Colorado XTERRA Athletes

Michelle Yost


Michelle Yost & Randy Engle Maui 2016

This is my first season of Xterra and I’ve been in the sport of triathlon since 2003.  After years of long distance racing, a new job, and busy kiddos Xterra was the perfect change.  Less training, more time in the mountains – awesome.  I started working with Coach Cody Waite of Sessions:6 at the beginning of the year.  He had the tough job – get me back into form after a long time off.
I started out the season with the simple goal of finishing a race!  My MTB skills were a bit on the shaky side and I was still suffering from some PTSD after a nasty fall a year ago.  That fall ended up with me in the ER and surgery to rebuild my left wrist – my dr called it “the break of the year”.  As the season has progressed, my bike skills have as well and I feel fit.  Although Xterra is just a variation of triathlon, it is so different!  Long distance triathlon you need to maintain focus for hours on end, to fight the monotony of mile after mile in both the bike and the run.  Xterra has taught me to focus on the NOW – every nuance of the trail in front of me.  I crashed out of Beaver Creek because I started thinking about the run before I was off the bike.
My next race after that was Buffalo Creek and that went very well.  I have come to really appreciate the natural beauty and laid-back community that Xterra racing provides.  Some people had been asking me all season if I was trying to qualify for Maui and my honest answer was NO.  I just wanted to enjoy and finish races.  But after Buffalo Creek I thought I may have a shot in Utah.  Plus, my beau had qualified for Maui and though I was content to be sherpa-extraordinaire, we both knew it would be awesome if we both raced that day.
Utah wasn’t a perfect race for me – far from it.  I was nervous and panicked a bit in the swim.  My back locked up on me from the get-go on the bike (thanks to the 8 hour drive from Denver) which made for a very long tough climb but once I got to the top I was so happy to just be racing.  I didn’t know where I was place-wise and thought I was out of the running for a spot.  I started out on the run with a solid run-walk strategy since my run fitness wasn’t quite up to par.  But I smiled the whole way taking in the incredible fall foliage and natural beauty of the amazing Snowbasin Resort, only tripped once and had a fast downhill.  And I crossed the finish line with a huge smile – that was a TOUGH race.  I ended up 3rd in my age group and a spot for Maui!
Goals for the race??  Yup. To finish.  I’m excited to swim in the ocean (and really glad it isn’t 2.4 miles), climb 3200 feet in 20 miles (ouch), and trail run all in the Hawaii heat.  Doesn’t get much better than that!

Randy Engle
I started racing Xterra back when the Mountain Championship was held in Keystone Colorado about 15 years ago. I loved it back then and love the vibe, atmosphere and sense of community that Xterra still brings today.
I took a long break from racing to focus on being a dad and on my career, but have found a renewed passion for the sport now that I am 50. I have also been blessed to race this season with Michelle, camping and traveling around Colorado to race Lory, Beaver Creek (where I qualified), Buffalo Creek, Utah and now Maui. We both race with Cody and Kathy Waite’s team S:6. They’ve brought a wonderful balance of training to our season that has worked very well for both of us.
Reflecting back on the season, and in fact the last 15 years, Xterra has been and continues to be true blessing in our lives. My goal for Sunday’s race is simply to embrace that and race the best I can from start to finish.

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