Xterra King of the Hill – The Paul version

>Pete covered the drive down and hotel, but he failed to mention he sat in the passenger seat the whole time and I was the pilot.  Driving is not relaxing for me, but we made it safe and sound.  As also mentioned the bagels in NJ are awesome, there are actually hills, and there was no Snooky sighting (and I am thankful for that).

Race morning arrived nerves started…..like always.  Yogurt, granola, english muffin, juice, and water consumed.  Check.  Car packed, room cleaned.  Check.  Off to registration and we run into Boobar.

Luckily Matt is in the next age group up this year.

We set up transition, got in a warm up run, and then I heard the promoter say wetsuits were required.  My plan was to not wear one so with only 5 minutes to go before the start I ran up to the car and grabbed my suit.  I had not worn it since last August at Xterra Stoaked, though I did soak it in the tub a few weeks ago.  This is were my one major issue all day started……..the swim for me was horrible.  I did not get the suit on properly and this created lots of restricted movement in my arms and made the swim very difficult.  My shoulders were exhausted after the first 400m lap and I still had a second one to go.  I came out of lap one and heard 7:43, not too bad, but I was sucking wind.  Lap two was 2 minutes shorter.  My transition went ok, but can still get faster, and I was off onto the bike course.  It took about a mile to feel good and then there was the issue of working on passing the people that are faster swimmers, but slower bikers.  I passed lots of people on the long climb and the following downhill.  It was like riding behind the Concord Hospital with technical rock gardens, so I felt right at home.  As I was coming towards the end of the bike leg I noticed goose bumps on my legs and arms, and also polished off the one water bottle I had, so I knew the 5k run was going to be rough.  I came back into transition and like Pete went to the wrong rack at first.  Then I noticed Boobar’s bike sprawled on the ground and laughed a little as this is just so Boobar.

I have been working on my run all winter and it was time to put it to use.  I passed one guy right out of transition and dropped him hard.  Up the park road and BAM! BAM! Two more picked off.  The “run” up the hill was brutal, but everyone was feeling it.  Once back down from Tobboggan Hill it was much faster.  I could see one guy way in front of me and picked the pace up a little and started the chase.  Pavement ends and closer, start rounding the dirt road and closer, heading into the beach sand and CLOSER……..then the sand sucked everything out of my legs.  So close, yet so far….3.5 seconds and about 50 feet more would have made it possible.  20th overall and 7th in AG, not to shabby.

Two days later and my legs feel ok, but man my chest and triceps are sore from that push-up contest.  This race is definitely on my list to go to again.  The promoter was great, the course was hard and fun, the Xterra community is a blast.  As I always say more multi-sport athletes need to try the Xterra races.  I love them.

Here is a quick photo summary:

Pete in transition
My bike racked
The car is always so neat when you back to head to the race…..not so much after
Game Face?
Pete during Saturday’s pre-ride
Our Irishman Paul Black – great guy
What I learned from the weekend:

  • Do not listen to the GPS when you know you do not want to take 95
  • Queensryche is still awesome (NJ cable has a cool station that plays concerts that are going on live somewhere else in the country)
  • Bagels in NH are good, bagels in NJ are AWESOME
  • Take my time to put on my wetsuit correctly

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