Monday, July 16, 2007

EX2 @ Rocky Gap...

Wow, that was a fun race.

Rocky Gap State Park in Flintstone Maryland played host to the latest XTERRA race on my schedule. And since this is my first year racing off-road triathlons, I was a newbie at this venue. This race has a 2lap swim over a 600m course and the laps were split by a 200m run. Ah Swimming the necessary evil of triathlons... The goggles came off , the sidi's strapped on, and the bike course began with about a mile of pavement before spilling onto the rocky double/single track trails around Lake Habeeb. This leg was also a 2 lapper. I missed a turn towards the end of the first lap and added some distance to that lap. I realized my error in navigation and after dropping a few "F" bombs, I was cranking the BIG-little to get back on the course. I was pissed that my inattention was going to add minutes to my time. After settling down it was back to the rythym of racing . The tire setup was spot on for the loose trail conditions. I'm running a Kenda Kharisma up front and mounted a new Hutchinson Bulldog on the rear. I didn't have any trouble washing out or loosing traction. Thanks Les. My second transition was smooth and I felt okay starting the run. After a mile I found myself in a group with 2 other runners. We traded off pacing a few times and had fun running on the rocky trails. Once the trail turned up, I bid AF Rich farewell as he had better hill legs and mine were starting to give the telltale twinges of cramps. The run followed the bike course for a while and once it turned off on its own, the real rock sections began. Lots of scrambling and one long section of hand over foot of bouldering up the hillside. Photos soon here It was during this section that the left hammie seized and I moved forward with straight legs and clinched teeth. After the trail leveled off, the legs loosened up and then it was onto pavement for the final mile. I lifted the pace as much as I could and finished with a smile.

I didn't have the time I wanted but I had a lot of fun, and that's what it's all about. I tried to give all of the racers I encountered encouragement. Spreading the IndyFab Love.

Lessons Learned:
  1. Don't get up at 3am and drive 3 hours to a race. The money saved not getting a hotel room isn't worth it when you're tired/sleepy at the start.
  2. It's not good to race blind, PreRides are necessary especially if it's the first time at a venue. And you're less likely to miss a turn. Go to the race the day before and preride then get a good night's sleep, see #1.
  3. Smile for the cameras, give fellow racers an "atta boy/girl", "isn't this fun?" or "you're looking great", hoot and hollar the fun sections and when you clean technical bits; because it's FUN

Thanks to the promoters of the EX2 race for hosting a well run and fun race. And thanks to Independent Fabrication for all the support. The Ti Deluxe is amazing. Point and Shoot bike.


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