I've been talking about the race pretty much nonstop since I caught my breath upon completing the final leg of the event, but I'll try to keep this recap short and spare you all but the most daring details.
We arrived at Tyler State Park on Friday, around 4:00pm, and immediately set up camp. We then proceeded to carb load and drink a bottle of wine by our cozy fire. I don't put much stock in carb loading, but honestly if there is an excuse to load up on carbs, I will take it. The wine, well - secret weapon? Sure, why not.
We woke up the next morning at 6:30am. It was cold and I didn't want to get out of my Hennessy Hammock, but I forced myself to hop into the morning light. The sky was cloudy and it started to rain lightly, so we ate peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches and drank coffee in the car. Then we headed to the area of the park that would serve as the race's check-in and transition area. By that time, it was pouring rain and I was worried. I was pretty sure I could run and bike all the miles of the race, but doing 15 miles in the pouring rain? Scary. Luckily, the rain stopped at about 9:45am, just in time for a 10am start. We gathered at the mouth of the first loop and then we were off!
Nathan and I didn't stick together for the race, since he's a speed demon and I'm still in the beginner stages of pretty much everything. The first leg of the race was a 2.5 mile trail run. I kept a pretty good pace, even passing a few people, and finished in about 25 minutes. Not bad! After the run, we ended up in the transition area, where I put on my helmet, guzzled some Gatorade, and then hit the trail on my bike. Next up was 10 miles of trail riding, and the trails in Tyler State Park are very, very hilly. I'm in pretty good shape, but wow. What a challenge! It took me about an hour and a half to finish biking all the trails and by the end I had no hills left in me - I had to get off the bike and walk it up the last few inclines. By the time I rode into the transition area, I was ready to take a nap. Unfortunately, I still had to complete the final leg of the race - another 2.5 mile trail run!
When I rolled into the transition area to drop off my bike, Nathan was already there. He'd finished the whole race about ten minutes earlier and he was cheering me on. He decided to run the last leg of the race a second time, with me, and it was a huge help. Chatting while I plodded along made the pain in my legs easier to ignore, and with his encouragement I finished the last few miles in just 30 minutes - a great time considering how exhausted I was!
Overall, Nathan finished 9th out of 65 participants. I came in 44th, which is awesome! You can see the full results on the Steel Sports Adventure Racing website. I didn't really know how much I'd like this whole racing thing, but I have to say - after the high of finishing Saturday's event, I'm hooked! I can't wait to do another one.
So that was my weekend. How was yours?