After Xterra Real in early April, the thought of waiting until the end of June to race again seemed like a long time to wait! So I decided a road trip to Southern California was in order for San Dimas Xterra Renegade. Keeping the training going was a little tough as it seemed each weekend we would get rain or snow, making outdoor riding difficult. But a few road trips to Reno and Auburn helped to get me outdoors and on the bike!
Race weekend came before I knew it and off I drove to Southern California. I was excited, but also anxious! There were going to be a really strong field of women from the local area at this race! Ten hours of driving later I found my way to the hotel, got a bite to eat and called it a night, wanting to be well rested to pre ride the next day.
What a beautiful day for a pre ride, the sun was out and it was hot, my car said 90! Once packed I headed out to find Bonelli Park. I obviously took the scenic route and ended up driving around the lake, I finally found the “Swim Beach” the official start of the race. They were just starting to set up the transition and the finish area, the course had not been marked yet. I had brought a map with me, which was a good a thing, however it wasn’t until I hit a few dead ends that I decided to pull it out and actually look at where I should be riding. About halfway thru I ran into a few others pre riding and also winging the route. One gal decided to join me on the last 3 miles of the loop, this race was going to be her first triathlon, little did I know at that time that she was going to smoke the course and win the overall, way to go Annie!! Anyway, we finished out the ride, making a few wrong turns but still getting a good feel for the course. By the time we got back to the parking area the race crew was just setting out to start marking.
I decided it was time for me to go eat, hydrate and put my feet up, if tomorrow was going to be as hot as today I better be well rested! On the way back to the hotel I found this great spaghetti house called Vince’s – super good take out! Well feed, hydrated and packed for race day I called it a night!
Race morning came fast, as they normally do since I am not a morning person. After a good breakfast I packed up the car and headed back to Bonelli Park. Check in for this event was race morning, it went pretty fast. I got my packet gathered my stuff and headed into transition to find a good rack and get set up. One of the things I like about Xterra is you meet so many great people from different areas and the races bring you all back together and this race was no different. It was getting close to go time so I headed down to the water to warm up, the lake was a warm 71 degrees, not like Tahoe! This race actually had a swim chute start that we started in and swim waves, which I love! I patiently waited for the red caps turn to enter the chute, and then the horn blew and before I knew it I was running into the water with the rest of the women.
Being a spring race this course was a little short, great for those of us still dealing with snow at home. The swim was one loop, counter clockwise and with the water temperature being so comfortable it flew by. I felt great and I soon noticed I was getting out of the water with a strong group of riders. After a quick transition I tried to stay with them on the bike, but did not succeed. Overall I felt like had a great bike, but after mile three I never saw another woman so was unsure how I was really doing. I kept pushing forward amongst the men, and by lap two I thought for sure I would start seeing some women, but still no sign, just more men! I kept on pushing, thinking maybe on the run. I came into transition moved as quickly as I could and headed out straight up hill. It was a hilly run, but offered some gorgeous views! After the last climb I knew the end was coming soon and I finally saw other woman, at the finish line! I wasn’t sure how I did, but turns out 9th woman finisher and 3rd in my age group (1st & 2nd place in my age group won the overall women’s race). Not too bad considering it is still early season and finally the snow is melting off our trails at home so we can get outdoors more!
Renegade Race series put on an amazing event, it was very well organized, the volunteers and support were great! I would highly recommend this race and plan to make the drive again next year! Next up for me Tahoe City Xterra in June!