Kyle Grieser’s love of fried chicken has helped him score 13 XTERRA regional championship titles.

Kyle Grieser’s love of fried chicken has helped him score 13 XTERRA regional championship titles.

Kyle Grieser, 34
Location: Marble Falls, Texas
Occupation: Firefighter

Standout results: 13-time XTERRA South regional champion; two-time overall winner at XTERRA Epic Rustman; overall winner at XTERRA Epic Iron Mountain

Kyle Grieser started racing (road) triathlon in high school “as something else to do and keep me in shape,” he says. After his freshman year of college, his parents bought him a mountain bike, and he raced his first XTERRA in 2003 “and never looked back.” He’s racked up a lot of wins in his off-road tri career, including 13 XTERRA South Regional Championship titles. But he has yet to test himself on the world stage—even though his regional wins qualified him for the XTERRA World Championship those 13 years, this November will be the first time he’s actually raced in Maui. He put off worlds mostly because of the cost, “but now I am ready to do it,” he says. “I would like to show up and do very well.” Grieser’s favorite thing about XTERRA is “the people—they are just amazing people and so friendly,” he says. “Everybody wants to help each other out, kind of like when I first started racing years ago.”

Pre-race breakfast: “Whole grains like cereal or granola and some kind of fruit juice.” “I don’t believe in fueling during a race. I believe if you are doing a race that takes less than 2.5 hours, you should have fueled enough beforehand. Racing something that short, you should be at such a fast pace your body doesn’t have time to metabolize anything, so taking anything in won’t help. I also train like a race, so during my training I don’t drink or eat, so when it comes to a race my body is used to it. But for longer races, I do just drink water and I will have some Power Gels that I will take every 30 minutes.”

Pre-race dinner: “I carb-load. I like to eat pasta the night before, and two nights before as well. I usually do a whole-wheat pasta with marinara sauce, most of the time either with sausage or chicken. Every now and then I’ll splurge and do a pesto. I might put a little light mozzarella on it. I try to get lots of veggies all day long as well.”

Post-race meal: “This is the only reason I race—after I am done, I go straight over to Chicken Express and get fried chicken, fried okra and sweet tea. This is all I can think about while I am racing. Sweet tea is the trick to everything—gives you just the right amount
of sugar.”