The XTERRA Southeast Championship was quite an adventure with heavy rain and a technical, fun bike course.  It was the only current XTERRA Championship race that I had never won, until Saturday.  With an improved swim and the fastest bike and run splits of the day I was able to pull of my second XTERRA victory of the season.

The new Felt Edict Nine with ENVE wheels and components

Days before the race the weather was starting to look grim on race day so I made a tire change the day before the race in anticipation of muddy conditions.  The water temperature of the lake also dropped enough to allow us to wear wetsuits on race day.  I tend to get excited when the weather conditions are adverse as long as I’m not worried about my family spectating.  On race morning the rain was off and on.  I set up my transition in the rain and covered my running shoes with a plastic grocery bag (thanks Ingrid for the text to remind me).  On the bike I had my bottle of the First Endurance EFS Grape and a 400 calorie flask of the EFS Liquid Shot taped to the top tube.  It would be a tough course to take in fluid and calories so used my pre-ride to decide where I could reach for a bottle or the flask.

Following a dismal swim in Las Vegas, I semi-redeemed myself with a solid swim, exiting the water about 1:30 off the lead.  In the early stages of the mountain bike I tried to focus on riding clean.  As I caught up to Bradley Weiss he took a hard spill on a wooden bridge.  Then as I approached Branden Rakita, he

Pedal hard...turn...pedal hard

hooked a small tree with his handlebars and was on the ground in an instant.  When I caught Craig Evans he seemed a little dazed and I learned later that he had just fallen on a concrete water bar.  During those first 6-8 miles I had lost a little time to Conrad Stoltz and Dan Hugo, but I had been riding safe.  I tried to focus on pedaling hard when I could and being cautious when I needed to be.  Over the final 6 miles of the course I was able to pull back time and got off the bike about 1:15 behind Conrad and 1:00 behind Dan.

I decided to jump in the half marathon on Sunday, but it was quite a bit more than an easy run

Onto the run I was feeling good, knowing that I was within striking distance and already had Dan in sight.  I made up the time fast, catching Dan within 2 miles and Conrad before the halfway point.

At this point in the season, my fitness is feeling amazing thanks to my winter training at Dogma Athletica, but I need to be a little careful now not to get too overzealous with my training/racing and also not too complacent with a little early season success.

XTERRA Race Report

 

 

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