21K Off road Mountain Bike
9.2K Trail Run
This was my first time dipping my toes into off road triathlon, and I must say, I was pretty excited. This race was also a direct qualifier for the Xterra World Championship in Maui, Hawaii. I'm not going to lie, I already had plans to go. Hopefully racing, but if not, I'd planned on cheering on my buddy Steve Good who was pretty much going to make it no matter what.
The race took place at the quarry at Kelso Conservation area in Milton at the top of the escarpment. The swim was in the beautiful quarry, the bike on the Kelso mountain bike trails and then the run was also on the same mountain bike trails with a finish around the quarry.
I arrived pretty early and got all setup and chatted with various folks until it was go time.
It was hot and dry leading up to the race (and has been ever since) so there was some concern the swim would be a non wetsuit, but in the end, they took the temperature at just the right spot and we were allowed to wear our suits.
The male pros went first, then the female pros, then all AG men at 8:01. My plan was to go out hard from the start to try and find feet and get clear of the chaos at the beginning of the swim start. I was surprised that at 200m in, I was still stuck in a decent size group of swimmers, and I had lost contact with the feet I was hoping to stay on (Steve's). Anyway, I kept swimming hard and eventually made my way back to the swim exit in around 15:25. Aside from not getting the draft and pull around the course I was hoping for, the swim went ok.
I tried to quickly get through transition, but I must say it was a bit different than a normal tri. I put socks on for the bike and then put my MTB shoes on in T1 and ran with my bike to the mount line.
Once on the bike though, I started making my way through other athletes and this is quite a bit different than a normal tri where passing people is easy and fun. In mountain biking, you can't just pass anywhere. You need to find the right location and opportunity and hit it hard.
The bike course was one short lap on the trails before coming back to transition and heading out for another longer loop.
The ride went pretty well without many issues except I did have to stop and unclip a few times in some of the trickier sections, primarily the Rough Trade section. I pre rode this section a week or so earlier with Steve and was ready to hit the good lines and rip through it, but when people in front of you stop and unclip, you're basically forced to do the same or crash!!
Once through this section, it was a bit easier to make passes and I continued to move through the field. Once back to transition and starting the second longer lap, it was much more spread out. I occasionally came across other athletes and was able to pass most when the time was right. I felt pretty good throughout and felt like I had a good groove going on.
I eventually made my way back to transition where I just passed my buddy Brandon Habermehl before heading in.
Xterra Mine over Matter MTB Ride - Strava Link
T2 was a bit more like a normal tri, so this went pretty well. Brandon and I left it together, but right away, he started to slowly pull away.
The race was pretty spread out at this point, as we made our way around the run course, which was basically similar to the first loop of the mountain bike ride (except the last 3K around the quarry).
All went well and I was feeling pretty good, pushing a decent pace. As I exited the forest area and into the blazing sun and double track trail around the quarry, I noticed one athlete up ahead. Eventually I caught up to him and yup, he was in my AG. The good thing about this is that I knew he was in my AG, but he didn't know I was in his. I found a spot where I felt like I could just drop the hammer for a bit and put in a good surge past him. He immediately noticed that I was also in his AG and picked up the pace for sure and ran with me. I just kept pushing pretty hard and eventually dropped him with a few K to go.
In the end, this was a good thing, as there was no guarantee a 3rd the 40-44 AG was going to get a Maui spot. Steve was still up ahead so I knew I had to fight to hold this spot. I didn't know until I finished that I actually finished 2nd in the 40-44 AG and 3rd overall amateur behind Steve who took first and Brandon, who took second overall amateur but first in 35-39.
Xterra Mine over Matter Trail Run - Strava Link
I ended up finishing in 1:54:58 10th overall and 3rd amateur as mentioned.
Xterra Mine over Matter Sportstats Results
Finishing second behind Steve basically assured me of my Xterra Maui spot, as we were in the largest AG so I knew we were going to get another spot allocated to us.
|Brandon Habermehl, Steve Good and myself (top 3 amateurs 2016 Xterra Mine over Matter)|
So overall, I was super happy how the race went, and that I got my Maui spot to race in October. I am also doing the Parry Sound Xterra race with Steve, but with the spot locked up, I can go into this one relaxed and just have some fun.
|2016 Xterra World Championship Bound!|