Tuesday, June 29, 2010


A lot, actually. Fresh off of a silver medal-winning performance at the North Carolina State Games, my focus now has shifted entirely to the next big adventure. Yep, I’m running my yap about the XTERRA Whitewater. While it’s not exactly time for the final countdown just yet, I do need to make my final preparations. Mr. Shepherd told me that there hasn’t been the usual amount of pre-race chatter, so I’m here today to change that. The nerves haven’t kicked in yet, and I’m starting to wonder when they will.

Swim, bike, run. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, if this was a normal triathlon, it would be simple. Since this is an XTERRA, it’s gonna be a helluva lot tougher. According to the website, even the swim is off-road (I’m still trying to figure that one out.) Anyway, here’s the breakdown:


650 meters in the Catawba River followed by a 500 meter run then another 100 meters in the whitewater holding pond.

Not too bad, right? Well, the run will be crazy, since we pretty much go uphill the whole time. Don’t believe me? Well, check out the preview video:

That looks fun, doesn’t it? I’m doing the run barefoot, even though it looks like it will go through gravel, sharp rocks, pine needles, glass shards, and hot coals. I may end up paying for that decision when I hop on the bike though. Speaking of the bike, here is the bike course description:

Mountain Bike (approximately 13 miles):

Bike will begin at transition and proceed to the secondary trail head access (black star on map)

Trails ridden (in this order)(updated 6/27)

• Figure 8 Trail
• North Main (Point trail)
• At end of North Main, continue onto South Main Trail (Trail of Joy) to Carpet
• Carpet Trail
• Continue on South Main to Goat Hill
• Ride Goat Hill WITH gasline option (take a left at the top of Goat Hill and descend)(this is XTERRA, embrace the suck)(grin)
• Climb gasline and continue back into top of Goat Hill
• Descend Goat Hill by taking downhill fork to LEFT
• At fireroad crossing take HARD RIGHT
• Take Left to continue on South Main Trail
• Continue to Weigh Station
• Ride Weigh Station and continue to Toilet Bowl
• After Toilet Bowl, continue on South Main to the Lake Loop (green trail)
• After Lake Loop, continue back on North Main trail back to transition

Anyone else notice that? Embrace the suck? Oh boy. Luckily, I’ve been riding quite a bit at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, so I know all about how bad it can suck. At least this time, I’ll only be doing one lap. If my feet are cut all to shit from the barefoot running (during the swim leg), then I’ll be really suffering.

Did I mention suffering? Oh yeah, there is plenty more. As if this wasn’t enough, there will be more running. After I make my way back to the transition area and park my bike, I’ll “don” my running shoes (this time) and head back out on the trail. Here is the run course description:

Trail Run (approximately 5 miles):

Run will begin at transition at proceed to the secondary trail head access (black star on map).

Trails ran (in this order)

• North Main (Point trail)(you will NOT run Figure 8)
• At end of North Main, continue onto South Main Trail (Trail of Joy) to Carpet
• Carpet Trail
• Continue on South Main to Goat Hill
• At the beginning of Goat Hill, at the rock garden, take a hard left and climb hill and exit trail to the power lines
• Cross over/under the power lines via the emergency exit (red dotted line on map) back to the South Main
• Take a left and follow South Main until it re-enters the woods (do NOT enter the woods)
• Continue straight staying underneath the power lines (red dotted line on map)
• At Lake Loop exit, be careful of bikers
• Continue straight ahead (down hill and back up) to parking lot trail head
• At parking lot trail head, stay left along edge of employee lot/field
• Take gravel access road back towards rapids, behind boat house and onto Channel Loop
• Continue around channel loop (on gravel) to finish/transition

That doesn’t sound too bad, with the exception of running up the Carpet Trail. That will be one helluva climb without a bicycle. I’m actually looking forward to it though (for some strange reason.) At that point in the race, I’m sure to be on autopilot (or at least a zombie-like state.) I’ll be running on fumes at that point, competing on sheer willpower. Hey, like John Madden Says, “90% of the game is half mental.” What a kook.

1 comment:

Spacecowboy11 said...

good luck, that just doesn't even look like fun...well the swimming and running part anyway