Well it was hard to believe, but another Xterra season comes to a close. The 2011 Xterra national Championships were held here at Snowbasin again this year. Coming into the race I was a little apprehensive about how I would perform. My training on the bike had been strong, but my swim and run had been suffering. I'm having such a hard time getting off my bike to put my running shoes or swim cap on. I have such a great time when I go out on my bike I cant get enough! The day before the race, I had the opportunity to pre ride the course with Josiah Middaugh and Cody Waite. Two pro athletes from Colorado. Middaugh being my favorite athlete and someone I really look up to, it was awesome to ride with him!
The morning of the race I was calm and collected....Until I set up T1. I got to the lake and my nerves went through the roof. We lined up and the legendary cannon went off. Through out the whole swim I focused on staying smooth and in a rhythm. Coming through my first lap I felt SO good! I thought to myself I'm going to have such a fast time! 24 maybe 25 mins!! WRONG coming out of the water I had the slowest swim time of my triathlon career..31 minutes!
Starting out on the bike I felt great! I was super excited that Xterra changed the bike course to climb up the Sardine Peak trail. Which was more climbing on Snowbasin's finest single track! My plan on the bike was to stay conservative until the top of East fork which was about 30 min into the course then hit it hard up the Sardine peak trail. My plan seemed to pay off. I went from 136th place coming out of the swim, to 16th place coming off the bike passing 120 fellow racers.
I was nervous coming off the bike into the run because of last years cramp fest! But surprisingly I felt great! I motored up the first steep hill with Melanie McQuaid and another pro guy who I didn't recognize. When I got to the top of the hill I felt i could bump the pace up a notch and left those two. I soon caught my good friend and former amateur national champion Jason Michalak who went pro this year. Catching him I knew I was cruising because he is a phenomenal runner. I finished the race in 14th place overall, 2nd amateur to Ryan Ignatz...Again.(dude is fast) and National Champion in the 25-29 age group by 16 minutes. Overall I was happy with my race, my run and bike splits were right on par with the top pro men! All I need to do is learn how to swim and I'll be up there!:) Thanks so much for those who help me with my racing!! Mainly Roosters/Bikers edge for the amazing support and ENVE Composites for the bomb proof wheel sets that rocket me to the top spots on the bike! There's nothing like them!
Photos courtesy of Jordan Sessions