Snow Valley Xterra Triathlon 2008
August 4, 2008 by Bryan
First you start at 7000 feet
So I’ve heard of Xterra triathlons before this past weekend but this was the first one I observed. I knew where the Snow Valley park was as it is local to me but I never envisioned people traversing it in this manner. In case you don’t know where it is, Snow Valley is located in the San Bernardino National Forest off Highway 18 at 7000 feet… and that’s the parking lot! From there it’s up the mountain at least 400 feet to the lake where the swim took place. Most triathlons I have covered place Transition 1 and Transition 2 at the same place. Not so with this one. T1 is at the lake so the athletes had to bike up to the lake before the race even started.
Hiking up to the lake
In order to cover the event I decided I would need to hike up to the lake as well. It was not too bad and myself and my amateurendurance.com friends got a ride in the back of a truck when we were about half way up. From there I observed the swim and then moved to get in position for the mountain biking.
Biking through the loose stuff
All I can say about the bike is “loose rocks and sand”. Mountain biking is my personal favorite sport and seeing these athletes perform was awesome. I saw a plethora of bikes with a huge selection of hard tails and some really nice dual suspension bikes. Some people were totally comfortable on their bikes, you could tell, and others just wanted to finish alive. I think about a third of the pack had taken a spill of some kind or another by the second time around. They had to do one and a half laps on the bike.
Then you have to run up that
What what what?! Yes, you have to run up that! Seriously the run course looked like it would be impossible to just ascend let alone run up. By this point more then a few people just want to finish. The crazy thing is the winner finished the run before some people even began their second lap of the bike. This event was a total adventure. I’d recommend it to the most adventurous among you and for everyone else you should spectate one because it is totally fun. Photographing was challenging with the perfect clear skies casting harsh shadows. I used my flash in the broad daylight and experimented a lot. You can see race coverage over at amateurendurance.com and check out more of our photos in the Gallery.