XTERRA Philippines race report.

The race I  used as a test of how my arm was going to hold up . It seemed ok, I was only around 1.5 mins down on my swim time. Pretty good considering  I haven’t been able to swim for 9 months. Or train for that matter.

It was a great trip back to the Philippines as we always get such a warm reception and teated like celebrities from the minute we touch down at CEBU to leaving.
Staying at the fabulous CRIMSON hotel the press conference was an abundance of press from all over the Philippines, the hype and excitement grew every day . Race day itself was twice as big as last year. With thousands of specattors. The race grew that much, local celebrities had joined the fun and that pulled the crowds in.
It was very exciting to be part of such a great and fun race. On race day I was feeling pretty ok if not a little nervous. The gun went off and I stayed at one side out of trouble incase of any mishaps with arm entanglements!. My swim felt ok except a numbness that appeared half way through. The sea was pretty calm and very warm, no sign of any of the ‘sea lice’  that tend to give a nasty sting.
I came out of the water around 26 mins and headed for the bike ( ripping my swim skin off as the  zipper got stuck  (Blue Seventy- need a new suit!) not surprised the rest of the pro bikes had already gone. The start of the epic 2 lap bike course had changed somewhat from a flat road race with a little technical bit at the end to pretty technical all the way round. Added some mileage, a  36km and hard work on the legs. One of the challenges was to navigate across a very narrow section with a sheer drop to the ocean that the age groupers were not allowed to ride. Then a very stoney section which was bearly rideable unless you were equipped with a 29′er (which most pros had)
About 10 minutes into the bike and I was shocked to see Carina Wasle (also my room mate) running down the path toward me  She asked me for a tube, as she had a flat.
I duly gave her my only tube without question along with my tyre  levers. I carried on my way until I veered off course 20 mins later and bang/ fizzzzz  I had a blow out. Now I was stuck. No tube and no levers.
Asking the many passing  riders who whizzed by, most had no spare tube. I eventually got one from a kind soul. However I had no levers of C02 left. I then had the fortune to have Paolo  ( what a STAR!!!!) stop and help  fix the puncture and I was on my way again after around 10/15 minutes of delay.
There was a very tricky part of the course called the graveyard this was the heavily populated by the crowds to see many spectacular falls, BUT I did not oblige this time and sailed smoothly down.
I then saw that Carina was 5 minutes behind me so I put the foot down and rode fast. It was only until the end I realised she was on her first lap when I saw her! I had assumed she fixed the flat and was on her way to catch me up as I was now in third position. The bike’s second lap really was now more tricky and I began to suffer, the many thousands of cheering locals all along the course helped lift me tho when I was flagging. Luckily the heat was not so bad as last year, it was overcast and had rained.
I managed to negotiated the tricky section with a few issues as I was getting tired but came out unscathed, into transition in third place, headed for the run. A 10 km multi terrain pretty run along the local roads, hand made bamboo bridges, sea crossings, parks  and streets lined with school kids with more waving and chanting! Fabulous.
I was convinced that Carina was close behind so tried to stave her off for as long as I could, but she never arrived.I got to the finish 3 1/2 hours  later. Carina was not just behind she was actually one hour behind.
I also missed the section just for pros as well as there was a volunteer standing with a flag who  told me not to go there as he assumed I was an age grouper. I thought maybe they had closed it for some reason could not stop to argue so had to make a quick decision. At he end of the race I went straight to the race organiser to tell him of my mistake and they informed me that it wouldn’t make any difference due to the time of the fourth position. Congrats to Renata (1st ) and Jacqui ( 2nd) what a fantastic job. And to Cedric, Olivier and Ben (3rd to first)
What a nerve racking come back. My time was not great but at least I completed the race knowing I have it in me to get back now for the season and can only get faster.This is just the beginning…

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *