|I'm all tatt'd up for the event!|
|My simple set up at T1.|
Let me say I continue to love Xterra events and Ogden has got to be one of the best of Xterras. For anyone unfamiliar, the main event is an Olympic distance "off road" triathlon. You need a mountain bike for the bike portion and better be ready to run uphill for the running portion. I've done the Richmond and Kualoa Ranch versions of the same event and they've all had some good elevation gain on both the bike and run.
The published elevation gain on the bike was 4,614 feet over 28k. About a month ago I was concerned I was in over my head. I got to some training albeit not as much as I'd hoped to do and didn't worry about it. On Saturday I was awoken to the fact that I was indeed over my head!
Around mile 12 of 18 heat cramps in my legs were nearly debilitating. Not only was I forced to walk my bike up portions of the trail I had to lie down and stretch a handful of times. It was a feast of humble pie courtesy of Utah goodness. This was the first time for me that I felt like I could really be in a DNF situation. My hydration bottles were empty and in preparing for the race I'd obviously forgotten how debilitating dehydration could be-I didn't even think to bring Endurolytes. Endurolytes for me are a magic "dehydration killer" fix. I love them but hadn't used them for so long that I'd totally forgotten to carry them. This is only my second triathlon of the year and first Xterra in years.
Somehow I survived the bike, and when I rolled into T2 my legs and stopped cramping for the moment. I walk/ran through the 10k run over a period of about an hour and a half and was completely spent when I finally crossed the finish line. DNF? Not that day.
Bottom line-Xterra mountain biking/off-road triathlons are not in the same basket as the on-road aero-bar requiring, Ironman type, triathlons. Xterras do not suffer the weak of legs. Two days later my legs still feel the remnants of Saturday's cramping.
By all accounts, the race is a world-class event. Staff is super friendly and helpful (oh yea, I left my timing chip at home and they gave me a replacement but promised to track me down if I didn't turn it in later; thanks to the Household Commander for bringing it to the finish for turn-in!) and there weren't billions of attendees. Everyone is super friendly and you're able to meet and chat with folks without feeling like a sardine packed in a can. In an era of a flooded market, Xterra's done a great job of keeping the hometown feeling in this one, something very much appreciated by this participant. I'll be back next year but much more prepared!