XTERRA World Champs 2010 My first as a PRO.

daz-maui-runWell the dust has settled now and I am flying home . I’m still licking my wounds but satisfied that I did the best race I could considering the circumstances. I went into the race very well prepared for the climate and the course.

Before heading to Maui I decided to swing by the Island of Kona for the Ironman World Champs to watch a few mates race including my Coach. And So to begin my early acclimatization and training in the hot and humid climate that is Hawaii. Kona was amazing, so many spectators, athletes and many familiar faces in an area of about one mile square that was the Hubb of Kona. The race itself was amazing to watch and I had never seen so many fit and lean people in one place at once! 1800 of them in fact.

I managed to swim the course the day before the race, my it was a long way alright. It’s 2.4 miles in the warm and clear waters of the pacific with turtles swimming underneath you. I was pooped after that. And chafed badly from my swim costume.

The next morning I watched the race from the start at 6.30am and it was a mass of bodies in the water it must have been incredibly rough. I was there to almost the finish when it got dark the atmosphere became electric with thousands making a human tunnel for the lonely runners to high five down for the finish. Amazing.

Kona compared to XTERRA was a machine , a corporate, commercial machine again unlike XTERRA which is a family. A close family A big difference.

I had a good 10 days once in Maui, and I got to work right away with the training. No one was around for a few days so I knuckled down to it. Long rides and runs with some nice open pool sessions thrown in. As soon as my friends arrived we had a blast, training and playing. FUN. Always having a healthy focus on the race though of course!

Before we knew it there was only a few days before race day and I began to get really nervous. My intention was not to race worlds as a pro, not at all, but it just happened . After winning overall amateur I felt I had only one way to go. I felt way more pressure than if I was an amateur racing Just to be in the pro section of transition with all the athletes that had been pro for such a long time before me and racing mountain bikes for longer than my measly 3 years.

I had gone a long way in such a short amount of time and would never have dreamed this three years ago when Wendy suggested I do an off road triathlon, I didn’t even know what a mountain bike looked like!

The day before I had stupidly picked up an injury from some crazy dance moves that we had prepared for the infamous Halloween party after the race where you show off your costumes and appear on stage. It was bothering me a little that I couldn’t run as well as I wanted.

Race morning I set myself up in transition It was daunting. But I felt proud I had got this far and that Julie helped me get there. Last year I chatted to lot of people around me but no one was chatting  much this time.

I headed to the beach after a quick land warm up and looked at all the 600 athletes all on the beach ready to run in. I placed myself on the far right as to not get into too much trouble. The gun went off and I swam fast breathing every two strokes with high elbows something I adopted form Kona. It seemed to work as I was drafting and feeling good and fast.

One lap down and I could see where I was positioned on the beach run so I pushed forward to try and gain some places. I felt I was swimming on max power.

I came out into transition thinking’ great I had a good swim’ and couldn’t believe Shonny was just going out on her bike! She had never done that this year. She had been working on her swim recently and it showed. I guess I am a good swim coach after all:).  ,in fact I just came out in front of Carina W and D. Kabush. So I felt I had a good set up for a solid bike.

The day was hot as ever and I started feeling it on the relentless climbs. It was the first time without a camel back as well. So I made sure I drank lots whenever I could. The only thing was there was only water as my replacement and I soon realised that I needed  far more electrolytes. That was getting dangerous. After about a few miles there was a loose section of stones, no problem I had always managed the course with out any falls, but to my amazement I hit the dirt , as if the bike went totally out of control. Bang I was down and people flew past. I picked myself up and carried on thinking ‘what happened???’

Then another down hill section and bang down again, and again and again, the bike just would but steer right, it was as if it kept veering off and I had no grip, at all. .It was a nightmare. It took all my strength to keep it from wiping out on any down hill loose sections, which was about half the course! It really started to hurt as the sharp lava rocks bit into all my exposed flesh. I managed to fall every way possible. I was really frustrated as more people just zoomed past whilst I was down in the dirt. I knew I was capable of staying up right on these sections and just couldn’t understand what was going on. so like in previous years but the bike just wouldn’t let me. I went slower and slower as I knew it would be fatal if I gained any speed.

I began to loose heart until towards the end when Caroline Shouted ‘ Daz what the hell are you doing- move your ass!!’ I pulled myself together and got into transition feeling I could maybe make some time up on the run I couldn’t wait to dump that bike!!

I was bleeding and sore and bruised all over but managed to run I was hanging on for dear life the whole 11km. Barely able to see. But soon there was the familiar sound of a female breathing heavily behind me, just like the previous year, and it was the one and the same Martina from Austria whom I beat by 7 secs last year to gain my world title, she was there again but I had nothing left and she passed me on the last 1km . The run was the hardest thing I had done so far in my short career I saw double on the course and felt I was going to faint at any moment. I reached the finish shoot with crowds cheering that gave me the boost I needed to finish. But as soon as I crossed the line I collapsed and was carried to med tent to be given 2 IV’s and some serious cleaning up. I lay for a an hour and a half feeling pretty awful. But soon started feeling better, the staff there were amazing. Really treated me well and I am very grateful to all of them including the nurses and Doctors. I was just getting my IV taken out and I hear the podium announcement, I couldn’t believable it Julie was second and Shonny first! I promptly jumped out and went to see if it was true. Julie was beaten by one minute.broken-kness

I then decided that I wanted to get rid of the Cannonade and promptly auctioned it off for $2000, but unfortunately because of my state of mind, I didn’t take details down and couldn’t seal the deal the next day, So Bike is coming back to London with me.

All in all I guess I wasn’t expecting to win this race but I was expecting to knock of at least 10 mins from last year . I came 15th pro in the end. But Need to get me a great bike for next season, sponsorship any one?

Oh and I managed to do the dance routine at the famous costume arty regardless of the the swollen limb thank god for numbing alcohol eh?daz-n-caroline-costume-partydaz-n-caroline-dancingdancing

I want to just thank all my sponsors again, of which I would never be in the situation I was in last Sunday. Competing at the highest level possible, with world class athletes, it was a pleasure to have just had the chance.

Bike and Run



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