It wasn’t pretty, but I finished my first triathlon this weekend. The inaugural Beaver Creek XTERRA drew some of the world’s the top pros and amateurs, many of whom used the race as a high altitude tune-up for next weekend’s XTERRA Mountain Championships in Ogden, UT.
I knew I was going to suffer and fall off the back in the 1,500 meter swim through Nottingham Lake, but it ended up being even tougher than I thought. Turns out that swimming in a pond by yourself is a lot different than swimming in a lake with 200 other people. I tried to keep my pace consistent and slow, but by the end of the swim I was doing the breast stroke just to make it out of the lake. My swim split was 27:51, almost eight minutes slower than 3-time XTERRA World Champion, Melanie McQuaid.
Thankfully, things got better for me once I got on my mountain bike. It was a tough climb from Avon up to Beaver Creek and it only got steeper from there. Leave it to course designer (and my Nike teammate) Mike Kloser to create a race with over 3,500 ft of climbing in the 25K bike leg alone. I finished the ride in 1:30, the fourth fastest overall split.
I hit my stride on the 8K trail run and finished it in 44:51, the second fastest overall run split. My total time was 2:43:40, in fourth place behind pros Shonny Vanlandingham, Melanie McQuaid and Jenny Smith from Gunnison. See complete results here. And the Vail Daily has a wrap up with a mention of me here.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my results. There was stiff competition in this race and despite a tough swim, I finished strong. Most importantly, I had a lot of fun.
I want to say a huge thank you to Emily and Heidi Kloser and Ellen and Morgan Bodenhemier who watched Juniper while I was racing. (Ian was in Salt Lake City for the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow).
The next XTERRA is only 6 hours away in Ogden, UT this upcoming weekend. Now if I can convince Ian to drive back to Utah….