Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pre-race report

Well, Friday I loaded up the car and headed out on my cross country road trip that will eventually land me in Phoenix, Arizona. The only highlights of the 5 1/2 hour drive from Nashville to the Dawg Days XTERRA course in Little Rock were finding that one of the bikes came a little loose from the roof rack and running into Ben Ryan at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere AR. Bizarre.
The car all loaded up

I arrived in the early afternoon and had a chance to get a feel for the course. The swim was going to be in what was normally a quiet inlet, but with all the flooding in the Midwest it was now a fast moving body of water because the Arkansas river had topped the levies. The bike course was not what I had been prepared for. I made the change to skinny tires because there was probably two miles of road riding to get to the trails as well as some fast double track. I didn't know that the course was rocky, rooty, and just plain nasty in the first couple miles. My pre-ride made me appreciate the soft ride of my normal Panaracer Rampages and realize how harsh over inflated skinny tires can be, even on a 29er.

At around mile 6 on the pre-ride I took a corner and my front wheel just stuck on a rock and the bike threw me. I landed pretty hard, but the bike made a worse noise as it flipped and crashed to the ground. The good news was that we were both shaken, but not seriously hurt, or at least so I thought.
the course start/finish

1 900m lap in a rectangle

I finished the pre-ride, opted not to go for a swim, and then headed to the childhood home of my training partner in Nashville who was arriving later to race with me. His parents are great and are putting me up for the weekend while we're here to race. Some pizza for dinner, Gatorade, and then some quick strategy talk before bed and we called it a day.

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