melaniemcquaid.com has been working on getting something setup to bring all of you real time race updates. Shawn of Sonic Technologies (Melanie’s brother), has volunteered to post 4 updates per hour tomorrow starting at 12 noon PST. Friends and family will be sending updates straight from the sidelines of this exciting race. So check back often and cheer loud as Melanie rivals Jamie to another world title. GOOD LUCK MEL!
The skies above Maui have opened up today, a storm announcing the arrival of winter and the beginning of the off season for me. I have just completed the World Xterra Championship, the biggest race of the season attracting the best and the brightest from around the world. In a close race and an exciting finish, I ended up second to Jamie Whitmore. My bid to retain the title became a strong second place with about two kilometers to go, and although I am obviously disappointed in not winning, I must congratulate Jamie for putting together a great race. As a result, I am totally focused on how I can be better as an athlete, how I can improve on this great, but not perfect season, and what I need to do to climb back to the top of the World Championship podium. But that can wait, because now is the time for me to go home and chill out with friends and be "normal" for awhile, before plotting next seasons course…. Read more
Another Xterra US Championships Series has come and gone, and I am happy, but not satisfied, to report that I finished second overall for 2004, again. The positive side of the race was I finished the same as last year on the worst day ever, whereas last year I felt I had a fantastic day. The frustrating side is that I have still to win a race at altitude, and the fact these races are eluding me is definitely adding some fuel to my desire to win this series. However, I am going to have to wait another year on the series, but luckily have one, very important, race left this year, the Worlds. This weekend was eventful, however, so read on to hear about our rental car being stolen, me dropping back to third after moving from 8th to 2nd, and the fight to stay in runner up place on what I call a rough day at the office… Read more
Repeating as Canadian Champion required some hard sweat equity as mother nature added some new challenges to last year’s course around Buntzen Lake in Port Moody, BC, just outside of Vancouver. In addition, the Xterra Canada crew changed the run, making it much longer and much more hilly, and some really cold water to swim in made this race the perfect last race as I prepare for the US Championships at Lake Tahoe in 2 weeks… Read more
This past weekend I chose to go to Boulder, Colorado, to do the Boulder Peak race as a little altitude tune up to get ready to race Big Bear on the 15th of this month. This was my second foray into altitude racing this season… the first being the Epic of Keystone. This race didn’t have the happy ending that my suffering at the Xterra had. I had no power, no gas, and no dignity as I rode around slow as molasses, and then got my shirt torn off by the wind currents created by the age groupers running past me, seemingly like gazelles since I was going so amazingly slow. It was a VERY tough day at the office. Read more
So in our continuing adventure, one hour from crossing the line at mountainbike nationals, Melanie is in a Ford Tahoe cruising at max speed toward Quebec regional airport on her next installment of the weekend’s itinerary ? the US Central Xterra Championships in Keystone, Colorado.
My coach, Houshang, deposited me at Departures with plenty of time to get a boarding pass, be frisked for a fork at Security, and hop on my turboprop jalopy headed for Montreal. Then I would pass Customs and jump on another turboprop jalopy headed for Chicago, this time two hours of legs by my ears. After about an hour layover, I was finally seated on a packed 737 on my way to Denver, my final stop…
OH NO Canada!
Canada’s 137th birthday and the 2004 Calgary World Cup are now said and done, and I was somewhat a part of both. I was flying to Calgary on the 1st of July, happy to be seeing my Ford Cycling teammate Dara Marks-Marino for the first time in a LONG time (both of us have been racing crazy, but in different countries!), and actually, it has been a while since I have been to Calgary. The race was held at the Calgary Olympic Park, so cross country and downhill mountainbiking in the shadow of the huge ski jumps from the Olympics. Kinda cool, I have only raced in Canmore in the past so this was all good for me. I like the course too, a good combination of power climbing and riding with some fun twisty singletrack. The down side is there is, like, NO passing, for a long ways. Start was critical…
Melanie’s Personal Score: 1 triathlon – 1 Victory!
Always nice to kick off the season with a win, and although I was concerned that this one was going to be hard going, the legs came around in the crunch and carried me in for a solid winning race!
This race is cool because it is right in the middle of a metropolitan area, Richmond, Virginia, so lots of spectators and lots and lots of participants… like 2000 for all the events on the weekend. It is really quite cool…….
Ah, back to the land of paranoid customs officers and the joy of starbucks, my first trip to Washington and the weather is thus far cooperating, even if my customs guy really was not… I did get into the country but not without a lot of exhausting interrogation and form filling. I holed up in a coma for 10 hours to recover, and now sit in the coffee shop planning my next steps. With the flag flying half mast as a reminder of the loss of one of America’s presidents, my heart was still happy to be back in North America, even if it is only my part time home I was returning to……