It's Pronounced Ver-sales... Race Report: XTERRA DINO Southern Indiana (Versailles, IN)
This one's going to be pretty quick. It's going to be quick because there really wasn't anything extremely interesting about my race. It was a great race for me, plain and simple. It was nice, too, because this was a very late addition to my schedule. I have family in Northern Kentucky and this race was only an hour away from them so it worked out well. I got to see my family and spend some time with them and get in a race at the same time.
The morning weather was cool when I woke up. 64 degrees. I was very glad that I had a sweatshirt with me. Pre-race was uneventful. I woke up, ate two cherry Pop-Tarts then loaded up my stuff and headed to the race. Race start was 9am. I arrived just after 7 so that I could get checked in and get my packet. After packet retreival, I set my tire pressures, lubed my chain and then was getting ready to head to transition when a familiar black 4Runner pulls in next to me and Douglas Clark gets out with a big sheepish grin on his face. He decided to sign up last minute to try and sneak a few more points in (which is pretty much the same thing I did). It's always good to race with friends and having Doug there made for a much more enjoyable day.
It seemed like we waited forever for the race to start. We finally got the announcement around 8:30 that the lifeguards were set and the water was open for warmups. I got my swimskin on, grabbed my stuff and headed to the water. Water temp was 78 and felt really nice. There was a bit of a chill still in the air so the warmer water was welcome. I did a couple hundred meters warmup with a 25-ish meter hard efforts to get my arms working then headed back to shore. It was an in water start but in the shallow so no treading water. I lined up very aggressive near the inside. The course was a counter clockwise lap around a 1000 meter triangle then back to shore. The start command was given and I took off. I went out hard and tried to stay with the lead pack. There was some bumping and rubbing but it didn't phase me. After around 200 I could see the clear leaders pulling away but I was happily in a pack of 4 or 5 guys and we were working well together and staying in our own tidy space. It made for quite a nice swim. I was able keep my head down and stay in rhythm pretty well. After the first buoy we headed straight into the sun. I couldn't see the next buoy at all so I just followed the guys in front of me and hoped they knew where they were going. I'm sure they were doing the same but soon the sun was behind the tree line and the buoy came into sight. Happily it was still in front of me. I rounded the last bouy and headed toward the shore.
Swim Time: 17:42
Out of the water there was a short, grassy run into transistion. I stripped my swimskin to my waist and made short work of getting it the rest of the way off once I got to my rack. After installing my headband, glasses and helmet, I grabbed the bike and was off. The bike course was fantastic. It had a little bit of everything. There were lots of nice twisty singletrack, some nice little stinger climbs, some great little rocky bits, some roots, a couple of longer climbs and just enough techincality to keep things interesting. I would say that this is in the top 3 of my favorite courses I've raced. The bike ride went very well. I traded spots with a couple guys and made up a few spots here and there. I passed a couple guys with mechanical issues but thankfully I avoided any of my own. The bike went very well for me. I was smooth and comfortable... pretty much the exact opposite of my ride last week in Charlotte.
Bike Time: 1:07:13
I had a smooth flying dismount that set up a very quick T2. Racked the bike, slipped my shoes on, grabbed belt and bottle and headed out. I had been warned by a friend of mine to save some for the run. He certainly wasn't kidding. The first half mile or so of the run wasn't so bad but from there to about mile 3 it was filled with gnarly rooted ascents, stingers climbs, rocky sections and even some stairs. I was getting on pretty well, though. Around mile 3 of the 5 mile run things smoothed out a bit and I was able to push the pace a bit. All in all everything went very well on the run.
Run Time: 45:16
Total Time: 2:13:32
I had a fun time racing this event. The race staff did a great job of putting on a quality event in a beautiful venue. Everything was well marked and the aid stations were staffed well. It was nice to see some spectators out on the course at a couple of the places where the course crossed the roadway. I would highly recommend this race. I would also highly recommend making a trip to Versailles State Park. The park has some great trails and lots of other great facilities as well.