Hi all: this was sent along from one of the best off-road age-groupers, Steve & Lori Whitmore from London, ON
here is the link to the results. The overall results are first but if you scroll down you can see the AG results starting with the men, so you can see how we did in our age group.
Lori and I both had strong races, I had a great swim and was riding really well until I flatted with 4 miles to go. I had to change the tube which cost me at least 5 mins. I continued on and had a solid run to finish 9th of 52 in my AG. If I didn’t get a flat I would have been 7th, the same as I was in 2003. Overall I was very pleased. It’s really tough competition and the course is very demanding.
It is by far the toughest course I have ever done. The hills on the bike both uphill and downhill are unrelenting and never ending. There is nothing in London to compare to the volcano we ride up and then go down. You have to see it to believe how long and steep these hills are and they are extremely rough, with loose lava rock everywhere just to make things a little more challenging. Did I mention this is during the heat of the day with no protection from the sun. So you are literally baking as you climb up this volcano. I made it back to T2 feeling good and eager to get out on the run.
The first 3 miles of the run is all up hill on a gravel road. I’m talking Snake hill steep for 3 miles straight. This kind of dampened my enthusiasm for the run but I was glad to be finished climbing. Then when you get to go downhill they turn you off onto a singletrack track trail that has grapefruit size loose lava rock all the way down so it is very difficult to let it go as you are zig zagging around the rocks hoping you don’t twist an ankle. When you finally get down the volcano they run you along a mile long beach with very deep soft sand, then through a forest called Spooky Forest with lots of spooky trees and vegetation. You have to jump over fallen trees and bend under overhead trees all through this section. Then you come out of that to a black sand beach that is about 700m long but soft deep sand once again. Once you get through that they run you through a lava field right at the ocean. It is extremely jagged and treacherous rock, and very difficult to run on. Needless to say you have to slow down for this section. Not to mention this is after almost 3.5 hrs of racing in the heat and unrelenting sun, so you are not at your best to put it mildly. Once you get through this section you only have to run through a melon sized smooth rock field for about 300m and then its on a golf course for the final 800m to the finish. Of course they make you scale a 4ft high lava rock fence to get on the golf course. The run into the finish is nice and smooth on the grass but it is uphill but you are so glad to see the finish line you don’t care about the hill.
Lori had a great day as well, she was in 4th place in her AG until she flatted half way down the Plunge. She fixed the flat and flatted again a couple of minutes later. She fixed it again and flatted shortly thereafter. Out of tubes, she ran/rode on her rim the final 4 miles to T2 and finished the race with a determined run. She ended up at least 30 mins slower due to her troubles so is disappointed but pleased she was able to finish the race. I am so proud of her for pushing her bike and riding when she could with a flat tire so she could finish this race. It’s too bad she flatted as she was having a fantastic race and was feeling strong on the bike. We will never know how well she would have finished without the flats but that is part of Xterra racing and you take what you get.
We are both eager to relax and enjoy the gorgeous weather here in Maui (high 80’s and sunny every day). At least for a few days that is. Later this week we plan to do the epic ride up to the top of Haleakala volcano. You start at sea level and ride 38 miles of paved road up the volcano to the summit at 10,000 ft. Sounds like be fun eh! Then we get to ride down 🙂
Shane is having a great time snorkelling and boogie boarding. We have seen sea turtles 3 times now while swimming just just off our beach. They are amazing and very tame, they come right up to you. Shane loved it.
Please forward this on to anyone you think might be interested.