I’ve always enjoyed mountain biking. I use to race BMX in the nineties so it was a natural transition. Last year, I did a couple TBF mountain bike races. So, I decided Xterra Real would be my first mountain bike triathlon. I checked out the weather forecast for March 29th. 100 percent chance of rain. Great!
I arrive at Granite Beach. It wasn’t raining yet. I racked my bike and set up my transition. I covered everything in plastic and headed down the water, which was about a fourth of a mile away.
This was my first beach start. The gun went off and we ran into the water. The water wasn’t too cold. Since it was only half a mile, I was being a hit the entire swim. We seemed to stay in a pack the whole way.
I finished the swim and made the run up to the transition area. It was sprinkling now and I had one of my slowest T1 ever. My mountain bike shoes are not as easy to put on as my road shoes. Finally, I start the bike course. On the first turn, I see a rider who miscalculated the curve. He ended up 10 yards into the trees. It is very different from the bike portion of a road triathlon. The course was full of single track sections, sand and gravel. You are constantly thinking of what line to take and what gear to be in. It’s intense. I made it through the first 8 mile lap. I was dead tired and now it was pouring! I totally under estimated how far 16 miles on a MTB was.
The second lap was dangerous. Because of the rain, my brakes were useless. I wrecked three times. During this lap, I walked my bike up most inclines. I broke my right cleat on mile 12. The next four were brutal. I finished the 16 miles and limped into T2. Everything is soaked!
The run was pretty uneventful. I ran through the course with little problem. Even with all the crashes, broken cleat and rain, I have an awesome time. Can’t wait for next year!