The Difference A Year Makes

Fontana City National MTB

April 23, 2016 Comments (0) In the News, Off-Road Triathlon, Race Report

Xterra REAL Race Report: Matt Balzer

I kicked off my triathlon season a few weeks ago with the TBF Racing Xterra REAL. I’ve grown to love this race (minus the freezing water temps) since moving to Reno 7 years ago. The bike course is so fast and fun, with minimal climbing so it’s a great race to start things off.

I switched to the new Synergy Hybrid wetsuit this year and race morning would be my second time putting the wetsuit on so I was a little nervous about something so new on race day. The wetsuit was glorious, so buoyant but very flexible. I swam a lot more this offseason so I was expecting a good swim and I managed to lead out of the water and be first onto the bike course.

Something else new… My Trek Top Fuel 9.8, ridden 2 times before this race. I’ve got some work to do on the suspension setup, but the bike and I worked well together. I put more time into every competitor minus my teammate, David Duncan, riding into T2 in first overall with David about 1min behind in second.

Matt Bike

Photo by Craig De Vita / courtesy TBF Racing

The run at Xterra REAL is wide open at the start so I pushed HARD in the first mile so I would be totally out of sight heading into the technical, steep single track that makes up the final 3 miles of the run course. The Altra Superior is light with tons of traction, the perfect off-road race shoe. I was able to put it in cruise control for the last mile and save my legs for another week of training.  Ate two Nature’s Bakery fig bars after the race because they are super kind on the stomach after hard efforts.

1st overall! TBF Racing photo

1st overall! TBF Racing photo

Second year in a row taking the overall win! Thanks to all my Sierra Endurance Sports teammates for pushing me every week in practice and our amazing sponsors that make the lifestyle a reality: Nature’s Bakery, Altra Running, Reno Running Company, Todd’s Body Shop Physical Therapy, Pendola Training, Swiftwick, GU, Reno Cycling and Fitness, and Trek Bikes!

Until next time… Enjoy a more active lifestyle and thanks for reading.


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