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Our Week in Tennessee

May 25th is a while back now but I wanted to put something together to recap the inaugural BE Race Series weekend. The effort our friends at Breakthrough Endurance put into this weekend is worthy of a delayed report.

The day after XTERRA Southeast champs we shuttled up to Gallatin, Tennessee to get ready for a brand new race on the off-road circuit: the BEast of the Southeast.

Craig Evans is a former NCAA swimmer turned XTERRA pro with a vision to make the off-road triathlon scene as exciting as ITU Olympic triathlon or the World Cup XC tour. Lap-style racing, separate elite/amateur/male/female starts, and a full weekend of fun.

So while Craig and Clifton were working their arses off to put the finishing touches on the event, the rest of us were hanging out in Nashville or cruising around the fast and windy singletrack of the Lock 4 Park.

I made a last minute decision to take a few weeks off work and focus on the races out east and I’m glad I did. There are very few opportunities to race off-road triathlon in Canada and with very few races under my belt, every race I get is a valuable opportunity. So thank you Breakthrough Endurance for adding another start to the calendar and making it easy and affordable for us to get there!

I was able to capture Craig’s second place finish and this picture most definitely summarizes how his week went…

Sports medicine note: Craig suffered a severe hamstring cramp coming onto the bike and lost 1-2minutes lying on the ground before he could move his leg. Cramping is due to either inappropriate pacing i.e. starting out too quickly, or inappropriate taper i.e. not resting enough in the 1-2 weeks prior to your event. In this case I am going with inappropriate taper considering Craig’s week included his usual work schedule as a medical sales rep, clearing mountain bike trails, setting up fencing/everything, his sons preschool graduation, and housing 10+ athletes. Thanks for literally taking one for the team buddy!

Other honourable mentions:

Conrad Stolz (4x XTERRA world champ, 3x ITU Cross tri world champ, etc etc) as most valuable volunteer. Including leading the kid’s race.

Conrad injured his calf following Rev3 Knoxville (on-road is more dangerous!) and wasn’t able to race the following 2 off-road triathlons – here and Richmond (XTERRA east champs).

Very cool to see someone who has been so successful in the sport so willingly give his time back and take charge of race organizing.

As for my race – Loved the lap style, singletrack course making for a faster race.

photo credit: X3 Endurance

photo credit: X3 Endurance

I was not that excited about how I felt though. Most definitely not recovered from the previous weekend of racing and going backwards after the fun sprint race we did the day before. Evidence that my fitness and health was not yet up to the high standard it needs to be if I want to race these ladies.

Photo credit: Conrad!

Photo credit: Conrad!

But a very cool experience as the rest of the women racing have all finished in the top 3 at a world championship event!

Thanks again to Craig, Clifton, and Breakthrough Endurance for taking on this challenge and pushing the boundaries of our sport.

And thank you to Greg and Sadie for the very comfortable living for a week!

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