Saturday, October 31, 2015

Xterra Worlds 2015 Countdown: 2 days to go....Playing in the Surf

Friday: 2 days to was about getting more comfortable. After the long and hot ride of Thursday, I headed out earlier and hit the Lower Bowl of the bike course. The legs felt much better this morning although I still kept the effort level relatively low as it was in the low 80's and rising as the morning went on (it ended up in the mid 90's as we headed shopping later in the afternoon). Despite "only" riding the lower portion of the course it was 10 miles and 1500ft of climbing....there really isn't anywhere to hide on the bike course. The course is also drying out and as such getting quicker every day, with no rain forecast through race day it should be at its quickest on Sunday.  My claim to fame for the day though was passing Xterra legend (and 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee) Conrad "Caveman" Stoltz on the course....granted he was leading a master class on the trails but I did pass him (literally like he was standing still, which he may have been at the time)!

We headed out to grab some groceries and after a leisurely lunch, headed down to D.T Fleming Beach to check out the swim location and practice the swim entry and exit. That may sound like a silly thing to say but the surf can be pretty big at the beach and so knowing how to dive under the waves heading out and surfing them back in can pay off come race day.  Fortunately my childhood days of playing in the waves came back quickly and it was a fun session. I did swim out to the far buoy as well to stretch the arms and check out some of the sighting angles.

Xterra Worlds Swim Start from 2014!
The beach was awesome and it is the first location I have been to where the lifeguard calls out to swimmers/surfers over the loud speaker and informs them of rip currents that they may be close to or actually in (and tells them which way to get out of it).

D.T Fleming Beach

Race day exit from the beach

In the evening we all headed to the "Night of Champions" banquet to celebrate the race and more specifically the 20th year of the Xterra World Championships. Something that started with 116 racers in 1996 has now swelled to 900 racers and over 300 races globally.  There were some great videos of all the global qualifying races in some very cool locations, who is up for Xterra Tahiti in 2016?  They also showed video footage from every single Worlds race here on Maui going back to the inaugural 1996 "AquaTerra" as it was called that first year. The evening finished with the Hall of Fame induction of Conrad Stoltz, oddly he didn't mention my passing of him earlier in the day!

It was a packed house at the "Night of Champions" banquet

Tomorrow Sarah and Dad run the Xterra Kapalua 10km race over the same course as the Worlds on Sunday and for me it will just be a day of relaxing and hydrating with a short run and a brief bike to just give the Orbea Oiz a check over. Plus I get to be support Sarah for a day and give back to her what she has done so many times for me. Without her I really wouldn't be able to do any of the training and racing that I do......

Can't wait to see this finish line on Sunday!

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