those who think
1. On my pre-ride of the course Saturday evening, I saw six whitetail deer, seven turkeys, and one groundhog. On race day, several people spotted a black bear lumbering across one of the trails.
spent Saturday night at a campground run by and populated with dentally challenged
uh, hill folk who would do
3. The bike course, just 16 miles long, had about 1500 feet of climbing and 2000 feet of descending. 4. The run loop, only 5 miles long, had about 1500 feet of both climbing and very steep descending.
To access the start of the race, we took a gondola ride to the summit of Mountain Creek ski area, and then rode a mile or two out to a fairly remote lake. The course was the usual 750-meter triangle with a brief beach trot in between loops. Several of the pros worked together for an impressive 19-minute split; the rest of us mortals staggered in later.
The bike course was NORBA-esque: lots of gnarly, rocky singletrack, and one long, grinding climb up a ski area access road. It was tough, too. As one person put it: "If you didn't crash at least once, you weren't trying hard enough." I must have been trying; I biffed less than a half a mile into the ride while trying to pass on the single track. Tweaked my front wheel, which I realized after the race caused my rim to rub rather heavily against the brakes. At least that's my excuse for the perfectly mediocre ride I turned in--that and the lack of snap in my legs.
Or maybe I was saving up for the grueling run, where I actually passed a few people, and where Ned Overend once again lapped me. Ned, by the way, almost won on a course ideally suited to his Colorado-honed skills (he did the bike section in an astonishing ), but Michael Tobin edged him out on the run for yet another victory.
Once the principals finished, the rain began, leaving a string of heaving people trance-walking up ski slopes and stumbling back down through the woods. I admit it: I walked the steepest part of the second lap, too. It seemed faster than taking the shuffling, six-inch "running" strides I was reduced to.
Despite closing the huge gap between myself and the pros ever so slightly (compared to the last XTERRA race I did), I didn't even place in my age group. Must be some fast old men in the New York Metro area....
but the post-race! The entry fee included access to the