Friday, February 5, 2010

Tennessee Pass Winter Triathlon, 1/30/10

Every once in awhile, I toe the line at a small, local race knowing that I had better finish on the podium because if I do not something has gone very wrong. The 2010 Tennessee Pass Winter Triathlon may have been a small, local race, but the field's pedigree eliminated a guaranteed podium spot for just about anyone.

Organized by the legendary Bruce Kelly of Pedal Power Bike Shop, the race involves snowshoeing 5k, snowbiking 10k (riding a mountain bike on snow-covered nordic skiing trails), and skate skiing 8k. Lining up against Jay Henry and Mike Kloser, both fresh off podium finishes at the Winter Triathlon National Championships, plus uber-athlete Josiah Middaugh, who says he's coming off a knee injury but is always extremely strong in any competition, I knew I had my work cut out for me. All three of these guys live in Vail, and I knew they would probably have an edge on me on skate skis, so my strategy was to gain a few minutes on the snowshoe and then try to hold on for dear life.

Two miles into the snowshoe, Josiah and I (seemed to me that his knee was working just fine) had a decent lead when we hit a lengthy stretch of knee-deep powder. Forced to trudge slowly to break trail, we were caught by the field--my strategy was foiled! Josiah and I broke away again before the finish of the leg, but were only able to gain a few seconds. The primary competitors hit the bike section close together and headed out.

As Kloser passed me on a shaky downhill, I discovered that my relative inexperience with biking on snow was making me tentative, and I crashed. He was out of sight.

On the ski, Middaugh, Henry, and Kloser continued to hammer, finishing in that order. It was a great early season win for Josiah, considering the strong competition and two knee surgeries for him in November.

Finishing fourth, I had a fun time and got in a great workout; perfect training for the Mt. Taylor Quadrathon in Grants, NM on February 13th.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Travis- Beat by Kloser and Henry and Middaugh eh? History just keeps repeating itself! The great thing though is that they are on the downhill slide and you are just getting your stride. You'll beat em soon enough.
    Great blog you have here.Keep up the excellent reports.
    Dave Mackey, Team Spyder
    ..oh wait wrong decade..

    Oh and the link on Nuun on your profile doesnt go to the correct address.. they should change that.