“Who would have guessed he was a figure skater?”

XTERRA Charlottesville was today. Definitely one the most funnest-est courses we race on. It has a bit of everything: rocks, roots, logs, steep climbs, steady climbs, fast descents.

Weekend started with Frank, Stacey, Vergil and I carpooling down. We previewed the entire bike course in the morning which gave us a big advantage on race day. Just before the end of the ride we ran into a couple of newbie’s just out for a ride, one of which, Dr. John Hong, had broken a chain. Frank helped him fix it. Apparently, he used to figure skate. Go figure….. See Video Seriously, it was him.

Pitched camp afterward and Frank “Did Nap”.

Race morning dawned cool and overcast. Perfect for racing. Had a solid swim and was 1st out of the water in our wave. Had a blast “playing” the bike. Rode some difficult sections and screwed up some easy ones, but felt strong and definitely faster than last year when my suspension was held together with duct tape and zip ties! After not running much since Columbia because of a nagging injury challenge, I had been able to put in a couple weeks of light runs and was hopeful I would feel strong. Ran fast and strong the whole way, which I couldn’t say for either XTERRA Richmond or XTERRA EX2 (Rocky Gap). Was psyched for that, and even more so to feel healthy! Placed 3rd Overall and 1st in AG, but more importantly went almost 7 minutes faster than last year!

Frank had a fantastic race finishing 5th Overall and 2nd in his AG. He has worked extremely hard and was happy to seem him go so well. He improved 6 minutes from last year — a time that would have won overall!

Mike Frasketi has been working so hard to qualify for Nationals in Lake Tahoe, but took a nasty fall just last weekend. Despite a painful shoulder, he placed top 20 overall! We’ll see if the points shake out, but was so proud to see him step up and rock! I’m sure it meant a lot to him also to have his wife, kids and parents there to cheer him on!

Stacey was not so happy about the long preview ride on Saturday, but she ate that course up and finished with a smile!

And then there is Vergil. Verg just started racing XTERRAs this summer. His is a long and fabulous story better told by him, but in terms of off road racing, he’s been improving by leaps and bounds. In his first full XTERRA race at Rocky Gap, he was just over three hours and hoped to beat that here. Comparing the courses, I’d estimate this one as 7-10 minutes faster than Rocky Gap. Vergil went 2:35!!! Are you kidding me? Simply awesome!

Got a chance to talk and have fun with Tucker J, Scud, Sue Smiga (who won her AG), Roger M (who crushed his AG comp by 20 minutes!), Chad, as well as some new friends! All in all, a fun weekend and one not to be missed next year if you like off-road triathlon.

If you couldn’t make it to this one, you were certainly missed!

Where is Eric?

It’s been a long time since my last post. Things have been busy at Principle Fitness, training, racing, and trying to have some sort of social life. Thank goodness for friends and for mountain biking!

Have raced 3 XTERRA races this year, the Columbia Triathlon for the first time in years, and the Cranky Monkey 12 Hour mtb race. It’s been a busy year of races for me! I’ve been pleased with my results and continue my upward swing back toward the level of competition I am used to.
Been on few fabulous rides to Gambrill State Park and Elizabeth’s Furnace (see pic) in the last few weeks. Pretty amazing the places a bike will take you.

Races coming up: XTERRA Charolttesville, (8/19), Annapolis Triathlon (9/9), and then XTERRA Nationals in Lake Tahoe (9/30).

In June I started as Second Reader in my church. The church pastors are our church textbooks, the Bible and Science & Health, by Mary Baker Eddy. Each church elects laypersons for read from these books each Sunday and at Wednesday meetings. While I was very nervous to commit to this post, I have found it an amazing privilege to really delve into the richness of these texts. It’s given me more depth in my faith and understanding then ever before.

One thing I do find, is that the deeper I dig and the more I grow, the bigger that challenges with which I am faced. It’s like a video game, I guess. Once you get strong enough to pass one level, the next one makes your work even harder. And the more you want to keep going!