12/6 Hrs of Temecula MTB Race

So I gained 9 pounds during my 2 weeks "off" haha. Boy that comes on fast when you are eating/drinking whatever you want and being lazy! During this time Wattie team mate and friend Dusty asked if I wanted to join him on the 6 hr - 2 man team relay at So Cal Endurances 12/6 hrs of Temecula. It's like 15 minutes from my house, how couldn't I!?? The only problem was I was fat and out of shape. So the weekend before the race I decided to get back on my mountain bike and try and get some legs back before the race. It was a lot of fun to get back on my bike and hit the trails.

When I first started training/racing triathlon and started a blog back in 2010 I thought I wanted to race Xterra's. So my first bike was the same mountain bike that I rode last weekend, a Cannondale F5. It's just a solid (as in very heavy haha) entry level hardtail mountain bike. I raced the local Kenda Cup's and even upgraded to Cat 2 before I raced my first and last Xterra. The Xterra West Championships in Vegas. That race made me realize I was a rodie haha. As much fun as I like hitting the trails on the MTB and trail running, I don't like RACING on the trails. Huge difference. However, this last weekend - honestly I had a lot of fun and miss the whole vibe that comes with mountain biking. Most triathletes are so intense, dress dorky and are usually a-holes. Mountain bike races there are more beards, beer and camping involved. Nobody takes themselves so seriously. It's definitely more my style but let's not get carried away, there's no way in hell I'm going to go back to racing off road!

[caption id="attachment_2452" align="aligncenter" width="381"]photo 1 Race Start[/caption]

Karin (another Wattie team mate) and Dusty rode down race morning to perfect weather and serious Tough Mudder traffic which was held the same day only miles away. It made logistics a little tricky at first but we figured it out - damn joggers that like to splash in puddles (a-hole triathlete)! Got checked in, hung out and before we knew it the horn went off and Karin and Dusty were off!

[caption id="attachment_2449" align="alignleft" width="300"]1394377_10202328739201173_1607446132_n Dusty having fun![/caption]

With my rusty fitness going into this race I was hoping to only put in 3 laps and let Dusty take care of the rest. He ended up putting in 3 3/4 laps which worked out great as I don't think I could have done another lap. This course was tough! I have pre-ridden the course the past few years just for fun and there's no doubt this was a lot harder. Even the race director announced they added some tough sections they've never put in before. The course was simple: 1st half - fast & fun, 2nd half - hard & technical. Before I knew it, Dusty came flying in and I was off.

1146734_10202328739121171_1391269004_nEven though I was a little out of shape I pushed that first section pretty hard. I was telling Karin and Dusty the dangerous thing with me is that I am in better shape than I am technical - which is not a good combo in mountain biking. I found myself in a ditch within 15 minutes lol. I had a little too much pressure in my front tire that first lap and it slid out on me, over corrected, rode in a bush for a few seconds then over the handle bars and rolled down into a ditch. I was literally laughing out loud to myself. I got up with just some minor scrapes, carried my bike back up to the course where a little kid rode by and said "Are you OK mister?" I chuckled and got back to it. After passing the "baton" back to Dusty I saw that Karin took a spill too in her first mountain bike race. She did the 1 lap race and ended up winning - no big deal!

I stripped down to dry out the clothes, grabbed a bunch of food and drinks like I had all day until Dusty came in. It's amazing how fast 45 minutes come. I felt like I sat down for one minute before we decided it's probably a good idea to get to transition. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful for the most part. It just got harder and harder. We floated right between 10th-13th place most of the day and ended up placing 12th overall which I was kind of shocked as a lot of talent goes shows up to this race. It was Dusty's first mountain bike race too and with his MTX/off road back ground he handled the course really well and killed it! After my 3rd lap I was told that I was done. Best news I heard all day. Beer me!

happy hourWe capped off the day with dinner/drinks at my favorite gastropub in Temecula, The Blackbird Tavern. Amy and I got babysitters and enjoyed great company with Karin and Dusty. One of my favorite things about racing is sharing it with others over a beer. After each beer the race becomes harder then it really was and you become faster -it's awesome! We had a blast and maybe someday when my Ironman days are over I'll get back to racing on the mountain bike.

Race stats:
12 813 Wattie Ink 7 5:19:11
0:32:48 0:45:30 0:45:04 0:46:53 0:49:23 0:49:43 0:49:47
My splits are in bold. We had very similar splits, glad I didn't slow him down!

My average heart rate for lap 1 was 175! I thought I screwed up but was able to maintain an average of 172 HR for the entire race. Fitness and ability to hurt is ready to get this Ironman training started!

Here's a short little video I put together, enjoy!


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