Monday, April 24, 2006

Monday 4.24.2006 - AZ Xtreme Offroad Triathlon - Race Report

AZ Xtreme Offroad Triathlon - Xterra Point Series Race Mesa, AZ - Saguaro Lake
Weather: 85 degrees sunny, no clouds, hot!

1500m/26k nountain bike/8k run

Let me preface this report with two statements:
1. i totally underestimated how much harder and xterra race would be compared to a road race.

2. i currently have a about 1/2 a tube of neosporin spread across various parts of my body.

day before:
Pre-rode the course, swam in the lake, checked-in, packed and dropped of transition bags, set up bike at T1, and attended pre-race dinner.

race morning:
woke at 530am (the race started at 830) and got to the parking lot to take the shuttle to the swim.

Pre-race nutrion:
5:45am - 1 cliff bar + 1 16oz bottle of water w/ 1 scoop of carbo pro. 6:30am - 8am - 1 16oz bottle of cliff shot (2 scoops) 8:15am - clif shot gel

swim: 1500m (actually about a mile - a guy gps'd it on a kayak)
the swim was kind of intimidating. It was a point to point and it was a dog leg. you couldn't see the finish from the start. i had a plan going into this one. i was just going to go out kind of easy, get in a groove and try to hold my pace thoughout. the swim went well and i was able to draft off of various people for the first half and then headed into the cove. i figured i was right on pace. as i got out of the water and running on beach peeling my wesuit off i glanced down at my watch, which i started when the horn went off: 21:38. i was stoked, and suprised. way faster than i though i could swim.

swim Time:21:38

wetsuit off and put in transition bag for pick up, put on shoes, helmet, and glasses. sprinted out of transtion.

Bike: 26km
hard. Right out of transition you mount and ride about 50 yards in a parking lot before going over bridge straight into a deep sand wash. it was too deep to ride and you had to dismount and then hike up a steep 20ft hill. Then it was on the to the first real climb - 1000ft right off the bat. You were only able to actually ride about 3/4 of it and then had to dismount and climb again. Once to the top it was rolling hills unitl you got to climb number 2... another 1000ft with the same result. Ride about 3/4, hike about 1/4. I actually could have ridden further but a couple guys ahead of me dismounted and there was only one way up. after this climb there was about a mile of downhill and then into the wash. This section was about 1 mile of super deep sand. it was like riding in 6 - 12 inches of kitty litter. i had to get off my bike twice during this section. then came the fun. there was about 2 miles of small rollers and full on whoop sections. with all my bmx riding as a kid i was able to totally flow this section and passed quite a few guys, but no one in my AG. The next section was a couple of miles relatively flat terrain and i got caught by a group of 4 guys, all defintely better mountain bikers than I am. 2 of the guys were in my AG and i tagged along with them and was able to keep up. then, as alwasy it seems, it happened... i went down!

the crash: it was 90 degree turn and i was just cocentrating on sucking the wheel off the guy right a head of me and went in too fast. if felt myself starting to slide out and tried to recover... no such luck. the surface was loose, sandy, gravel and i went down hard on my shoulder and knee... and hands(no gloves). i jumped up assessed the damage: good scrape on shoulder, forearm, knee, and hands. My bike, chain was and all twisted up on my derailer. Fixed everything and got on the road. Lost about 1.5 - 2 minutes and got passed by 2 guys.... didn't see what AG they were in.

from that point i just pushed myself hard to try and make up time. the offroad section ended and then it was 2.5 miles on the road with one killer climber and then a super fast downhill into T2.

time: ??? I am guessing around 1:10 - 1:20. I forgot to look at my watch and start new lap for the run.

Bike nutrition:
1.5 20oz bottles (30oz) - each bottle: 2 scoops clif shot and 1 scoop carbo pro - 270 calories/67 carbs.

I could have probably drank a little more. My plan was to finish both bottles.

