Saturday, 18 July 2009

9th Xterra US Mountain Champs

With a swim start at 7500ft, the bike climbing up to 9000ft, transition 2 at 8500ft and the run climbing up from there, I knew I was going to suffer here. Just walking up the stairs in the week before left me out of breath. 3 days in Boulder and 2 days here wasn't nearly enough. The swim felt awful, any slight effort, or a mouthful of water (which happened a couple of times), leaves you out of breath for the next minute. However I exited the water only 3 minutes behind the leaders which was a lot better than last week so i can't have been that bad. Onto the bike and I just tried to keep it steady, knowing that is all you can do at this height. I caught up to 6th place and felt pretty good considering. It was a great course, using a very exclusive ski resort 'Beaver Creek', with amazing summer mountain bike trails. You should have seen the posh apartments where the pro's got housed, loving the spa jacuzzi bath. I know I've been running well, with 2nd quickest run last weekend and 4th quickest in Czech, so I was hoping to gain places and get a top 5. However, it wasn't going to be! The local guys living at this height were soon snapping at my heals as I weazed my way slowly to the top of the climbs. Place by place they came past me, in the end I was hanging on to the final cash spot (8th), but this too slipped away with a couple of Km's to go. All in all it was a lot of hard effort for no reward, but a fantastic place with great scenery, and it'll be cheap to get drunk at the altitude tonight! Returning to the UK tomorrow for 3 days, before leaving for France and Alpe d'Huez road triathlon. Hopefully this week at altitude should help me for that race which will be considerably lower.

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