Friday, April 4, 2014

XTERRA Guam Race Report

The 10th Annual XTERRA Guam Championships was my fitness resolution which I made and committed on January 1st while in Niseko, enjoying the fresh powder snow and sensational Japanese cuisine. I chose a concrete goal ~ an off road triathlon which would require me to swim 1.5km, mountain bike 30km and run 8km. It's been several years (at least 5) since I've completed a full triathlon due to my prolonged injuries from my shoulder and knee. It's been fantastic to get back into training shape with incremental improvements in the water and the bike.

 I ventured to Guam alone as Russ had to a work camping trip last weekend so I was a bit nervous about preparing for the race alone. Two days before the race, I got on the bike course, where the infamous red dirt covers at least 10km of the bike course through its hills and drops. 
Racing XTERRA is an adventure because we get to race alongside professional triathletes who are incredibly fast as well as kind.  Renata Bucher is a long-time friend who's visited Saipan about 10 times and we've also traveled to Switzerland to see her as well. XTERRA brings friends together from across the globe. By the way, Renata won XTERRA Philipinnes and XTERRA Guam!

 A race is not a race without proper nourishment. Paul, front right, made THE BEST pre-race meal with two delicious and healthy salads, plus grilled fish, chicken and steak. Yum! It was delicious and I'm sure it helped me feel good throughout the race.
 Last Saturday morning, I awoke at 4:30am to eat breakfast and drive 20 minutes to Port Authority Beach for the start of XTERRA Guam. I prepared all my bags and gear the night before and wanted to have a solid race where I could finish within a reasonable time.

 The swim was quite good ~ two laps of 750 meters and I surprised myself by finishing 39th out of 117. From the swim, I hopped onto my bike, prayed and managed to get through the tough technical sections. My bike shoe separated from the sole so the cleat was stuck to the pedal while I tried to get out of it. Unfortunately, my shoe did not cooperate which made for at least 5-6 big crashes on the dirt. Yes, there was blood and lots of bruises, but no major injuries ~ thankfully.
 The run portion was the last part and I ran/walked through the jungle/river course. For the infamous waterfall, I scooted down on my butt, wearing my bike gloves and waded through the chest high waters to eventually reach the finish line.
I smiled throughout the race because I was enjoying the moment. Yes, it was exhausting, tough and dirty, but it also was fun because I made it my goal to just finish. And, I did in 4 hours 43 minutes!
My good friends, Tyce and Renata were there at the finish.
 Here you can see how my bike shoe separated from the sole. The sole has a metal plate which connects to the pedal. Because it wouldn't disconnect, I couldn't get off my bike when I needed to stop. My solution... I just bought a new pair of bike shoes for the XTERRA Saipan race tomorrow.
 The Stewart's were my homestay hosts last weekend and they were so wonderful. What an amazing family! Thank you so much for allowing me to spend time there and enjoy the comforts and company of your beautiful home.

Tomorrow... XTERRA Saipan where Russ and I will both race in the Sports Division.