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XTERRA East Champs

Want to know what happens when you are a triathlete and you complain about running? At your next race the swim gets cancelled and you get to race a duathlon!

Richmond, VA was pounded with an abnormal amount of rain during the few days leading up to race weekend and the James River doubled in size and sketchiness. No swim for us.

What is a duathlon?

A duathlon is a horrible idea that consists of a shorter run in place of a swim, followed by the usual bike portion, followed by the usual run portion. Our course ended up approximately a 2km run – 30km mountain bike – 10km run.

That little yellow thing at the front is Lesley Paterson who we all have to try - and fail - to keep up with on the run

That little yellow thing at the front is Lesley Paterson who we all have to try – and fail – to keep up with on the run. Photo: XTERRA

The first run portion usually goes by very quickly, making you think – that wasn’t bad at all! You might even find it’s easier to adjust to the bike in comparison to a 1.5km swim (see my XTERRA Southeast report on sea legs and smashing into trees). It’s not until the middle of the final run portion where things start to fall apart and you think – whaaaat happened to my legs?

Taking the first run portion conservatively seemed to work out well for me

Taking the first run portion conservatively seemed to work out well for me. Photo: XTERRA

Despite having to run twice, Richmond is still my favourite stop of the American tour (although I have yet to race Vegas, Beaver Creek, or Ogden). Great city, great locals, great course.

A few modifications had to be made to the run course as we normally cross a section of “dry river” that was now only passable by lifeboat.

Luckily the bike route stayed the same – just a bit slicker. Great for us west coast girls!

I had a ton of fun. Rocky, wet, flat, and fast – a nice break from the climbing courses we usually endure.

I seem to finish closer to the top girls on the more technical bike courses and today was no different. CJ passed me within the last km of the run and I finished a respectable 8th.

Also noted was our Canadian takeover of the women’s field. Brandi in 3rd, Mel in 4th, Danelle in 5th, CJ in 7th, and myself in 8th. Unfortunately Chantell suffered a flat and did not finish but one month later she finished 3rd at the ITU Cross-Triathlon World Champs in the Netherlands. Gotta love us crazy Canadian girls 😉

For more photos of the weekend check out the very very awesome gallery from Backlight here

Was also so great to meet Maria Elena and Brad. Maria Elena, an elite runner and OT, let 3 of us Canadians take over her home. Definitely look forward to seeing you two again at future races!

And cannot forget to thank Ethan and Shannon for the post-race get together and the entertainment 🙂

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nice account of the race. It was my first ever tri to duathlon experience, and I share your ‘horrible idea’ sentiment! Can’t wait for XTERRA RVA 2014. Best of luck for the rest of your season.

    September 14, 2013
    • Thanks Alex…for sure we’re not the only ones who dislike running twice! Congrats on a great season. See you in Maui or on the tour again next year (perhaps in the pro field?!)

      September 15, 2013
  2. At last! Someone who unednstards! Thanks for posting!

    August 14, 2014

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