Monday, July 20, 2009

XTERRA O.N.E. Triathlon

On my list of things to do this year was to do an xterra race. I can check that off as I have completed my first off road triathlon race this past Sunday July 19th.
I have to admit I haven't had much time and experience on the trails with the mountain bike but I did get a chance to ride the course the Thursday before the race. I am so glad I did. I was impressed with the group of riders who were there to ride with me. I probably would have done more damage to myself if I didn't have the experienced riders clue me in on how to handle some of the tricky parts of the trail. I did fall off a narrow serpentine bridge and smack my head into a tree, good thing I had my helmet on. That one ride helped me to ride faster and safer on race day.

The triathlon race began with a 1/2 mile swim on a calm and warm lake. I wore my new xterra wetsuit and felt like I swam fast and smooth while controlling my breathing, staying on someones feet for the draft and managing good sighting.

On the mountain bike I rode the serpentine bridge and escaped the smacking tree. My only problem was that I wasted too much time by letting tons of people who came up behind to pass me by getting to the side and off the bike. At least the passers were polite and appreciated my kindness. At one point I got off while ascending a hill and was unable to get back on my bike until I ran to the top. Next time, I'll ride and wait until I can move to the side without getting off the bike. I'll save tons of time. Another lesson I need to learn is to not apply the brakes as much. I think I rode the brakes too much, but that will come with more experience by riding the trails. I also will use a camelback for the bike portion too. I didn't enjoy drinking dirt that got caked on my water bottle and there just wasn't enough clear spots along the trail to safely drink.

But the best part of the race was the run. The trail began with a very rocky section that was up hill and at times you had to walk because of the rugged trail. Once we went through that section the trail was smooth but with lots of rolling hills and switch backs.

I had so much fun doing the off road triathlon that I am looking forward to more mountain biking riding and racing so that next year I can break 2 hours.

Race Results