I am currently writing this as of April 27, 2017. I just got my blog up and running, so I am going to do a quick recap of this race as it was my absolute hands-down favorite race I did in the Xterra series.
For one, it was the closest drive from Madison, only about 3.5-4 hours, versus the 6+ I’d been driving to the others. It rained all night the night before, which miffed me a little considering it was going to be extra muddy again.
We stayed in a hotel nearby in Peoria I believe, and headed out that morning with the hubby for the race. It was overcast, and a little chilly, probably like 70°F, will have to confirm with the garmin data later. The shallow, narrow lake was a nice balmy 85°F, so no wetsuit yet again. I didn’t even bother bringing it I think haha. I set up transition as usual and headed down a short path to the park lake.
The start of the race was an in-water start, meaning you were in the water, treading water before the start (feet did not reach bottom, and you basically did a little slide into the lake haha). This was actually quite nice! Again, for the 0.5 mile swim, I was slow, probably one of the last out of the water, but there were very nice paddleboaters and boaters that kept an eye on me, and I appreciated this. This swim was the most well guarded swim. Coming into the shoreline where the swim started, there were very helpful volunteers to help get you out by the arms and pull you out. The swim start even had a nice mat to step out onto! Overall best support swim.
Coming into transition, I prepared for the mud fest to come. I went out onto the course and a few of my gears shifted on their own to easier gears…hmm this wasn’t right. Come to find out, my shifting cable had a nice kink in it that was causing the auto shifts that were very unwelcome. I was aiming for a nice bike time, but being forced into the lowest gears, I went slow. The course was well maintain, and cut a little short because of the weather and to preserve parts of the trail that would have been too dangerous to do when soaking wet. Frustrated, I came into transition, lucky I didn’t fall too far behind.
Out to the run I went after a quick honey stinger gel. The run was a modest 4 miler with some decent hills. The most exciting part of the run however was running through the zoological park! You got to see many animals as you went by…plus some people! The course was well marked and the course had an aid station you hit twice on route.
I finished, muddy and frustrated with my time, but BY FAR was the best run Xterra race. The race director even came by personally and asked about my race experience (as well as greeting me before the race too)! I really appreciated that and made it feel worthwhile and inviting.
If I have anything to say, I would say come out to this race. It’s a lot of good folks just having fun out there. Sure there is competition, and I got to see a top athlete there compete too! The race date for 2017 has changed to June 9th, 2017, so I encourage if you want a good race experience, come check this one out 🙂