Saturday, June 19, 2010

Xterra Urban-Style

JAMES RIVER - Photo by Emma Garrard
Just getting ready for the second race in back to back weekends with crazy travel between. The course in Richmond is unlike any other we do in the Xterra series as it is literally located right in the middle of the city. The swim (or what passes for a swim here) is in the James river. The river is running fairly high this year which means that we will swim most of it instead of beaching ourselves on the rocks or sand bars multiple times. It is about a 500-600m swim across to a small island, a short run across the island and the swim back. With the run into transition it might take us at the most 15minutes. Usually this has me more than a little upset since my chance to put time on the other girls is greatly diminished but this year the bike course has totally changed.
Two years ago I did this race for the first time and was nothing short of a train wreck. I didn't have the skills to ride a lot of the technical urban style trails: ramps, drops, rock gardens, skinny bridges, and nearly cried during the pre-ride. I got through the race, barely, spending a lot of time off my bike. This year we arrived in Richmond to find the trails had been completely redone, lots of the technical sections have been blocked off and the rest of the trails buffed out and totally smooth. Add to that we are running the course backwards this year which makes most of the really steep uphills downhills. The course has also gotten seriously shorter to a lightning fast 18km or so. The guys will definitely be under an hour and the women not much over, yeah for me!!! They also decided to cut out the last section of singletrack on the run making the whole race almost a sprint distance. Should be exciting, though not everyone is excited as I am about all the changes. Considering the forecast is 98deg. tomorrow, shorter might not be a bad idea after last weekends meltdown in Bama!!!

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