When I heard the national duathlon series was heading to KZN, I was really excited! Flowing single tracks, and the most amazing trails!
And what a treat it was!
Russell White and his team at Holla trails really did a magnificent job of creating an off-road duathlon that is world class. I pre-rode the course on Thursday and was pleasantly surprised at the difficulty and technicality of the route, a real mountain biker’s course. Eventhough Hatfield Cycles had my bike perfectly tuned before I left home, somewhere in the travelling my bike’s brakes went haywire, the front brakes locking completely and the back brakes with no breaking pressure at all! So most of Saturday was spent trying to fix my bike, but luckily Theo Blighnaut was there and tried to help me out and we managed to get it in a moveable state.
With lots of races all around KZN there was still a decent turnout at the race, and it started at 9am with a mass start of men and ladies, which I preferred as the route had so much single track, I would rather get onto it in front of a bunch of “old toppies” than behind them J(except for Russell White, he’s the exception to the rule, still bikes like a maniac!).
With the eagerly awaited arrival of the X-TALON190’s last week, I got the chance to test them out at the race, and did they deliver (as I knew they would)! The X-talon 190 has the sticky studs of the X-Talon range but the soft, light upper of the F-Lite series! This perfect combination makes the X-Talon 190 the perfect, off road, tri/duathlon shoe! The 5km run route had a bit of everything, windy single track, slippery corners, hard pack with a bit of sand, grass and a bit of soft sand, and while I could see the guys in front of me slipping about, the X-Talon’s seriously gripped the corners well and gave me the confidence to accelerate fast out of them, improved agility off road= improved speed!
Onto the bike, I had a bit of a lead out, I pushed hard in the first lap, attacking the climbs, gliding through the single track best I could and trying to keep the “no brakes” rule Dreyer has been trying to enforce on me on any downhill or corner! But once into the second lap the “wheels came off” and my leg power went from hero to zero. I urged on up the climbs and luckily got a bit of an adrenalin rush through the amazing single tracks, but was quite glad when I saw the flags of the transition on the horizon. By the end of the bike leg I had a 10 min lead but still tried to run strong off the bike, as it’s always good “race training”. Running down the finishing shoot, I was really happy with my performance, really lucky to have had no major upsets as some of the other competitors.
Another race in the bag, and with a good lead in the Momentum I-Flex Duathlon series, I just need to have a solid final race at Potch (road duathlon) to secure my spot as series winner!!! Hold thumbs!!