Into T2 in fourth and I could see Shae Rainier right on my heels as I headed up Jacob's ladder, this huge set of stairs right out of transition. I was feeling a little sluggish on the run as I had taken a little more than week off with a sore hip going into the race and was missing the snap and turnover I had in Vegas. I have to admit I really got stuck in no man's land and thinking back on it definitely eased off the pace. There was literally no one in sight either behind me or in front and on a couple of occasions I even started to wonder if I was still on the right course. That was until we came out of the trails and onto the road with a hundred meters or so to the finish and Emma came just flying by me. I heard her just seconds before she caught me and tried to make it a sprint finish but she was just moving way to quickly and I had to settle for fifth. Solid race, but could have ridden the bike smoother and definitely could have dug deeper on the run.
Big congrats to Renata for taking the win and Emma for her highest placing ever. Post race I again showed off my excellent bike handling skills by completely wiping out trying to hop the smallest curb ever on the cool down ride with Branden, Renata, and Ryan. Thankfully, other than a bruise on my hip, embarrassment was all that I inflicted on myself. Next up ALABAMA!!! Can't wait. I almost think of it as my second home now as I've trained there for the past two winters. Oak Mountain has some of the best trails in the South and overall it is just a great venue for a race. If you were even considering travelling to an Xterra race this year definitely come to this one!!!