Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Race Report: Xterra West Champs - 5.19.2007

I'm back from a killer weekend of camping and racing. Everytime I go camping I want to go more and more and camping prior to racing is ideal for me. I was so relaxed by the time race morning came around. My brother, his girlfriend, my sister, my nephew, and my friend Tom all camped on the same site. It was defintely a good time. I had some other friends camping as well and there were a lot of other racers out there too which made for a really good vibe throughout the weekend.

my weekend home:

I brought the SS to cruise around the campground which ended up being a good call because we were a good walk from the bathroom/showers. It helped save the legs and it's just a blast to ride.

Relaxing by the fire the night before the race.

The makings for one strong-ass cup of coffee. So good.

Camping brekkie. Just like home.


I woke up around 6am race morning and I was ready to go. I ate a ton the day before was really feeling fueled up. I made a couple cups of strong coffed and had my pre-race oatmeal. After breakfast it was time to breakdown the tent and get things ready to roll. Around 8am Tom and I parked our vehicles and headed down to the lake.

I got a pretty good spot in transistion, strapped on the ipod, and started to warm-up with some light jogging. The sun was just coming out and it was heating up quickly. 15 minutes before the start I was in the water and got in a good swim warm-up.

Swim (2 x 750m laps with beach run):

The swim was a mass start so as can be expected it was pretty rough. There is really nothing you can do except roll with the punches (literally). When it gets really rough I just have the same mindset when I get worked surfing and get held under. If you just relax, don't panic, and keep your heart rate under control you'll eventually float to the top. It's the same in the swim. When it gets really rough I just zone out and relax. The swim went well even with getting me goggles kicked off 3 times, which has never happened to me before. I did a fair share of drafting but nothing sustained. The swim felt slow but I came out with a good pack and in the mix. I really like 2 laps swims with the run in between.
Swim - 1500m + t1: 25:02

Bike: 24 miles

I was in and out transistion pretty quickly and for the first time decided to wear a hydration pack. It really didn't take any additional time to throw it on. The first quarter mile was a climb on a paved road. Two pros, Brian Smith and Brian Astell (both strong MTB'ers) came up from behind me and I jumped on their wheels. They pulled me up the climb and then it was downhill to the start of the trail.
The first part of the trail is a fire road climb and my plan was to attack right away on this section before getting to the the hard climbs. I just laid it down. For the first time in a race I was totally riding away from people. Guys were trying to stay on my wheel and couldn't. After a couple of miles on the fire road it was on to the real climbing. I again jumped on some wheels and made my way through the pack. I passed a couple of guys in my AG and was feeling really good.

Then it was time to descend and I was flying. My new bike (the epic) was just sucking up all the technical sections. Towards the end of the first lap there is a long fast roller coaster descent down the ridge line. There are some technical rocky sections but I just flew over them. Right at the end there is a short, steep, switchback descent and it went in with a little too much speed and my front tire washed out in one of the turns. I was thrown to the ground hard and was sliding down the trail on my hip, shoulder, and head. I quickly got back to my feet, finished the descent with my chain off, and then got myself together at the bottom. I knew I had a couple good cuts and scrapes but I was ready to get back at it. It took me a minute or two to really get it back together and start pushing.

While I was down I was caught by a couple of guys in my AG. I pushed to stay with them through a fire road section and then on to the "tunnel of love"(super fun single track). The three of us started lap two together and we were back on the fire road where I made my initial attack and I went for it again. I was able to drop one of them but the other latched on. I put a little gap on him right before the hard climbs. I rode through some people on the climb and was able to drop the guy in my AG completely. However I was caught by a guy in my AG, Luke Jay, near the top. He's strong on the bike but I knew if I could keep him insight I could get him on the run. I was able to this and come into T2 about 45 seconds behind him.

Bike +t2: 1:45:48
Run: Hard/Hot/Hilly 6.2 miles:

Brutal. I finally caught Marc as I was leaving t2. I later found out he was first out of the water. So rad. Right out of tranisition you hit a trail and then up a huge climb. I knew I had some work to do and just pushed on. I was making up ground quickly. I caught a few guys on the first climb, a couple more on the ridgeline and then finally caught Luke once we descended onto the road. The second half of the run was different from last year and much harder. I continued to push but was defintely feeling the extra effort I put in on the bike and my left side was pretty sore from the crash. I continued to track people down until there was nobody else that I could see or within reach.

Run: 43:50
23rd Overall
3rd Amateur Overall
3rd in AG (as luck would have it the my AG finished 1-2-3 forthe AMs)

I was kind of bummed after the race. I mean I was defintely stoked to be the 3rd amateur but 3rd in my AG does not get me a slot for Worlds and that was my goal. Only the top 2 in 25-29 get slots. If I was any other AG I would have my ticket punched. So now it's time to stay focused and I will now be heading to Richmond, VA for the Xterra East Champs in hopes of getting a slot to Xterra Worlds.

After the race I was sent to the med tent to get cleaned up. It was not fun. The crash happened on the first lap and all the wounds were crusty and filled with dirt. Needless to say getting them cleaned out sucked. Ryan came over to the med tent and took over from the EMT helping me out. I think he enjoyed making me suffer!

running to the finish:

crossing the line:

talking with my friend, and new Xterra pro Cody Waite:

Stoked to be finished... probably thinking about an ice cold beer:


Special guest EMT Ryan cleaning me up:

not fun:

On the Podim with the 25-29 chicks:

Xterra's new Sponsor for 2007... Everybody needs a beer after a race like this.

All cleaned up:

the elbow:
the hip:

Trying to get ready to go get some beer & Pizza:


barndog said...

top three overall AND some fricking cool wounds. that's priceless my man!

thanks for pointing out that radiator leak...it still leaked all the way home but at least I kept one eye on it.

Guernsey Man said...

You tore it up! Awesome job great pics. It was cool to meet Team Walsh, you travel in style!

Jeff Kerkove said...

shit. Nice wounds!

T-Guy J said...

Awesome race and some scars to go with it...Good Times


T-Guy J

Mallie said...

Those are some nicely oozing wounds. Only on a mountain bike, eh? You definitely deserve some new tunes after that endeavor. I'll shoot you an e-mail later.

Awesome job and great write-up. Very fun to live vicariously through you!

Benson said...

OWeee! I know you do this cuz the chicks dig it, right? wounds heal, how's the new bike? Good luck out east.

TRI Vortex said...

Chicks dig scares. All mine are emotional but hey, they still dig'em. Sweet Xterra. Too bad you ate it, probably would have gotten that slot. Shoulda, could, woulda's, good luck at Richmond.

Anonymous said...

may be you would like to see this. Awesome and if you look carefully, we can see you at the ned, on that podium:
to http://www.deltavelo.com/race_coverage/2007_multi_sport/07xterra/xterra_west_video.html

From Melanie McQuaid's site

Drew Holmes said...

brutal road rash!!!! I love it!!!! that rocks.....thats racing!!!! get up and go!!!! I also like how you posed next to the 25-29 chicks!!

Sounds like you had some tuff comp in your age group. nice report.

Anonymous said...

J_Dub, awesome effort and wicked wounds, man! Sounds like it was a killer race.

I can't believe I'm posting a comment alongside famed MTBer Bruce Dickenson, errr, I meant Jeff Kerkove!

Cliff Tam said...


way to tear the field apart. Can't beleive u finish strong with those wounds...nice battle scars.

SixTwoThree said...

Good God, man! Those wounds look terrible. But CONGRATS on a great race. You really did smoke the course. Hope those beers killed the pain. Go get 'em in Richmond!