SoS Coach, Patrick Valentine, on the Podium at Xterra Curt Gowdy!

It is about time!

Wow it has been quite awhile since my last blog post. Here is to a better consistency of updates on my race season. Well last weekend I finally felt like I was back in action with my first Xterra since May of 2012 over 13 months ago! Which race you ask? 2013 Xterra Curt Gowdy!I know what you are thinking were in the world is Curt Gowdy. That my friends is a fabulous question! Curty Gowdy State Park is a hidden gem in midst of the wide open spaces of Wyoming, sitting between Laramie and Cheyenne. To give you a small glimpse of what real wide open spaces look like, here is a shot of the drive to the park race morning.

Race day was absolutely beautiful, not a cloud in the sky and temperature were moderate to warm, much better that they were supposedly last year when the race took place a month later in the year. I was actually nervous for the swim for once as I have only had about 8 swims under my belt since my last triathlon. But luckily working hard the last two to three weeks must have paid off. A couple of Honey Stinger Waffles and chews and I was on my way. I ended up coming out of the water in 1st place with a time of around 16 minutes for a 1200 meter swim. Not a bad start to the morning that is for sure.

Now on to the fun part, the mountain bike! The bike course was rated as a 2009 IMBA Epic Trail system. Basically, that means you better get your butt up here and ride this place because you are missing out on some great singletrack. That also means they have created the trails for mountain bikers by mountain bikers, leading to a fantastic segment of trails to ride on race day. I don’t know what I was most excited about riding my mountain bike fast or getting to try out my new GIRO Helmet and Oakley sunglasses!

I know that words don’t do the course too much just, so here is a snippet of what the course map and ride profile entailed.

After only riding for 67 minutes the bike course was over, quite a shame too as I was just starting to have some fun. However, it was time to wipe the little kid grin off my face and get to the run. Luckily, I had a solid bike with the 2nd fastest time overall and came into T2 in second place only a little over a minute down from 1st.Now for the not so fun part, the RUN! I was a bit worried about the run because I haven’t spend that much time doing actual running. Mainly just riding my mountain bike and having a good old time. That being said I buckled down and hit the first mile hard hoping to wake my legs up from the 13 month hibernation.

The rolling terrain, lack of shade, and the sun beating down on me started to take its toll. On the uphills I tried to just keep one foot in front of the other. However, having a vast array of slick rock incorporated into the singletrack truly made this one of the more exciting runs I have ever done. I just tried to take off and let loose on the downhills and keep my pace up as high as possible. I was pleased to hold off everyone on the run. This my friends is a milestone and step in the right direciton. Because usually I try to just minimize the damage and count the people that are flying by me like I am sitting still. Not today though folks came in at 2nd place overall! This was definitely a great start to the race season and has really recharged my batteries to get some good training during Emma’s nap times.

Big thanks to some of the great folks that are supporting me this season, and helped me through my first race of the year. Honey Stinger, Osprey Packs, Big Agnes, BAP, Oakley, Giro Sports Design, LifeProof, The Adrenalin Project!Next up………….Xterra Mountain Championships in Beaver Creek, COFollow Coach Patrick Here!

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