What better way to spend your birthday than to head to Mexico for a race?! Last year I celebrated my 30th in the small town of Tapalpa and had so much fun, I went back for my 31st.
Not a bad place to spend a week
I could get used to this view
Out pre running on part of the bike course
Another pre run. Checking out the part of the run through town. Cool stuff!
Out pre riding the course with most of the pro field. That’s how we roll.
Hanging out in town square after checking out the run course
The race was a total blast and loaded with excitement! There were some fast swimmers out there and I had the usual “Out of the water 4 minutes down from the leaders” swim. So there was a bit of moving up to do on the bike.
I’ve only had the feeling that I had as I jumped on the bike a few times, but I need to figure out how to have it all the time. LIGHT AS A FEATHER! I couldn’t believe how great my legs felt. I quickly started to move up to the leaders (I was given time splits by spectators).
As usual, I was pushing it all out on the most technical, dangerous, and hence most fun stuff. There were giant mud puddles everywhere from the rain the day before. 19 out of 20 of those I rode through no problem. That 1 that I didn’t was a little rough. I launched over the bars Superman style at full speed, tumbled down a hill, and the rolled around in pain for a minute or two. It hurt pretty bad, but after a few minutes of soft pedaling I was able to get back on it. I think it was the adrenaline.
Not knowing if I would be able to run, I pushed it into T2. I dropped one guy who had caught up to me, but I couldn’t shake the other guy. Turns out he was an Olympic mountain biker. Oh… that’s probably why I couldn’t drop him ;-)
Luckily for me, I was able to run (still thinking the adrenaline had a lot to do with it). I put enough time into my pursuers that when the adrenaline finally wore off on the second lap of the run, I could back it off a little bit and still hold my position.
I came flying down the stairs to the finish line to be treated to one of the most special finishes I’ve ever had. A banner with my name on it! How often does that happen?!?
I was stoked to have held onto 3rd despite one of, if not the, hardest crashes I have ever had in a race. Branden and Paco battled it out from the gun and only during the final lap of the run, was Paco able to edge out Branden. Wish I could have been up there with those guys, but it’ll have to wait til next year!