Two weeks ago at this time, I was in Ogden, UT getting ready for the XTERRA (off-road triathlon) national championship race, an invitation-only affair with standings driven by a point series that I raced in from April through August. Seventh in the region in my age group was enough to get me a spot, so two weeks ago Lauren and I hit the road for Ogden. The wildfires all across the west made for a very orange sunset.
This is a few weeks late, but better late than never. A few weeks ago I raced XTERRA Curt Gowdy, put on by Without Limits Productions. They put on great races, and this was no exception. There’s nothing noteworthy about the pre-race – parking was easy, packet pickup was easy, setting up transition, again, easy. The biggest problem of the day was the heat. The late start combined with the June heatwave made for a painful day – and waiting in a wetsuit to start was rough. My goal for the day went from crushing dreams to just making it through in one piece.
Last season was my first season dabbling in triathlon. I did four races – a full IM, an XTERRA, a half IM, and a sprint. I enjoyed the XTERRA far more than the rest, and did much better in it than the rest to boot – second place in my (less than competitive) age group – and decided that off road tris would be my focus for this season. A few months ago, I learned that the southeast regional championship, held in Pelham, AL each year, would also be an ITU world championship race, and that I’d be racing for Team USA should be accepted. I jumped at the opportunity, and received my acceptance letter a few days after applying. A few months of good training went by, and following a very long drive, Lauren and I found ourselves at Oak Mountain State Park.
A week ago Thursday I got an early start for Idaho. It was a 4:30am wake-up call followed by a quick breakfast, grabbing last minute items, and heading for the door. Scout and I were headed for Coeur d’Alene for a long weekend of car camping and exhaustion.