This had to be one of the best weekends ever. Camping, friends, new and old, lots of races, lots of food and time on the trail…an answer to prayers. It was the weekend Xterra races in Temecula and the West Coast Championship for the Xterra triathlon series that drew in a hearty crown and sponsors to the private Vail Lake in Temecula. Guest appearances and races by Marius, Monique, David Sinatra and Fowler, the OC Multisport crew and even Dustin and his woman showed up just to show support. It was beyond doubt a weekend that would be hard to beat.
We got in Friday night (late!) and setup camp with the two Davids. Mike and the Multisport crew were already sleeping just like the rest of the campground but we were able to meet up with everyone in the morning just fine. A short bfast and some sun screen and we were ready for the races.
Saturday’s lineup included the Duathlon and a 5K and 10K trail run that covered the same course as the triathlon race being held on Sunday which had two options, a shorter tri had the 5K course and 10Kers would do two of the brutal laps in the heat of the day. The Duathlon also covered roughly the same bike course as the triathlon the turned out to be something around 16miles per lap.
Trail Run Race
Dave (just off the couch) Sinatra and Mike Collins were running the 5K distance (who both ended up raceing the triathlon the next day too!) and Monique opted to go long on the 10K with two laps through the hills. David Fowler and I walked up part of the course to take pictures and talk it up. We saw a couple of the crew helping with the race and they were telling us how they “cut the trail” in just yesterday. I will say that it held up to the true Xterra spirit of the courses and one part of the trail was so off camber and sandy it was difficult to just stay on the trail. Fun.
Monique and I met David Fowler at the Folsom race earlier this year yet it feels like we have known him forever. His tempered confidence and giving spirit make it easy to open up and want to go on adventures with him. At such a young age he has already been to so many places and done so much. He spent a few months in uncharted wild Alaska backpacking, led wine tours through Napa Valley and raced Ironman distance triathlons including Kona. All this and a humble spirit in his twenties? As we walked he was telling me about his girlfriend Hanna and considering popping the question… Do it!
Just as we made our way back down the 5K runners were wrapping up and Monique was heading back out for her second lap. Michael Collins cruised in a 2nd place easy pace finish overall and Dave just cruised in to finish. I give him props for racing anything off the couch and wanted to do the tri the next day too! Inspiration was all around...
Marius was up next with the Duathlon race. The competitors started with a short run chasing a quad around the dirt to spread out the crowd and then a blast out to a 5K. Marius was looking strong and making up ground as he came into the transition and headed out on the 16ish mile bike in the hills. I think it would have been even more of an advantage if it was a 60ish bike in the hills for Marius.
After the bike they had another trail run to the finish and we had a long day ahead of us so we were off to our tents and a nap and get some rest before tomorrows Xterra triathlon races. Later that night Dave and I split a couple pounds of pasta and I slept like a rock. Good times.
Many more pictures posted over here: http://slater.smugmug.com/gallery/2882602#154994803
...and Xterra Triathlon picutres over here