Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lance Comes to Town

The Xterra National Championship race was held near here this past weekend. It's a short but rather extreme triathlon - 1 mile swim in Pineview Reservoir, 20 mile bike from the lake to Snow Basin Ski resort on a steep and rugged trail, then a 6.2 mile trail run through the beautiful woodsy hills where we ski in winter.

When we learned that Lance Armstrong was running, we decided to go and try to catch the finish...in particular, HIS finish. Lance just turned 40 a few weeks ago, and hadn't run a triathlon for about 20 years. Nonetheless, he's super fit and a true competitor, so we figured he'd be arriving at the finish pretty dang fast. We were right about that, and in fact,  we underestimated his performance, and almost missed seeing him.

He has a loyal following, so the finish area was crowded, his fans dispersing quickly once he came in. Had we arrived 5 minutes earlier I would have been able to position myself for a better shot, but oh well. I got what I got.

Lance finished a very respectable 5th place coming in at 2:29:25 (the overall winner finished in 2:24:25)...I'm not sure Lance  thought it was all that respectable, but I was impressed.

We stuck around long enough to see the first of the women come in. Watching them was inspiring. 

The women's winner, Melanie McQuaid from Canada, finished strong (2:43:0) but not without some pain. 

She didn't seem the least bit fazed by it.


The second place finisher, Leslie Patterson, also finished strong and with a huge smile on her face.

One of the XTerra favorites, Shonny Vanlandingham, tore her ACL shortly before the race, but competed anyway...wearing a brace..and smiling from ear to ear!! I'm sorry, but am I the only one who thinks it would have been a crazy race WITHOUT such an injury?! And how did she finish? 7th with a time of 2:54:16! I probably would have just been getting out of the water at that point...haha.

At events like this, spectator watching is nearly always as good as the event itself. This was my fave...Bette Midler meets Stephen King's "IT" ...frightening. And if you look closely, another tat behind her ear...I want to interview her. Really, I do. "Tell me, dear, what WERE you thinking?"

It was fun. It didn't make me want to go out and do a triathlon. It did make me want to come back up to Snow Basin and photograph the rapidly changing colors...which we did this afternoon. And so now, if you've had enough of XTerra, fall colors coming your way....

Working on my abstracts, as you can see, and too tired to pick just one or two favorites...

 ...a hornets nest the size of a cantaloupe

...and at the end of the day, one pooped pup...G'night Jake. G'night all.

1 comment:

Susan Anderson said...

Rocks and water always do it for me.