The 2nd Annual Xterra Red River , which is part of the Xterra America Tour, was my first Xterra in over a decade. The last one I did was held in Oleta State Park which is in North Miami, Beach. My experience and results from these two events are quite different.
Let's start with the swim. At the Bud Light Off-Road Triathlon we swam in the beautiful Biscayne Bay. I enjoyed a great swim with various wildlife and all other athletes that day. At the Red River we got to swim in a cold, murky lake which is situated in the middle of Oklahoma. I almost didn't finish the swim due to hyperventilating and nearly having to clinch onto a kayak for my life.
The Bud Light Off-Road Triathlon bike course was held on the very popular Oleta State park MTB trails. I set the fastest bike split of the day and was leading overall off the bike. At ole' Red River we got to ride 15 miles of some of the muddiest trails ever. Not the fun type of mud either (yes there is a fun type of mud). The type of mud we got to enjoy is the kind that continues to collect on your bike until it weighs somewhere around 50 pounds. It's also the type that builds around your chain stays until you wheel stops turning and causes newbie Xterra athletes to say "this is just awful, why did I sign up for this..."
The run was the only thing that was somewhat similar. In Florida we ran on some very nice trails, along the beach and through a little mud. After leading off the bike I only got passed twice and ended up 3rd overall and 1st in my age-group. At Red River, the run course was very nice and had several technical sections that I was glad I was walking (yes my wimpy self walked the really technical sections because my legs felt like they weighted 100 lbs each after that mud bog bike leg) instead of running. In both events I only got passed by 2 other runners.
Even with the mud and being in poor shape, I had a fun time and plan to do one more Xterra this year in preparation for a full season next year. I will be moving to the 45-49 age group next year and hope to improve on the 3rd place results I got on Sunday. My teammate Tige(r) Lamb did awesome and got 2nd Overall Male and won his age-group. Especially considering he lost his brakes at the 3 mile mark of the bike leg.
I am still looking for some pictures of the bike leg. Once I get them I will post them up.