TTL Bulletin #13: XTERRA Special + DEVO Team Podium

TTL Bulletin #13: XTERRA Special + DEVO Team Podium

What. A. Race!!!

John Reed, a U23 elite triathlete representing the USA in the World Triathlon Series, rallied from an abrupt illness and earned a hard fought spot on the podium!

"Thursday night, I got hit with some food poisoning, didn’t leave my bed on Friday, drank enough Gatorade to fill a pool and managed to turn up [Sunday]"

The sprint distance race was extremely close and determined by mere seconds, but John showcased his speed as he was one of three athletes to finish with a sub 15 minute 5k. Phenomenal!

John continues to wow us every race and we are so honored to be a part of his journey. His calm resilience when faced with a setback is the epitome of what it means to be a professional. The word 'elite' merely scratches the surface with this guy. Way to send it, John!

You can follow John's travels in the WTS on instagram @j.reed11

We had some off road race action this past weekend as well! Eric tore up the trails in Oak Mt. Alabama and raced against some seriously fast competition.

But wait, hold up! 🛑✋

What exactly are XTERRA races? Of course, "they're very mountain bike-y", but how else do they differ from the typical triathlons? 

From Eric:

"XTERRA is the most engaging endurance sport you'll ever undertake. If you fell in love with triathlon for all the different aspects you can work on, XTERRA takes that and dials it up 10x. It's impossible to not be completely focused, in the moment, if you want to have your best performance, not go off-trail, keep the bike upright, and so on! But don't let that scare you; it's a very cool feeling having your saftey and your performance completely in your hands, and having it be more multi-faceted than simply hurting more than you did last time. Instead of worrying about drafting, you're worried about shifting properly, instead of worrying about cars coming on course, you can focus on staying on course, and if you are having a "rough day", you're still in the woods and the activity itself is inherantly enjoyable, regardless of how much you have physically to give on the day. Generally speaking, XTERRA vibes are the vibes that made us all fall in love with triathlon at our first local race back in the day ❤️"

On Saturday during the full course (olympic distance) race, Eric flew out of the water and finished within the top ten of an incredibly stacked international field. The following morning for the short track race, Eric once again demonstrated his strength in the water, running just behind first place into T1 and ultimately finishing in 11th. Back to back off road racing is no joke and Eric absolutely smashed it by fully embracing the experience despite some unusual preparations.

While this XTERRA wasn't necessarily the result he hoped for, he finished strong with a fantastic reflection on balancing race goals during busy times in life:

"I’m realistic about what the last couple months have been like from a training perspective... I did my best to empty the tank in the race, but it truly felt like the tank was empty to begin with"

Eric is what I would call multi-tasking legend: Juggling a myriad of responsibilities with an unwavering determination to fulfill them all to the best of his abilities. We will hear some of his race recap on the pod this week, but in the mean time, check out some of his prep in TTL's most recent YouTube vid here!



This past week on the pod, we discussed:

👀Updates to the TTL Garage Sale on Instagram!

🤔Explaining the landscape of the 2024 Olympic Triathlon relays

☕Determining proper caffeine intake during a race

💡Bottle placements and hydration systems - Paula's zip tie hack!

⚠️What to avoid when adding aero bars to road bikes

🏃When to use super shoes during training

🛏️The struggle of finding lodging for 70.3 World Champs

😩Saddle sores

Let's keep this XTERRA train rolling! 🚂

Athlete Spotlight: Jens Emil

Jens Emil is an elite off-road triathlete representing the Danish team, Capra Triathlon. There's no other place he'd rather be than in the saddle, surrounded by nature. His passion for the sport is most certainly contagious as Eric notes: "he's one of the nicest guys I've ever met in the sport and you can sense his true love for racing, outdoors, and having fun".

While Eric couldn't make it to XTERRA Taiwan due to a lingering injury, Jens crushed it and cataloged his trip with filmmaker Clement Perez. The video captures Jens authenticity and all around good vibes. Check out their video here! You won't regret it :)

You can also read more about Jens' journey by checking out this great piece by Sara Bonner!

XTERRA athletes are wicked cool, cinematic people, yeah? Here's another!

Athlete Spotlight: Lesley Paterson

Oscar nominated filmmaker and 5x XTERRA World Champion

Lesley Paterson is an Oscar winning screenwriter who funded her filmmaking pursuit by winning triathlons.

That stat alone adequately indicates that Lesley Paterson is extremely driven. To briefly summarize her story from an interview with Simon Hattenstone published in The Guardian:

Paterson was a young Scottish triathlete who quickly rose the ranks to represent her country in elite competitions. When the competition shifted, she began to began to "loathe triathlon with the same passion she had [once] loved it with". By her mid 20s, she embraced her other passion of filmmaking and began adapting a screenplay of All Quiet on the Western Front.

By her early 30s, Paterson returned to the sport she loved, but this time found herself succeeding on the trails. She used the prize money "she won [from] the first of her five world championships" to keep her dream alive. After 16 years of racing, setbacks, wins and loses, the film went into production and was released in 2022 earning 9 total Oscar nominations and 14 BAFTA noms, including Best Adapted Screenplay.

How. Epic. Is. THAT?!

The film is available to stream on Netflix. She also currently offers XTERRA coaching. check out her philosophy here!

Photos via TRI247 and Erik Isakson for The Wall Street Journal

Stay stoked,

-Eric & Paula
(and Olive, the intern)

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