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Texas, United States
Welcome to my blog. What is a triathlon? It's a swim, bike and run usually in that order. My goal is to give exposure and insight to triathlons along with encouraging living a healthy life style. My post will also contain my collective thoughts pertaining to my training experiences. Feel free to send an email to ej@trilifeblog.com with any feedback or questions you may have. facebook: www.facebook.com/TriLifeBlog

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2013 Hotter'n Hell Triple Threat Review

The purpose of entry is to give an insight on the Wee Chi Tah triple threat challenge. This challenged is a part of the Hotter N Hell weekend. It is comprised of a chip timed 11 mile mountain bike race, 100 mile road endurance ride and a ½ marathon trail run. The events are spread though out the weekend, beginning with the mountain bike race on Friday, moving to the 100 mile endurance bike ride on Saturday and finishing with the ½ marathon trial run on Sunday.

I had my eye on this event over the past couple of years.  In 2011 I found out about this event I was unable to work it into my calendar. I had already made plans with my fellow Tri Junkies to do “To Hell and Back” bike ride. We basically rode our bikes to Wichita Falls from the outskirts of Fort Worth, did the 100 mile endurance ride, and road back. I used it as part of my IM Florida training. Here’s a little write up on that experience. http://www.trilifeblog.com/2011/08/to-hottern-hell-and-back-recap.html

In 2012 I was able to fit it onto my calendar, but I was unable to sign up because the mountain bike event sold out. There are only 225 slots available per category. If your category sells out you cannot get onto the Triple Threat challenge. In 2013 I made it a point to register early. I wasn't sure if the mountain bike would sell out again, but I decided not to chance it.

Registration for the event can be a bit confusing. There are two separate signups to enter the challenge. You must register for the mountain bike and ½ marathon trail run on one sign up. You then have to sign up for the 100 mile endurance ride separately. You will also need a one day cycling license to participate in the mountain bike race. You can purchase that online or at packet pick up.

Packet pickup was at the Bridwell Ag Barn instead of the MPEC building, where the 100 mile endurance packet pickup took place. The Wee Chi Tah crew change up their approach this year, and combined all three bibs into the single packet. This worked out really well. While the non Triple Threat participants were waiting in line to get their HHH bib at the MPEC building, I was able to walk into the Exhibit Hall, and pick up my goodie bag without waiting in line.

The mountain bike and ½ marathon event hosted by Wee Chi Tah was put together well. Not having the time to ride the trail ahead of time, I liked the idea of the mountain bike race and ½ marathon trail run taking place over the same course. I didn't know what to expect on the mountain bike race, but it gave me the knowledge of the course for the trail run.  The course was well marked and the aid stations were strategically placed well.

I’m new to mountain bike riding and consider myself a beginner. I was pretty comfortable on this trail. I had a couple falls, self inflicted and I had to unclip maybe 5 times. The path was real clean so it made for a smooth ride. It also made for a fast ½ marathon trail run. There were minimal toe grabbers on the trail. The biggest challenge on the trial was the soft loose dirt for the bike and switchbacks for the run. The trail is mostly single track with a lot of switchbacks. It’s not too technical, but it’s technical enough to keep from getting bored. There are several obstacles on the course which made for some fun. This is a clip of the mountain bike race to give you a better insight on what to expect.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdeVmBweZFE

The Triple Threat participant’s bibs were a different color than the normal 100 mile endurance rider bibs. On Saturday for the 100 mile endurance race we were allowed enter through the front of the start line. We didn't have to plow through the crowed to get a good position. This worked out real well for me as a buddy of mine and I go to the start line with maybe 5 minutes before the start time.

Both the mountain bike race and the trail run gave out nice finisher medals. The endurance 100 mile ride also provided a finisher medal. All Triple Threat participants who completed the challenge received a slice of wood with a finisher engraving on it. 

I've completed two HHH rides prior to this year’s Triple Threat challenge. Competing in this challenge greatly enhanced my overall experience. I’ll more than likely participate in this event again next year. I truly had a blast at this year's event. For more information on the Triple Threat please visit the following link. http://www.hh100.org/events/wee-chi-tah-events/

One last thought fairly irrelevant to the Triple Threat, but I made mention on a Facebook post that I would blog about this. On Saturday I ended up riding closer to 110 miles, and 30ish of those miles I had to hammer alone. My inner thigh areas begin to cramp up during the last 10 miles of the ride. After completing the ride my quads were pretty trashed and my hip flexors were talking very loudly. I had the ½ marathon trail run to the following day, so I decided to give the CryoUSA treatment a try.

I spoke with one of the reps on Friday at the exhibition. The service is supposed to speed up recover and improve performance. The treatment lasted roughly 2 minutes. The process requires you to strip down to your underwear. You also wear socks and gloves. Once in the device the process will get your skin’s surface temperature to approximately 30 degrees Fahrenheit. For the details on how the process works please visit http://go-cryo.com/about.html

Aside from the CryoUSA treatment I kept to my normal recovery plan. That included compression pants, stretching, recovery drink, hydration and food. Sunday came around, and I didn't know what to expect from my legs once I started the trail run. The first mile or so was flat and fast. I kept what I thought was a comfortable pace. Once I hit the trail I readjusted the pace and found another comfort zone. Through the duration of the ½ marathon trail run I had no issues with muscle fatigue or cramping. I was able to keep the pace I wanted, and finished up strong. After the two previous days of racing I walked away with a third place overall finish in the ½ marathon trail run. I can’t say for certain that CryoUSA was the main contributor to my successful race, at the same time I cannot argue that it wasn't. In the end I will give CryoUSA another shot. They are located here in Dallas. I’d like to test it with some other upcoming events.

Thank you for reading this blog entry. As always feel free to email me any questions or comments you may have.