Some of you have heard and others have not — it’s official I qualified for Xterra World’s in Maui on October 28th. I actually was given the slot before I raced at nationals this past weekend! An amazing chain of events took place.

Long Story Short:

I arrived in Tahoe sharing a condo with 4 women and 1 male racer that I had never met. I originally was supposed to room with some others racers but that fell through. Friday night, Heather and I were talking and she told me that she had qualified at the Regionals at Richmond VA. Heather had placed 2nd 5 minutes ahead of me. unfortunately (but fortunately for me) she had to withdraw from world’s just 2 weeks ago. That meant her slot was going to roll down to me! Dave “the big Kahuna” race director gave me the “You’re in” the day before race day (and just before I went for my first swim in Lake Tahoe). I think I didn’t even feel how cold Lake Tahoe was!

Okay, now for the race….

The Swim:

400 racers mass start in Lake Tahoe at Incline Village at 9am on Sunday. 58° water. 2 laps. 1.5k. Almost 20 people were pulled out during the first lap. Crystal clear blue/green water. It’s absolutely amazing to swim and se the other swimmers around you. I stayed pretty warm for about 1 1/2 laps. Then my hands went totally numb. Thanks to my sister, I had a brand new Blue Seventy wetsuit that fit like a glove. Wore an aqua sphere neoprene shirt underneath instead of a tri top. A TYR latex/spandex cap under my race cap and swim socks. The swim took me 37 minutes. Not fast but I’m extremely happy with it. I swam well – no hyperthermic thrashing this time (LOL).
Pair of socks for my hands for the 1/2 mile run to the transition area. (I actually was able to warm up my hands enough to put on my shoes and helmet).


The Mountain Bike:

21 miles or so.. Started with the road and then a 1600 foot climb up Tunnel Creek Trail. Lots of sand and gravel. This 2.5 mile “hole shot” lead straight into the infamous Flume Trail. 4 miles of tight but oh so fast single track with incredible views of Lake Tahoe if you dared to look. I was told that there were actually spotters (men hanging from ropes) on the sides of the cliffs just in case you chose to go off trail. This trail then opened up into more double track with another 600 vertical gain. Then it was back to the single track and some kick butt technical downhills. Cleaned almost all of it. it was a blast. Finally the trail merged into the Tunnel Creek trail and it was a screaming downhill to the transition area. I had hoped for 2:40:00 on the bike but it took me 2:55:00. (I think I underestimated the course a little).

The Run:

10k urban trail run around the condos at Incline Village. Fun. Tight with lots of turns and stream crossings. Not fast but steady. 1:04:00.


The Finish:

I crossed the finish line in 4:49:24 to the announcer (his name is Whit) singing Happy Birthday to me!! Couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. Swam in 58° water. Rode some awesome single track in the snow (yup it snowed several inches the day before) met some absolutely great people that I will see again and qualified for World’s.

Would someone please pinch me. I’m really not sure this is real.