Mine Over Matter Race Report

MOM podium

This past weekend I got to race my favourite race of the year.   I had been looking forward to it since I started back at training in April.   I started to ride my mountain bike a lot more this year and started to race a weekly MTB race series to help hone my skills.   The race series I think really helped with my early season bike fitness, there is nothing better for absolute power and anaerobic fitness then a few hours of racing on a mtb.

I had raced the week before in Saskatoon and took a few days to completely recover from the effort.   I only started to feel good on the Wednesday.   I went out to the course and pre rode again on the Friday and felt awesome and that got be ready for a great race the next day.

Race morning I got a surprise in that Karsten Madsen who was not going to race decided to come which added another name into the potential winners.   My game plan was simple, swim hard bike hard and be out of mind on the run.

The swim went well, the water was warm but wetsuits were allowed.   This is usually tough for me and forces me to back off a little because i am prone to overheating.   Myself and JP were able to gap Karsten by around a minute.  Onto the bike I wanted to get ahead quickly and went hard for the first half a lap.   One of the challenges of Xterra is you can only be 20s ahead of someone but never see them when you look back.   Halfway through the first lap I could no longer see JP and thought I was in the clear.   It was not until the second time up the hill ( really the only place to see more then 1min back ) when I saw that Karsten was gaining on me.  This put me into a bit of a panic mode and tried to ride as hard as I could to the end of the bike.  I apoligize to all lapped traffic I scared trying to pass at the end of the second loop I was desperate not to let Karsten catch me.

Heading out onto the run I felt pretty good which helped the confidence because a lot of times I know within the first few steps if it will be a bad one.   The first part of the course is open and I could see him behind me but not really gaining time.   We then went into the forest and onto the technical trail.   Like the bike you can not see more then 10s back and I started to get into a confident mindset that I was pulling away and going to be able to cruise to the finish.   at around the 6k mark you come out of the trees and onto the open trail again.  When I got out I took a look back and saw Karsten about the same distance back as he was when we went into the bush.  Crap, now I needed to work hard to keep him back.   We got off the road and onto the trail around the lake and I kept looking back to see if he was gaining.   The gap stayed pretty consistent for the last 3k.   I had to work hard to keep the tempo high, I have not done a lot of fast running over the last 2 years with the IM last year and limited running time this year so I was not confident in my speed.   I used a trick I used to use in my ITU days to help keep the tempo up.   I would count to 100 as evenly as I could and made sure my legs kept up with the counting.    I did this over and over again when I felt I might be slowing down.   I kept the pace right to the finish line as was able to hold Karsten off.    After we both crossed the line was the first time I noticed JP was closing fast on both of us and finished only 20s behind Karsten.

It was great for the race to have the top 3 all within 40s of each other.  In the past the winner had won by over 4min every year, not making for very exciting races.  It felt great to come away with the win when all 3 of us had good races.   I am now the 2x ITU Cross Triathlon National Champion.  It never gets old being National Champ!

winning mine over matter

MOM podium

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