Xterra West Championship: Santa Cruz

Race Report:

Well I didn't actually race. However, a season without racing is one thing. A season with out a race report is another. Besides, if Tim and I are pregnant....then Tim and I raced right?  Maybe not , but this race venue is too good to keep secret. Not enough people race Xterra, so I'll take the liberty to promote it. 

Friday morning we flew in to San Jose early and picked up our rental car by 8:00 a.m. 
In case you are wondering which is more economical flying vs. driving here is the breakdown. Southwest tickets San Diego to San Jose $60 per person each way. Full size car rental $15/day. Full size fits one bike box with ease and we've fit two before. Cost of bike box on Southwest $50 each way. Price to not see tail lights for 5 hours: priceless.

The drive to Santa Cruz from San Jose was short and sweet. About a half hour. We hadn't had breakfast yet so we stopped by Emily's bakery and grabbed coffee and a sweet treat to fuel our upcoming adventure. Decaf coffee for me and a mocha for Tim. Yum and double yum and we were off.

The race venue, Wilder State Park was beautiful. Tim assembled his bike, while I flitted around. I went with Tim to ask the race directors about the bike course. They told Tim the bike course was well marked and he wouldn't get lost. Tim asked for a little more information, what parts were technical and he should practice the line a few times. They suggested Tim ask Conrad Stolz, 4x Xterra World Champion, his opinion. He was sitting a few feet away and chimed in if you are willing to wait 2 minutes I'll take you myself and show you. Basically off they went. 

Not to sound like a celebrity stalker, but would Tiger Woods play a round of golf with anybody asking about course specifics? I think not. I know triathlon is small time comparatively but the athletes work just as hard (for less) and I love that. 

Off I went on the run course. It was gorgeous and I brought my phone so I could take lot of pictures.

After running the entire course plus, I returned to the car and checked my phone for messages. No Tim. Perfect. I could run 1 more mile and get my esteemed 10 miler done without Tim waiting for me. I carry my phone in this thing called the tune belt. It works quite well, but the pouch that holds the phone closes with Velcro. If the Velcro is not closed all the way the phone can fall out. We usually slap a pin through it, but I must have forgot. Clearly , I forgot. I ran my mile got back to the car and was looking forward to posting pics on Facebook when...gasp, the tune belt was empty. I began to retrace my steps, in reverse, asked race workers if they found the phone. I ran into Tim as I was searching. He helped me look. Just as I was about to give up I found the phone. Smashed. Figures I ran 9 out of 10 miles where cars couldn't go and where do I drop the phone? Figures.

Note to self: If running with the I phone listen to music off of it. That way if you drop the phone you will know immediately.

Luckily, I was due for an upgrade and more luckily I would get a chance to for another photo-run session on Sunday.

We replaced the phone, I am officially being accused of purposely destroying the phone so I could get one with a video recorder.  Tim checked in for the race and we headed down to the water for Tim's warm up. We both learned if racing in cold water it is better to get used to the water temp prior to race day. The Internet said the water was 53 degrees.

 I appointed myself as coach/ manager/ nagging wife and waited for Tim to beg to come out of the water early. He denied me of this opportunity to be smug by swimming like a fish quickly out of my vision. When he exited the water we noted one problem, the arm pits of his wetsuit had eroded. Not a lot we could do at that point except try some duct tape. 

We headed over to Pleasanton to Tim's parents house. We really enjoyed the visit and were spoiled completely by Bruce and Cindy's hospitality. I award the food preparations  a Zagat one star or is it a Michelin one star? Oh well you get the point. 

Saturday Tim went for a shake the legs out run with Bruce and I. Then peeled off as Bruce and I continued on. Thanks to Bruce, I invested some more miles in the mileage bank. Good run, good company. In the afternoon, Cindy and I headed to the fabric store and picked out material for the quilt she is making for her first granddaughter.  Wow, quilting is quite an art, and I don't know how Cindy can fit in all she does. You see she teaches full time, works out and is incredibly fit, writes children's books (that get published), and she makes incredible birthday cakes from scratch. Must be she has a bit of the "Super Mom Gene". 

Gramps came over for dinner and soon we were off to bed. 

Sunday morning we woke up to rain. Rain, rain, go away, and it did for the most part. 

T1: Not racing was strange. I made myself useful by backseat driving picking out Tim's transition spot and telling him to go for a warm up run. 

The bike... 19 miles. He said was fun but it was a bit wet and slippery. Coupled with the inability to warm up after the "horrid" swim he didn't feel like he really was able to ride as fast as possible. Good thing...there is always next time and the run.

Meanwhile I was out on the run course. I had to take my photos quick so I would be gone by the time the racers came through and so I could see Tim finish the bike. 

The views from the run course were sweet. 

Seriously, who really wants to pound pavement?

Not I said the fly!
The course was actually quite perfect for the pregnant lady, which is a surprise considering it was Xterra. There were two scrambly sections and the sections near the bluff were very gusty but all in all the course was flat. Not as fast as a course on pavement, but for Xterra fast and relatively easy. 

 Indeed I enjoyed the course.

Convenient trail markers for the non racer.

True Xterra Terrain: Runnable for the X athlete. Walking is permissible for the preggers. 

Finished with my own run in time to see leading lady and local San Diegan, Lesley Patterson on her way to victory. 1st female pro! Yee Haw. 

I was too slow to catch Tim coming off the bike, but I ran as fast as I could to hot corner and caught a glimpse of Tim heading out to the run course. 

Tim was off with no wasted time. Despite not having the swim or ride he was hoping for he did good work on the run. 42 minutes for a cross country 10K. I'd take it without complaint. 

3 cheers to Jess, also from San Diego, showing good form in her rookie pro season. 

Tim showing pain, but at least not fear :)

Thanks for wrapping it up before it got too rainy and nice work. 

It's ok if my race reports by proxy aren't very good. I'll return to race ASAP. 


tim said...

thanks for a race report! It was a super fun day!

Charisa said...

Looks beautiful! Congrats to Tim & glad you got a phone upgrade :)