Monday, August 6, 2007
Xterra Snow Valley
On saturday morning Jess and I headed to Snow Valley Ski Resort (Near lake Arrowhead and Big Bear) with two good friends, James and Tom. We got up there around noon to pre-ride the course...let's just say it was a little warm!
As usual, Jess served as the support crew and kindly read a book while the three of us cruised the course. The course is tough, a very hilly bike and an unbelievably hilly run. Plus, the start of the race is at over 7000 feet in elevation, which make for a tough day.
There were rumors floating around that the race would be a run/bike/run b/c the water level was so low. I must say that they should have done a run/bike/run b/c the swim was a joke. You could pretty much stand the entire swim and the water quality was very poor (unsafe is probably a better word!)
The race started at 9am sunday morning. The gun went off and after a pretty short and confusing swim I led out of the water and was first out onto the bike course. I was quickly passed by the two pro's in the field and was unable to respond and ride with them. I do struggle at altitude but so does everyone else that lives at sea level. So, I am pretty used to not having much power on the bike when racing so high up. I tried my best to settle in and it took me about half the bike to find my legs. Still, racing at altitude is tricky b/c you don't want to push so hard that you can't recover and, overall, you just can't go as hard as you can at sea level.
I came off the bike in third place and headed out onto the run.
I had heard the run is brutal but until you hit those hills you can't fully understand how hard the run really is. You literally run up and down the mountain and I can safely say that EVERYONE was walking at some stages. It was truly a death march and I was glad to finish it.
--This sums up the run!
I finished in third place overall, behind two pro's, which put me as 1st overall amateur and 1st in my age group. I am satisfied with my result since I haven't raced for 7 weeks, I took two weeks off from training after Richmond, I am training pretty hard and didn't rest for this race and it was at altitude. Plus, everything between now and nationals/world's is for training purposes only and I can say with certainty that I got in a very solid training day yesterday. Also, it was great hanging out with Jess and friends! You can't ask for more...tough racing, great people, beautiful scenery and perfect weather.
I hope you enjoy reading. Talk to you all soon.