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Xterra Tri race report

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,764
0
Vestal, NY
Saturday was my second Xterra triathlon. It was held at Grafton Lakes State Park about 30 minutes east of Albany, NY. I got to the race early... got my transition spot setup and headed out to scout some of the run course. The run looked relatively flat :-)thumb:) and pretty technical :-)thumb:). I was feeling pretty good about the day.

Then came the pre-race athlete meeting. That was less than stellar, prompting mass confusion about the course, especially the swim (which you'd think would be the easiest part to explain). After a few explanations, athletes were able to get the gist of what we needed to do, and we headed over to the starting area.

We started with a 200yd-ish run along the beach, which was interesting in a wetsuit, but it was a good way to thin people out a bit before getting into the water. The swim consisted of two 500meter loops separated by a short run on the beach. Odd, but it actually worked out pretty well.

I was out of the water in 20 minutes.

Wetsuit off, swim cap/goggle off... jersey on, backpack on, socks/shoes on... and I was off on the bike.

The course was really fast compared to the other Xterra race I had done - primary double track, but there was enough rocky technical riding to still be able to call it mountain biking. I passed several people with flats and a 2 people with damaged r/derailleurs. I tried to pace myself on the climbs (slow and steady), so while I passed a handful of people on the climbs, I was also passed by a handful of people. But on the descents I made up a lot of ground thanks to my invincibility complex. I made it a point to drink as much as I could (hydration is almost always my downfall during races). Midway through the bike, my biggest problem was that I forgot my gloves, and the sweat on my palms made the grips really slick, which didn't help me during the rocky sections. But even so, I was feeling pretty good about things.

15 miles done... Time check at T2: 1:29. I was killing it!

Backpack off, run belt on, shoes changed, rice crispy treat eaten and I was off for the run.

The run was pretty technical, but not brutally so. Lots of roots and rocks, but I like that stuff so I was able to get into a good rhythm right away which almost never happens. I felt good early and it lasted. 2k into the run I was holding a good pace, had good footwork, and still feeling pretty strong. Drinking 1.5l during the bike was paying off. At 3k I started to feel my legs getting heavy and stumbled a couple of times from not picking my feet up high enough. I walked a few hundred yards, and took the opportunity to suck down a couple of gel packets. The boost of caffeine was just what I needed and I was able to finish strong.

I crossed the finish line in 2:10.

It was an awesome course, and while the organization/running of the event didn't impress me, it was sufficient for a good experience. I'll be doing this race again next year for sure.
 

Jim Mac

MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN
May 21, 2004
6,364
281
the middle east of NY
Awesome! I used to ride at Grafton quite a bit and helped build some singletrack in the park. You are right about it being relatively flat as it's up on top of the Rensselaer Plateau.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,864
957
01776
Now you've got me wanting to do the one up in NH in two weeks. Too bad I haven't run or swam in a month...
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,668
435
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
We did a race clinic on Friday night to preview the bike and ask questions about the swim and run with one of the LUNA ProTeam members. Congrats. Earl did this race too and will likely do it again if it doesn't coincide with monkeyfest again.
 

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,764
0
Vestal, NY
Now you've got me wanting to do the one up in NH in two weeks. Too bad I haven't run or swam in a month...
Who cares... the swim is so short it shouldn't be a problem for most, and the run you can just grind through - the bike is what makes the race, and you should be fine there.
 

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,764
0
Vestal, NY
We did a race clinic on Friday night to preview the bike and ask questions about the swim and run with one of the LUNA ProTeam members. Congrats. Earl did this race too and will likely do it again if it doesn't coincide with monkeyfest again.
Was it his first xterra? It was my second, and this course was sooooo much better than my first race. I know courses vary location to location, but hopefully they are more like this one and less like my previous race.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,864
957
01776
Who cares... the swim is so short it shouldn't be a problem for most, and the run you can just grind through - the bike is what makes the race, and you should be fine there.
awe, I'm fattered.

I think I'd do the short race, which is half your distances.
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,668
435
Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
Was it his first xterra? It was my second, and this course was sooooo much better than my first race. I know courses vary location to location, but hopefully they are more like this one and less like my previous race.
It was his first. Did the run take you up to the Fire tower or have they changed that? It's actually a long run for an Xterra (a 6k instead of a 5k). They've also made the stream crossing a mandatory dismount (I think this is still true) which annoyed him a little. He finished7th and hadn't trained at all...just decided to do it. His biggest trouble was getting past people on the bike leg (no one gets the "on your left" apparently) and the fact that he came out of the water the first time and didn't have as many splashes to follow for the 2nd lap (he's blind as a bat without his glasses) so he swam off course a couple of times.