As far as courses go, this is one of if not the hardest XTERRA's I've ever done. At other races, the weather has made things harder or the competition, but at this race, it was the course that was hurting everyone!
I was really excited to see my good friends Cabin and Nic this weekend. Nic is racing on the World Cup Mountain bike circuit, so she and Cabin were in the area and decided to do the race. Cabin is one of New Zealands top mountain bikers, and Nic is well on her way to that same title.
The swim was standard 1500m, 2 loop course. The water was warm enough that pros couldn't wear wetsuits, but age groupers could. As usual they swam over the top of me within a few hundred meters despite my 1 minute lead.
With the rain the day before the bike turned into a ride/run, with lots of pushing the bike because it was too slick to ride. Once we passed the hike-a-bike section, it was on! The rest of the course was a muddy hurt fest. It was very difficult riding and that's why I enjoyed it so much.
Check out the homemade fender on the down tube. It was an old soda bottle that I cut up and zip tied on. It kept my bottle from getting to muddy, but other than that it was a rather moot attempt.
In the last section of the bike I could see up the road about 4 minutes and saw no one. As I reached the top of that section I looked back and saw no one. I was sitting in 8th place and knew that unless some one from behind had a fantastic run, I would finish in that same position. So this made the run a bit easier (which was good because it was freakin hard!). I ran the flats and down hills, but just "power walked" the uphills. Crossing the line in 8th, I earned a few more points in the points series.