Last weekend Kitima and I ventured down to Richmond Virginia so I could do the Xterra Eastern Championships. I qualified by entering my credit card number and personal information online. and accurately hitting the "submit" button.
This race is funner than a clown on fire. It is a triathlon for sure but mix in some adventure racing, (dis)orienteering, obstacle course negotiating, Muddy Buddy and parts of the swim that were more like a run and parts of the run that were more like a swim and you get an idea about what this race is like. The shit-eating grin is included with your entry-fee.
This was my third Xterra race and my dirt-education continued over a course with a 1,000-meter swim, 13-miles-or-so mountain bike ride and a 10k trail run.
Interesting setting for an Xterra as the James River bifurcates the urban jungle. The race course meanders along both banks and over several bridges.
Kitima didn't race but was in full pro-triathlete stalk mode. Below she has hearts floating above her head as she poses with Melanie McQuaid. Yeah, Mel's racing a 29er now.
Kitima got a shot of Conrad "the Caveman" Stoltz below as he entered T2 all alone. How fun must it be to enter T2 without any bikes in it? I've entered T1 without any bikes in it but that's a different story. She saw him reach into a NASCAR cooler with Jeff Gordon's number on it and take off on the run with two bags of ice...brilliant as it was 100 degrees and humid. Well that was the high...it was only 80 degrees to start the race at eight and was a mere 95 degrees during the run. Yes, even Stoltz is riding a 29er now.
Who knew the Caveman was a NASCAR fan?
Below Conrad exits the water. In the background you can see a pedestrian bridge suspended from the Robert E. Lee bridge...yes, you are Dixie. The pedestrian bridge is the start of the bike course and the home stretch of the run. Please to note the boulders, old cement bridge abutments and various foliage that make for an intersting swim; not pictured are pieces of submerged reinforcement bars.
Kitima continued her stalk-mode by chatting up mountain bike and Xterra champ Shonny Vanlandingham. Below they laugh about my chances in the race.