XTERRA USA Champs



I’ve seen, heard, and experienced time & time again how triathletes train endlessly, focus all their energy and build their lives around this sport, only to be disappointed when race day comes. So much of each of ourselves poured into these endeavours only to be disappointed when the big day rolls in and we finish up short. Frustrating to say the least! So why continue? Why sacrifice so much when the possibility of crushing disappointment lingers? I’m sure we all have numerous reasons that drive us, and I was reminded of one of my most powerful ones – the perfect race.

At the XTERRA USA Championship, I had one of the most amazing races I’ve had in long time (if not ever!).  Now I’m not saying it was perfect because if it was, I would have won, but I could not have been much happier with how the day went. Decent swim, stellar bike, and solid run. All of this put together got me across the line in 9th. I finished overjoyed and rode the high that you get when all of your efforts come together and you really crush it. If you thought I had a big smile normally, you wouldn’t believe how big it was on race day. Ear to ear is an understatement.


The trip started a little bumpy when Branden Rakita, Dan Hugo and I ran out of gas while cruising down I-80 out to Ogden, but we rolled with the punches and took it all in stride. It really didn’t seem like to big of a deal, so we just laughed about it and added a little bit of time to our final arrival in Ogden.

 


Had a couple of great prerides with all the boys. Dan, Craig, Boobs, Casey, Conrad (and his dog Bliksem), and I rode and chatted about what lines to take, tire pressure to run, and how to avoid the cows. At the end of the day, with the bike and my race strategy totally dialed in, I had the confidence to crush it race day!



The last big hiccup before race start came the night before when I realized that I had forgot my race kit. I ended up cutting the sleeves off one of my Timex branded custom Sugoi tech tee’s and buying a pair of trishorts from the venue. It ended up working just fine, other than I felt white trash. I did contemplate just drawing on a jersey with my sponsors using a sharpie the night before, but wussed out on race morning.


Come race day, it was go time! I felt ready to rock & roll and the vibwas excitement rather than nervousness. With the confidence I had coming off of the TransRockies races, I felt that I could take on the world. As the cannon fired to start the race, this feeling kept me strong and smooth while trying to lose as little time as possible in the water. It worked like a charm because when I came out of the water there were a plethora of other pros there in T1 and I realized I was much closer to the front than usual. 

With the confidenceof 1/3 of a great race in the bag fueling my engine, I hammered away at the pedals to move up through the field. With athletes coming back quicker than normal and feeling like a million bucks, I moved my way from 46th out of the water to 10th off the bike.




Then the real excitement started – THE RUN! Craig Evans stood out like a sore thumb in his red rocket race suit just a couple of hundred meters in front of me out of T2. Not far in front of him, I spotted Cody Waite. The goal was to beat both of those guys, so that I would be the 4th American across the line. I had to pooooshto catch Craig right away, and with a couple words of encouragementfrom him (“Go get Cody!”) I locked in on a top-10-type pace. I could see Cody, and I tried with all my legs had to catch him, but the foot speed just wasn’t there. Closer and closer I came, but in the end 11 seconds separated us.


 

At the end of the day, I couldn’t have been happier! I was loving life and riding high. A solid performance and I was proud of it. I wrapped up the season placing 8th in the XTERRA Pro Points Series, which has been a goal of mine for the past couple of years. This was all I needed to stay charged for the XTERRA World Champs. Maui here I come and I’m gonna crush it!



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