This turned out to be another unexpected race but the expected fun was delivered on the weekend as normal.
Two years ago when I did this race it was the inaugural Xterra Snow Valley and my first triathlon ever... My first real race ever and I really didn't know what I was getting into or how "life changing" it would be for me. Monique and I always manage to jump into the hardest of events fist and this race is a good example of that. Two years and a few dozen races later and this race kicked my butt . . . again.
I was planning on a strong finish and a good placing... Not only did I have a little something to prove to myself for my return to Snow Valley but this was an Xterra and I wanted to pickup some points in the series too. I also had not raced here since that first triathlon so I thought that I could drop buckets of time but maybe I had too many expectations? I also had a few things working against me like that our nine hour/three park ride the weekend before and my taper and any rest was blown for sure.
However, and its a big however. . . Snow Valley, as I was reminded was a special place for me and the weekend was a reminder about why I started racing triathlons, adventure races and getting out on the trail in the first place. Snow Valley is where I would spend most of my days when I worked at Stussy. The time I spend snowboarding here helped me through some tough times trying to figure out the mysteries of the world and look to Jesus for some strength... It is also where I dislocated my shoulder the first of many times AND where I met Monique, my beautiful wife for the first time. Pain from injury, joy from snowboarding endless hours with friends, discovery of racing and love deeper than any I have ever known. All on a little mountain.
So, with all that in check I was delighted to have Marius and Mandy join up with us for some camping and good times while racing. This is what it was about! I may be tired but I was going to give it my all and have FUN in the dirt ; - )
Mandy and Marius joined up to race the triathlon as a team after almost racing the cross country mountain bike race across the street. We had dinner with some of Mandy's friends last night who dominated the cross country race as I am sure that she would have but it was great to have them join in on the Xterra style and camp out with them for the weekend.
I felt pretty good race morning and after seeing the lake (or lack there of) I was confident that my lack of swimming would not hold me back. There was SOOO little water that most of the swim would turn into a water run... Seriously! The last time I did this I went so anaerobic on the swim that I was dead on the bike... the altitude is just killer up there. This year you would think I would have learned but I ran my buns off and swam WAY to hard again.... Here I am exiting the water right behind the Willie Stewart the 1st place overall winner(pro) and before Jon Clark the first place overall male winner... You could say I went out a bit fast.
The rest of the race was pretty bonkie... I had to slow WAY down on the bike and had that familiar feeling in my legs of no power...started to come back only to have no juice on the run. I was totally out of it and trying to keep a positive time on the last few miles but it was hard to keep up a run. I knew when I got out of the water that I was spent...I was just beat deep down and could not get it going. This was a good learning lesson again that I need to dedicate time not only pacing within the race but in the weeks before the race.
Marius and Mandy ended up getting a podium finish and it was a nice day to round out watching the Rim Nodic races across the street.
Snow Valley will continue to provide some lessons for me I am sure...and as alway produce good times.
Posted some pictures from the weekend over here