After a good few weeks of solid training, resting,racing and recuperating,it was off to Europe again for the next race in the Xterra Europe Series..Xterra Germany.
I pre-rode the bike course Thursday before the race and really enjoyed it. A little bit of everything, not as steep climbing,long but less aggressive and I was starting to get a good feeling about the race to come. The run was flatter and faster around the Zittau Lake but good to make up some time on the strong mountain bikers.
Race morning was a hustle bustle of 1500 athletes getting ready,racking bikes and warming up for another epic race. I had been training well through the winter,avoiding the bad bugs, even after 24 hours of traveling to Zittau,two days before the race, I was healthy, fit and ready to roll.
I lined up next to my fellow competitors and awaited the start gun to fire and start our journey with the dreaded washing machine swim start. I got bashed around a bit in the water,but just tried to go with the flow, instead of resisting the smash fest while trying to keep a good cadence and rhythm. Halfway through the first lap though, I thought I was way behind any of the PRO girls as I was amongst the different coloured caps but tried to keep my head down and focused. Exiting the water after the first lap and heading for the second 750m lap swim I realised I was in the lead with European champ and solid swimmer Marion Lorblanchet next to me. Re-energised I managed to keep on her feet for the rest of the swim just exiting behind her. A great swim!
Heading into the bike, I tried to listen to my coach Lindsey's advice and just ease into it, not letting a too big gap form if a girl passes me just keeping the elastic from breaking. I kept on thinking "they" were coming,but relax.. one two three ten km's went by and no one caught me, only 15km into the 36km bike did Renate Bucher pass me and Shonny Vanlandingham at 26km and disappeared into the distance. The bike route was amazing. Good moderate climbs, a few really steep technical climbs and fast rocky downs. I managed a solid bike, running into T2 in 4th position,amazed I kept my position to finish 4th PRO Female. GREAT!!HAPPY!!ECSTATIC!!
Sharing the stage with these amazing athletes is great and little by little I am making my mark:)Now two weeks of managing my fitness,resting,and getting ready for the final of the series, XTERRA SWITZERLAND,Pragins,10th of September!!