Xterra Tri the Torture

One year ago I faced my fear of flying over my handlebars on my bike by doing just that in the Xterra Tri the Torture off-road triathlon.  I survived with a few bumps and bruises, finished the long and challenging race, and "got back on the horse."  This year I have felt much more confident and in control with my mountain biking.  I am still fearful of the same types of terrain, specifically steep, rocky down-hills and sharp switch-backs, but my endurance and speed have improved.  I decided to sign up for this difficult race again this year, although this time with a team!  My mom, who is an excellent swimmer, was planning a visit to Santa Fe, so it was the perfect opportunity to meet up with my friend Alice, an avid and athletic trail runner, and tackle the triathlon together.

The swimmers are off!

It was a beautiful morning for a race this past Saturday!  The gun went off at 9 a.m. and my mom completed the first leg of our team triathlon with an 880 meter open-water "adventure" swim (consisting of swimming around buoys and under bridges).  The open water and altitude were challenging, but she finished in less than 20 minutes.  Then I was off on the long and challenging 16 mile bike ride!  The course began up a steep hill for the first mile or so of the race, then winded through the woods on narrow, rocky trails.  For the first lap I was fortunate to ride with two of my race friends who are excellent bikers and, more importantly, have really uplifting and supportive attitudes.  We stuck together for the first lap, which made the race go by quickly.  I couldn't keep up with them on the second lap, and was definitely feeling my quads more on the initial climb, but I pushed through the up-hills and tried to match my pace from the first lap.  I had a quiet second lap and actually encountered very few people, but it was enjoyable and the course was fun.

Finishing my first lap

This year I didn't feel as bad about walking through the extremely technical sections of the ride, especially after my fall last year.  (An experienced rider also took a spill on the same section a few days before this year's race and suffered a concussion.)  I pushed through the parts that were appropriate for my ability, and jogged the difficult parts.  It's always quicker to walk one's bike through a technical section versus falling and losing several minutes.  

Alice is geared up for her run!

I finished my ride in under 2 hours and 14 minutes (which was about 15 minutes faster than my goal), and our amazing runner Alice was off on the steep 4.5 mile trail run!  The run course consisted of 850 feet of climbing in the first 1.8 miles, followed by a downhill section and some challenging terrain.  Due to some confusion with the trail markings, our teammate ended up running an extra 1.5 miles, but she had a fun race and felt great!  The race finished with Alice climbing up the wooden tower and sliding down the water slide for a "wet finish."  Team "We Tri for Pie" had a great race and a fun day!  We were the only all-women team of three.  The best part of the morning was enjoying homemade pie after the race!

Team "We Tri for Pie"

Jaycob did the entire race solo and had a really good race.  He finished 11th overall for individuals, with a 13 minute swim, 1 hour 42 minute ride, and 43 minute run.  It was a great day all around!


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