02 October 2009 By Rachel’s

And it Just Keeps Getting Better

Picture of Trey, the PR dude of XTERRA and a super awesome friend!Last Saturday I had the extreme pleasure of racing the XDURO half marathon trail run up Wheeler Canyon to Snowbasin Resort. This was in conjunction with the XTERRA triathlon nationals. Nationals moved to my home state of Utah from Tahoe this year. Even though my heart ached to be racing the championship, I had to put it in perspective and be pleased and excited to race the trail run and see many good friends.

Race morning was crazy as I promised a friend I would pick him up from his hotel in downtown Salt Lake City on my way up to Weber County for the race. Leave it to me, the girl who always gets lost while driving to go the wrong way (In my home town on a freeway I have driven hundreds of times. Ya.). I was so busy talking when I picked him up, that I took the wrong freeway (I-80) and didn’t notice until I got to the airport! And of course I immediately got off that exit which I forgot also meant we were going to be taking a very early morning tour or the terminals! Yikes. Nice start.
My good and ever so patient friend Jeremy from Ketchum!
Finally 25 minutes delayed, we were back on I-15 heading to the race. First we had to drop my vehicle off at Snowbasin resort and then take the last shuttle down to Pineview reservoir for the start. We had only 30 minutes until race start to change, catch the shuttle, pick up race numbers and be on the line when we got to Snowbasin. Ahhh!!! Breathe Rachel, breathe! Is what I had to keep reminding myself. We will make it.

In the parking lot I was in such a hurry. I stripped down and threw on my race clothes (I found out later that was much to the surprise and utter speechlessness at the time of my poor friend–sorry again Jeremy!) and took off running to the bus barefoot and Newton shoes in hand. We made it to the race start thanks to our rock star bus driver with 3 minutes to spare. I picked up my number and ran to the start line blowing kisses to the XTERRA crew along the way. Ya. That was my warm-up other than the fact that my blood was pumping to the near bursting of my heart in anticipation.

It was one of those races that when I toed the line, I somehow knew was going to be awesome. Sometimes you just know. From the cannon and my first step, I knew this race was mine. I was so excited to be there running, feeling well, dancing forward and upward (2,600 ft elevation gain in the race!) through the dirt and rocks. Such a timeless feeling.
Me and Dmitri sporting our winning medals after the race. Closest I have to a podium shot as my camera malfunctioned at the wrong moment!
I was shocked and surprised when I saw the 11 mile mark. I still felt great. I could have run a lot longer. Was the race really almost over? I led the women’s field from the start and traded places back and forth with a couple of the men. One in particular whom I will talk about in another post, Dimitri, is a 16 year old boy whom recognized me from Nationals in Bend. I effortlessly finished the last two miles and breaking the tape as the overall female winner (11th out of men and women) was such a sweet satisfaction. This was the first overall win I had since I became ill last July. It couldn’t have come with any better company than my XTERRA family.
After the race is over a glance at the finish line and the beautiful scenery behind it!

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I will always remember waking up at the age of 12 to the pain I saw in so many while simultaneously realizing how lucky I was to feel fantastic.

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