Arriving at the venue quite early as I usually do, I was amazed at the amount of cars already at the venue. The 500+ athletes competing in the Xterra Lite was already out battling the course as I registered and received my personalised “number plate”.
Even though I knew the area we would be riding on from previous years, it was the first time I’d be riding with a 29’er. The SCOTT Scale Pro 29’er that I recently started riding is an amazing bike, fast rolling and monster wheels:) I was still battling to find the right tyre pressure to ride on, and stupidly I packed our older pump that’s gauge is broken so was not exactly certain what pressure the tyres were, and I now think it might have been too hard as I was tossed around more than usual out on the course.
A bit of bad luck struck a few minutes before the start when my wetsuit tore across my shoulder as I was putting it on…eeek what to do! Frantically I tried to get some duck tape or something to keep it in place or borrow a suit, but at the end there were just not enough time. I had to relax and just think positive..thanks to Liezl Stolz and Marc Danger Price, you were really solids when I almost crumbled!!
I swam hard from the gun,but could feel my suit catching more and more water, to the point where I was barely moving forward.The tear had grown and the suit was acting as a parachute in the water, quick decision had to be made and I decided to take it off as quick possible, bit of a task in the water but managed to do a "water transition" without too much hassle. I looked around to see if any of the life guards were close to give my wetsuit to them but they were not insight. So i had to leave it behind hoping they would pick it up as they came past or search for it after the race. Unfortunately they didn't see it and I couldn't find it.. the suit was gone :(:( in the dam(maybe some lucky fisherman will get a surprise at the end of his line!)
Never the less I had to urge on as the race was not stopping and I had some time to make up to the leading lady at the time Sylvia van Tromp. I enjoyed the ride on the Scott 29'er from the start, although the bike course is deceiving, to the eye it seems as if I should be going faster on the sandy roads but it felt as if I was being held to the ground. Luckily my monster wheels just kept on going! I caught Sylvia halfway and we rode well neither wanting to give an inch so back and forth it went for the last part of the bike, till Sylvia had some misfortune with a dented rim (and had to run back to transition!).
As soon as i hit the run I knew it was going to be a slog! A really hard run course but super exciting! Climbing up the side of the dam wall I was just finished and really appreciated the support of my fellow competitors urging me on! My legs came back on the second lap of the run and I finished decently. Not by best run, quite a bit slower than last year but with the lack of running due to injury the last few weeks I was super happy with my result!
Well done to all the competitors who finished and to Sylvia and Susan being great competition!
Thank you Stillwater Sport for a great event!!
Thank you Inov-8 for all your support, and Hatfield Cycles who keeps my SCOTT in tip top shape!
Now lots of BIG WHEEL riding and running before the next event at XTERRA GRABOUW!
See you there!