Yet again, another awesome race under my belt for the 2016 season! This was the third race of the Xterra season for me and it sure was a fast one. Just like Fort Yargo, I decided that it would be easiest to get up and travel down the morning of the race rather than trying to spend the night close to the course. This time however, I was accompanied by my top two fans (Kim and Lucy). After driving the two and a half hours from Charlotte to the course, I was quite surprised that it seemed colder than it did back home. Either way, it was time to grab a good position on the transition racks and head over to check in to get my numbers. Sadly this race, unlike Myrtle and Ft. Yargo, I did not end up getting number five again. Once I got all of my GU Energy drinks and gels setup for the race, I got changed into my Cycletherapy race kit and hit the foam roller. It was very nice getting to the course so early because it gave me extra time to foam roll and get warmed up. After getting warmed I headed down to the water and had no time to warm up since the race was about to start.
Just had enough time to put my cap on before the start.
I am in there somewhere…
Before I knew it we were charging off to the first buoy (well the fast guys were, I was straggling along). After trying to swim in a straight, I finally came to an end and off I went through transition and onto my bike. I knew, just like every race, I had lost many positions during the swim and had lots to make up.
Still smiling of course
Heading out for the bike portion.
The bike course at Clemson is quite interesting. The singletrack parts of it are super fun, loose and have some steep climbs right after crossing a creek. However, the other half of the course is made of straight fireroads that seem to never end. It felt that you would ride for miles on wide fireroad before coming to another singletrack section of the course. I was trying my hardest to weave in and out of the singletrack as quick as possible because I knew with the amount of fireroad climbing it would be even harder for me to catch any of the fast guys up front. There were multiple turns where I did not think I was going to be able to keep the bike on the course, I would go into it just a little too fast and have the back tire sliding with my foot dropped doing a moto style turn through the dirt and rocks. Finally after finishing a very diverse bike course it was off to transition and onto the run.
Finishing as strong as I could.
Crossed the finish line 5th overall!
This had to be one of the most interesting and fun runs I have ever done in an Xterra Triathlon. It was crazy how diverse the terrain was from rock stairs, ducking under and jumping over logs, barely cut trail that was completely leaf covered and hills that went almost vertical. I felt that I was going to get lost the entire race but I kept seeing run course signs to follow. The hills were brutal and made you want to slow down the entire time but I knew there were more racers coming behind me so I couldn’t. I ended up finishing the race in 5th place, right behind my training partner Marcus Barton. I got 1st in my age group which I found quite funny once I realized I was the only person under the age of thirty-one at the race. I didn’t end up getting the fastest bike split like I did at Xterra Myrtle and Fort Yargo, but I did walk away with the second fastest run split behind the overall winner and Xterra new comer Dwayne Dixon. All in all I would say it was a pretty successful day racing.
First in my age group and youngest racer that day.