XTERRA Ambassador and six-time World Champion Cindi Toepel and her hubby Circ took to the trails in Show Low, Arizona over the weekend and brought us back this report...
This race normally starts at an earlier hour than most XTERRA’s. We were all happy with that as the heat was breaking records in Arizona this year! We even started 2 minutes early due to the superb race organization – when does that ever happen?!
The swim was probably closer to 1000 meters based on times but very pleasant at 71 degrees in one of clearest lakes on the circuit. The bike course has many interesting features; rolling single track, steep rocky climbs and descents, two track, tunneling through a culvert and some gravel road for easy passing. The run may be only 5 miles, however it is not easy. Between the steep hills appropriately named the Eliminator and Mini Eliminator, the rocks, soft sandy dirt and sun exposure, there was no relief until you came to the water crossing near the end. The water was refreshingly cool being waist deep but it was a slog through a very muddy bottom.
Ashley Robota came out of the swim in 15:05 but the women’s race was dominated by Ashlie Angel. She came into T2 with an insurmountable lead. Second off the bike was Katarina Marks, who posted the fastest run of the day in 39:56, but still came up short at the finish. T2 became a flurry of activity as 3rd through 6th place entered in rapid succession, all within 30 seconds of each other. The final order at the finish was Ashlie Angel in 2:21:23, Katarina Marks in 2:23:52, and Katie Norem in 2:26:07.
In the men’s race, Silvio Lopez was first out of the water in 13:26. However, with the fastest bike and run of the day, Kirk Nelson crushed the field to finish in 2:01:11. Silvio was able to hold onto 2nd with a final time of 2:06:11. The battle for 3rd place between Kyle Herrig and Brian Grasky went back and forth all day. Kyle was finally able to put a little distance on the run rounding out the podium with a finish time of 2:10:02.
The Deuces Wild Festival is not just a race but a true festival of events. There is something for everyone during the weekend. There is a kids Tri for the future of our sport, an Olympic and Half Ironman for the roadies and saving the best for last, an XTERRA for the off-road junkies.
The food at Deuces Wild provided by Chow Hound was superb. Possibly the best BBQ chicken and baked beans we have ever tasted. Also of note, one of the most innovative awards ever presented, your finishers medal was designed to magnetically attach to the award trophy. With TriSports sponsoring this event, the raffle is legendary. From Zipp Wheels to wetsuits to shoes, all you needed was a winning ticket!