I was stoked when i got to T2. there was a reallty big crowd screaming and yelling, volunteers to take my bike, and they were super organized. I was able to find my t2 bag with no problems. bike gear in, running shoes on, race belt in hand, and i was gone.

brutal. first thing. I made a huge mistake. Based on a recomendation i received at the dinner the night before from a guy who had run the course (i hadnt even seen it) i decided not to wear my racing flats. Instead i work my trainers that i had never run in barefoot before... can you see where this is going? back to the run for now...

right off the bat you go into a 500ft climb on constant s-turning switch backs and then over some rolling hills, and then down the back side of the first climb. At the first aid station I dumped water over my head and in my mouth. it was hot. then there was another good, long twisting climb. After the second climb the descent was fast and slippery. I almost went down more than once. At this point i was closing in two guys in AG. I continued to push it and caught and passed both of them. then i turned it up a gear as i could tell they were hurting too and i knew it was time to make a move and give myself a gap. I have never wanted to stop walk so much in my life, but i didn't, I just kept grinding along. now the shoes. by this point i could tell i had blisters on the inside of both of my arches and they had already popped and the skin had been ripped. it sucked. the last 2 miles were in a riverbed with deep sand and small boulders. now i had sand in my shoes and let me tell how good it felt to have sand getting rubbeb into the open wounds on my feet: not good. at this point i was pissed at myself for wearing my trainers.

so i finished the run and could see one of the guys in AG that passed me on the bike finish just a bit before me. I crossed the line bleeding from shoulder, knee, hands, and my feet were on fire. It was awesome! I still wasn't sure what place i was in. I hit the med tent and they cleaned me up and I watched a bunch of super stoked, beat down people finish.

Run time: ?
Run nutrition:
water (3 aid stations) + 1 clif shot gel at first aid station (carried with me from transition)

overall time: 2:07:33
Finsih: 2nd in AG (67 points toward qualify for nationals)

I was second out of the water in my AG, 4th coming off the bike, and 2nd after the run.

* the guy that finished first only beat by 30 seconds and he was one of the guys in the pack of 4 that i was riding with when i crashed. so if I wouldn't have taken a spill on the bike things could have ended differently... no worries. i'll take 2nd on that course anyday.

Despite all the blood and pain it was so much fun. I have never pushed that hard for that long. It was by far the hardest thing is any sport i have ever done, and I am already itching to do another. The Xterra crowd is awesome. They are a bunch of granola eating, beer drinking, hardcore, friendly, fast triathletes. I met and talked to so many cool people.

Post race there was a keg (my kind of race), gatorade, and plenty of food. For second place i go a pint glass with "2nd Place" and all the race info printed on it. I didn't waste anytime and promptly topped it off at the keg.

I also won the "Road Rash" award and got a box of GU's and an Xterra hat.

Xterra is what I want to do. I am still going to do road tris for fun and training, but now I totally going to focus my training and attention the the Xterra series.

I have another Xterra this weekend coming up at Castaic Lake (just north of LA). Can't wait. I am just hoping my feet heel up quickly.


Spence said...

THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST RACE REPORTS EVER!!! I love how stoked you are about this...your energy just oozes good feelings. Too bad about the crash but it just goes to show that you could've finished's within reach!!! And 67 points toward qualifying is amazing!!! Sounds like you've found your Nirvana...and that's what it's all about. GREAT race!! I hope your blisters heal... I've had really good luck with second skin...but just be really sure they don't get infected because that will set you back much further... I'd wash 2x/day and even though the antibiotic cream is important, they'll need to air out too... be safe!!!

IMmike said...

Awesome report!! 30 seconds behind the guy who won your age group in your first xterra race is a great result. Also, I'm personally glad you are focusing on xterras and not road tris. You are a fast dude and I hope to avoid races you compete in! :-)

Habeela said...

Not a swimmer....whatever!! Congratulations! I can't believe you were able to race through all of that pain! That is some serious mental mojo to go with your serious athletic ability! Go Jameson!

Guernsey Man said...

Congrats for sure. I am sure you also heard the next club race is an off road duathlon. More training for you.

*c said...

no kidding man! great race! after a spill like that i'm not sure if i could have got back up to finish.

between taking the spill, the nasty course, heat, and blisters - sounds like you had a great race!

thanks for the report.

E-Speed said...


Awesome job!

Rachel said...

impressive. way for keeping a positive attitude despite the crash and finishing in an awesome time anyway!

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