Sunday, May 21, 2006

Race Report: Memphis in May MTB Triathlon

The Memphis in May weekend extravaganza that we signed up to do included a mountain bike race on Saturday, and then an olympic-distance race on Sunday. We wanted to do both so that we could compete in the amateur challenge, where they were actually paying some money to winners 15 deep! We’ve done pretty well in off-road races, so it was a pretty easy decision.

The race went pretty well for me. The swim had two mass starts – one for the guys and one for the girls, so I only had about 50 people to deal with (the swim start is not my favorite part of the race). I think the gun took most of the women by surprise, but I took off! The swim was pretty uneventful – I passed a lot of people and felt really good. I love my new sleeveless Quintana Roo Superfull (Justin bought it for me at an unbelievable price online); it’s been one of the best buys ever for me for triathlon. I’m so comfortable in it, and my arms have a complete range of motion that my other full-sleeve wetsuit really didn’t give me. The bike started well enough. The route was over fields and then moved into a singletrack area. I passed several guys early in the open field area (marked by these little flags…it was pretty hilarious). When I entered the single-track area, I was impressed because it was more technical than I was expecting. There were a few decent-sized logs, pretty twisty areas that were surprisingly narrow, and a huge mound of kudzu that seemed to grab at my chain ring as I rode over it! There was also a ravine, were I had to dismount and carry the bike across. A super nice volunteer pulled my bike up the other side…so nice, since it was pretty steep and my bike shoes generally aren’t optimal for hiking up enormous hills. About half-way through the ride, my damn saddle began to slip on the seat post, so that it was inching skyward…unbelievably annoying to try and sit on a saddle that is pointing north. And, I looked like a dork. It was a good exercise for me to try and be tough about the situation and just deal with it so that it wasn’t a race-breaker. I got back to transition, funky seat position and all, and took off on the run, which was a 3-mile loop through the field and into a few areas of singletrack. I put my foot into a hole and freaked out about injuring myself with the road race the next day and the TTT the following week (we have a lot invested in these two weeks!). I was a bit disappointed that there was only one waterstop, but managed to finish fine, although I felt more tired and hot than I expected. I was the first woman by ~10 minutes, so I was pleased with the results. I think I was 13th overall, and since Justin and I assumed that they would be awarding the amateur challenge awards to the top 15 (not the top 15 men and top 15 women which is what they ended up doing), I was pleased to be in the top 15. Justin did great with an 8th overall and an age-group win. I think we both did a good job of racing pretty conservatively in light of the following day’s race and next weekend’s TTT. We really enjoyed the post race barbecue!

Memphis in May 2006 MTB Results


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