Let’s start by saying I’m not a mountain biker. I can be found on trails once or twice a month with people who have such saintly patience that they let me tag along. I’m not exaggerating. I’ve gotten myself and other riders stuck on trail in the dark unprepared – because they assumed there was no way that I was slow enough that we’d be out there that long – TWICE. Whoops.
Anyway, since I first started riding the trails at Oleta State Park, I’ve wanted to do an Xterra. My biggest fear was coming out of the water in the front of the pack and pissing off everyone that tried to pass me on the bike course. I learned the course at Oleta, practiced passing and (more importantly for me) getting passed. I rode and ran the course a few times… and then I moved to Arizona right before the race.
A few friends were already registered for the Deuces Wild Triathlon Festival – and I found out that they had an Xterra! I read a bunch of mixed review on the course about how technical and difficult it was, and I decided to sign up. It was a 4-5 hour drive away, and with work, I knew I’d only get into town the day before. No course pre-ride for me! I read everything I could, I watched helmet-cam videos, I studied course maps, and I asked other athletes trying to get a little info… needless to say, I hit the course entirely unprepared. Despite a few moments of wanting to throw my bike off the mountain, much fun was had. But, I’ll get to that.
We hit the road for Show Low on Friday after work. A few friends were racing various portions of the Half and Olympic on Saturday, and we wanted to get into town before it got too late and the entire house was asleep! We rolled into town, and stayed up late drinking SanTan beer with Chrissy’s husband, who wasn’t racing in the morning.
Saturday morning was great. Chrissy did double duty – she swam for a Half relay team, then hit the water an hour later to do the Olympic solo. Badass. Leah completed her first Olympic. She rocked it, and made us, her doggies, and her parents proud! Julie also completed her first Olympic – and nearly cried when she learned she placed third in her age group! Holly rocked out the bike portion of Chrissy’s relay team, giving the team a huge lead and securing them a first place relay finish. Matt aquathlon-ed, throwing down a nearly 20mph bike, with Chris running a great time for a difficult course. Basically, there was awesomeness all around.
There was much post-race rejoicing, eating, and relaxing. We picked up our packets and headed back to the cabin. Fishing ensued.