Local Knowledge and Conditions: Thankfully, I went out and rode Squabble Creek on Friday. My mountain bike experience is fairly limited, so I had a chance to figure out how to survive all the switchbacks and loopy-loos without the pressure of a race. The course was dry and hard-packed race morning and the weather was perfect!
Pre-Race Strategy & Warm-Up: I really wasn't sure how the 150yd pool swim and single track bike course was going to work out, so I had a hard time devising a race strategy. This is all I came up with: Get in/out of the water and onto my bike as quickly as possible, then not crash into any trees or eat it on a corner on my bike, and then run hard with a negative split on the 2 mile course. I did a little 10 min run to warm up and hopped in the pool. In hindsight, I wish I had spent that time on my bike and hitting the trail for a bit to get my confidence up on the bike.
Lessons Learned: #1: I love mountain biking!! This was my 2nd mtb race and I've only gotten to ride on a real courses a handful of times since I built up my bike this spring. I was embarrassingly timid on the course for the first 2 miles and pulled over to let a few people pass. Once I got comfortable, I had a blast and was able to push it a lot more. #2 I need to be more confident in my fitness, especially in these short races. I always hold back quite a bit until the end of the run thinking I won't have enough left in the tank.
Special Notes: It was great to see a bunch of other ProSoapers out there! I still haven't met a lot of y'all! Also, PlayTri did a great job! This was a really fun race. Plus it was well run and they had awards and results ready to go just in time for breakfast (not even brunch!)!