace. While Jaime was not in sight, I did not know where any of the women who were in the women's wave that started 16 minutes after me were. I didn't want to relax and assume anything while there was a race going on behind me. I was able to increase the tempo slightly and cruised to the finish line and the infamous slip and slide. While I did not get all the way to the end of the slip and slide, the cold water felt so good after the race.
39:41

One of the things that made this race so much fun was the atmosphere. While there was a race and the time between gun and finish was fully game on, before and after people were there to have a good time. The race staff did a fantastic job with the course marking - there were plenty of volunteers at the water stations (next year I will bring a small water bottle on the run - it got pretty hot) and I thought that everything went very smoothly. I'm looking forward to racing at Lory next year and hopefully defending!

Comments

  1. Was great to see your name at the top of the results list. Knowing more of your story makes it even more impressive.

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