Xterra Lory 2018 Race Report by Coach Kurt
What a fun race!
It takes place in Lory state park which is west of Ft Collins, CO. The swim occurs in Horsetooth Reservoir, which borders Lory State Park on the east. Lori State Park is multi-use with hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and boaters using the park.
The swim is in one of the coves of Horsetooth Reservoir. The water temperature was 68 degrees today- very comfortable in a wetsuit. Sighting wasn’t a problem as the sky was a bit overcast. The wave starts help spread out the bikers on the predominantly single track course. Washing machine swimming wasn’t a big problem. My time was 17:22 for 963 yards (the swim course was a bit long).
Transitions in Xterra races can be a bit of a challenge. We ran uphill on carpet to the timing mat but after that it was barefoot in tall dry mountain grass getting to your bike. My T1 was 3:06 (a bit long as I searched for my sunglasses that someone had BORROWED from my transition towel!!).
The bike course is 2 loops of 6 miles each, with the first mile of loop one on the gravel road in the Park. It is not very technical but we did encounter slower riders frequently in the single track which slowed my time down. Passing is encouraged but sometimes the tall grass can hide a big rock so I rode conservatively through here.
One of the keys in Xterra racing is knowing the course. Knowing what lays around the next bend is important, not only for faster times, but safer rides. A lot of Xterra races allow you to pre ride a course in the week (or day) preceding the race. I highly recommend pre-riding if the opportunity avails itself.
The tough part of Lory is the run on Timber trail which climbs over a thousand feet in three miles. The trail is rocky and requires constant attention. It is essentially a 3 mile climb with switchbacks, and a two mile descent. Although there are plenty of aid stations, I chose to carry my own water but you would be fine if you didn’t. Temperatures were in the 80s today so it wasn’t scorching hot like it has been in the past.
The finish line at Lory Xterra is fun! A giant 10-yard slip & slide awaits you but if you are towards the end of the pack the pool you end up in is pretty dirty. I have avoided it in years past and this year was no exception (but it is fun!).
The awards go smoothly! Lunch is provided and is usually fish, chicken, or veggie burritos from Wahoo Tacos in Ft Collins. Age group awards move quickly and are 3 deep. This year a blue ceramic mug was the award for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. By noon, you are packing up and heading home. The 10th Xterra Lory is in the History books.
Lory Xterra is a good way to get started in Xterras. Coach Cindy and I live approximately an hour from Lory so I am able to train over there frequently. I would be happy to work with triathletes that are interested in racing Lory next year!