Blackard, Grieser Win XTERRA Rock Dallas

May. 31, 2017

Despite strong winds and high humidity throughout the race, the first annual XTERRA Rock Dallas featured incredible performances.

Michelle Blackard competed the 800 meter swim, 13.1 mile mountain bike, and 3.1 mile run 2:14:29.  Kyle Grieser won the men's division in 1:49:03.

Michelle Blackard shares her experience on the course. She was the first woman out of the water and led for the entire race.

The wind didn't bother me, in fact, I thought the swim was really fun. It was choppy but it felt like I was surfing.

The bike course is really technical but I love it and felt confident since it's my home course. The number one issue was the heat and humidity. Without question it was the most disgusting day of the year so far. I mean, really, really gross. I am prone to cramping so I drank about 12 ounces of straight pickle juice as well as 60 ounces of Scratch on the bike. I had to keep my effort level really in check so that I wouldn't blow up and cramp - I was determined have a good run. The only bummer was that I had to hold myself back. I wanted to ride harder.

The run was awesome and I was glad I paced myself on the bike. I lost a few minutes on the bike to my competitors, but it was worth it to have a strong run. When I ran out of transition, I saw the 2nd place female coming off the trail on her bike, so I knew she was only three or four minutes behind me. That might seem like a lot but in hot weather, you can blow up so bad  that you can't even move because of the cramping. So, I felt like I needed to hustle. 

The run was fun because I felt strong and just kept feeling stronger the longer I went. It was really motivating to pass the men that had passed me on the bike.

 The way I felt on the run is the whole reason runners run. It was one of those rare days where you just feel this incredible unicorn magic. That feeling will carry me through all the long, hot summer months to come because it won't always feel so great. The run was only three miles, but I won't forget that feeling for a long time! 

The race organizers and volunteers were incredible. The course was perfectly marked and there were a ton of course marshals out at the weird intersections. Free pancakes, bacon, and snacks at the finish were delicious!

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