Truckee’s Kara LaPoint earns career-best finish as XTERRA pro
Kara LaPoint entered her first triathlon of the season with concern. The XTERRA pro from Truckee hadn’t put in the training she would have liked, the victim of a recurring hip injury that kept her shelved for much of the winter.
As it turned out, she had nothing to worry about.
The 29-year-old raced to a career-best finish as a professional, placing second in the XTERRA Costa Rica on March 20. The result topped her previous-best finish, a fifth place, in the XTERRA East Championships in Virginia last June.
“I’m absolutely thrilled,” LaPoint said. “To feel so good in the race and end up with a result like this is really validating that I did the right thing by focusing on my health and getting back to full strength this winter, as challenging as it was.”
Racing in hot, muggy weather — in stark contrast to the Truckee winter — LaPoint focused on conserving energy early. The strategy paid off in the end, as she needed every bit of effort to chase down, and then hold off, a hard-charging Sabrina Gobbo of Brazil on the run.
“It was a painful, hot last couple of miles,” she said, describing the final stretch as “a brutal run” on thick sand. “I was so happy to make it to the finish.”
Myriam Guillot-Boisset of France, who placed fourth at XTERRA Worlds last year, earned the women’s victory with a time of 2:34:48, which was about 15 minutes ahead of LaPoint and Gobbo.
“It feels great to start the season on such a high note, and I hope to carry that momentum into the coming races,” LaPoint said.
Next up on LaPoint’s racing calendar are the US Pro Cup Mountain Bike races in Southern and Central California, the Wildflower 70.3 road triathlon near Monterey, and the XTERRA Southeast Championship in Alabama.