Monday, March 30, 2009

Xterra REAL: Race Report

Busy weekend...

Thursday I headed up to Mom and Dad's to take care of some vehicle business (smog check, oil change) and when I pulled my bike out for an easy spin, I found this... Rats! I planned to swim Friday morning and hit the road early, but balied on that so I could get a replacement spoke Friday morning. That meant waiting around until the LBS (Rock N'Road) opened at 10AM before hitting the road. Ugh.

Friday morning, I pikced up some spokes and hit the road for Auburn.
Yay Central Valley...

Pulled in to town around 6 and made it to Steve's house. He lives in the sticks. Pretty, though.

Saturday morning, I went over to watch my oldest Nephew's baseball game. Doin' the uncle thing...

Nephew Henry on the swings. Kid's a nut!

A wife, two kids and a dog: my brother went and got domesticated!

Brother Steve. He stil finds time to get some training in. Sportin' the Rudy's; sweet!

I watched a few innings and headed out to check the course conditions. The lake was way more full than last year and had come up about 60' since Steve sent me some pics that looked like you could jump accross the lake at it's narrowest point. Awesome!

They had a super-sprint tri and Trail half marathon Saturday. Good to see the Xterra scene still drawing racers in despite the recession.

Some pics from the pre-ride. This is why I love this course and why I come back every year. This would be my 5th year racing here. Bomb.

Short, punchy climbs with fast and flowy single track in between; all under the trees. Killer! The course got shortened by 3 miles due to lake levels; bad for me since I'm a strong cyclist compared to most Xterra racers. Oh well, roll with it.

The only mud hole on the course. When it's wet up here, this is HUGE. The "clean line" is right up the middle.

I went back to Steve's and put my feet up.
Race morning went fine, a few little hiccups, but they always happen.
We wound up swimming straight into the sun (for the 5th year in a row!), ate some chop on the leg parallel to the shore and on the way back in. I just focused on staying long and then worked the inbound leg. Out of the water around 14 minutes (0.5 miles); felt like I could've gone harder.
Onto the bike; Steve only a minute behind me out of the water got to his rack as I was leaving mine he yells: "GO, ERIC!" You got it...
Absolutely crushed the bike course. Swim and first bike lap in 44 mins, second lap in 29 minutes. Passing people left and right, worked my way up to 4th in my AG. Killed it!
Run: Stayed strong out to the 1/2 way point, hammered up the hills and smoked the back 1/2. I'm pretty sure I negative-split the run course and could've run the first part a little faster. Passed a few people, but got passed for 5th around mile 2. Dude trucked right by me and there was no way I had the speed to run with him.
Broke the tape in 1:42, a HUGE PR for the course (I've raced the shortened version before). I was totally stoked to stand on my first Xterra podium.
I don't think the race could've gone any better and 4th place was just over 2 mins up on me. I caught him on the bike, but didn't have the speed to run with him. A longer bike course and I might have had enough of a lead out of T2 to stay in front of him.
OA, I wound up 19th (17th if you don't count the two relays). Not the competitive result I had hoped for, but 3 minutes faster than I thought I could go and faster than the goal times I set at the top of the season.
Yeah, I'm pretty happy with it. :D
Edit: Huge props to Slater: 2nd AG and top 10 OA. Animal!


allison said...

Congrats on a killer finish!! PR is awesome!

Look forward to hanging out on Sunday. Is Holly coming out?

jameson said...

aweseome dude! great first race. you are setting yourself for a great season. sunday is going to be fun!

Luke said...

TBF always hooks it up...they put on some good races for me up there. congrats on the finish bro...looks like it's shaping up to be a good one for all!

Ryan Weeger said...

Awesome Eric, good job. That bike course is pretty awesome, sucks they shortened it. Get ready for Sagebrush!

Bosifus said...

Congrats brother!! Excited for you! Pics of the boys are great! :-)