After a long hot Summer on the road, we were itching to get back on the trails. So we found a few events and signed up. Brewtallaty was a 3-10.5-2 duathlon. Easy right? The course was not provided beforehand. We've ridden Tom Brown and it's a great place to ride. We figured they'd choose the really easy trails due to the fact that some riders may not have a lot of experience.
The first run started on Magnolia trail. It's constantly up and down with lots of twisty turns and roots. Running that trail alone is a challenge. Here's the map of the run with elevation. People were fairly close together on this first run. I found that it was helpful to drop back 10-15 feet so that I could see the trail. I ran very conservatively as my legs were pretty tired from my week's boot camp workout and chatted with a fellow triathlete from Tally. None the less, I was pretty darn pooped when I got to the bike.
Next we rode East and West Cadillac trails. Riding a good fun trail has a way of reviving me, so I got my mojo back and felt pretty good. We'd ridden the blue trail on Callilac one way. It had a few descents that were a little scary but fun. We decided not to ride it in the opposite direction as we were tired and it would be really really difficult. Chris and I both though that they'd never have us ride it in that direction in the race. Oh yes they did! I rode up the first 2 small rocky climbs, but hit the Mother Lode and decided to hoof it up. Looking at the race photos, I think most folks did. I'd still like to go back and try riding it with fresh legs. After Cadillac, we rode Magnolia which was also the first run course. It was good that we'd run it and they let us know we'd be riding it later. It gave us a chance to preview the course and pick out some good lines as it has a lot of tight turns, roots and dipsy doodles.
One part of the race that worried me was passing other riders on single track. That was actually not so bad. Everyone was very obliging. If they were passing me, they'd let me know and we'd keep a dialog going..waiting to find a safe area where I could slow down and slide to the right. Likewise, I'd come up behind folks and let them know I was there. The first person actually stopped and jumped off the trail. I felt awful as there's no need for them to stop and loose valuable momentum. So the next time, I let them know I was there and quickly mentioned that they shouldn't stop. I explained that I'd go around when it was safe. That worked really well. I was happy with the fact that I managed to do that as it scared me a few years ago. I also rode up on a few obstacles that I was tempted to dismount for, but managed to get over them.
Here's a pic of Chris finishing Cadillac and heading for Magnolia.
And a photo of yours truly hoofing it up 1 of 2 harder climbs. I needed to lift my front wheel over a log right at the start of it and I'm just not there yet, but I'll get there!
The bike course. That squiggly part on the left was the last part we rode. I really had to focus on riding properly as I was tired and kept wanting to lean on my handle bars. That works on the tri bike but is a big no no on an mtb.
And finally the last run! This one was considerably less technically but still had some roots and turns. Our legs were toast! We both finally manged to run more in the last mile. Man was I glad to see that finish line. After we cleaned up we enjoyed a great post race party with home brewed beer and some great giveaways. All in all a ton of fun and a great deal for a $40.00 entry.!
So, if you want an off road challenge that's not too long, this race is a great goal. Due to the terrain being so up and down, you really don't get much of a break and you'll be putting out a lot of watts even if you're taking it pretty easy. So make sure those muscles are strong and practice riding and running trails like Carbo here at home. A few ride/run bricks on Carbo would have gone a long way for us. It made me realize that I have a lot of work to do if I want to do the Xterra race at Oak Mountain in May!