IT was my fourth year in The Philippines, a race which gets harder every year. But a challenge is always a good thing right?
We got off the plane and it rained and never stopped until race day when the sun beat down on us unsuspecting athletes, I was not quite ready for what was to come…
In the rain the next day we rode the course which had changed a little from last year, being a little longer with some of the road sections cut out. It also was very wet and slippery which made the coral rock descents trickier ( I rode all of it last year but not in the practice run.
This did not sit well for me and was hoping it would clear for race day, clear it did and the sun shone down for our 6.55 am start
Brekkie was laid out at the Hotel Crimson @ 3.30am, I was the first to arrive (even that early ) and the staff were STILL smiling…then a quick bus ride to Liloan (usually 40 minutes) but as the cattle, chickens, goats were not up yet. .lit took only 35 ! Leaving a clear run for the bus along the half finished roads and crazy human/tuktuk/ animal/ bus/traffic carnage, organised chaos but seemed to work without many accidents or road rage..
The dawn broke and the day was beautiful; the eat was apparent as we waited fro the gun@ the dawn sun beat down and it felt like midday.
12 other fellow pros and 10 elite Filipinos had a 2 minute start on the 400 or so other athletes.
Lovely to swim in the sea and warmth with the normal Xterra 2 laps and a run exit through the water for 500 meters into T2.
Then onto the bike and a gruelling 38 km /2 lap route that took in an amount of steep hills and rocky (this time dry) goats, chickens childer , familie a sdn digs and cattle along the route made for a varied and exciting bike leg.
And the rocky descent sectionsI was going well and feeling strongin 5th on the bike. Solid enough off the bike and onto T2 for the run feeling ok until the first rocky steep ascent AND the heat and sun hit me I seemed to just run out of energy , drained I couldnt hydrate and consequently slowed right down to a walk. My running had been feeling very strong in SA but the heat won today. I was soon overtaken by Dimiti -lee who being a KONA girl and Xterra rookie, was fast and strong overtaking me as I hobbled and blundered my way through the 10 km. It felt like a half marathon But the school kids cheering me along really helped to get me to finish 6th pro.
Then the massage and a shower made the finish line a blessing! They even provided an innovative shower from a fire engine hose….magic.
Great race, great people and fun times .
Boomcycle travel sponsorship Blueseventy for the speed skin that makes me swim that much faster, Clifbar for the gels that are vital to keeping me from bonking, Nuun hydration my essential potassium in the humidity, Craft clothing keeping me cool in the sun and Chelmercycles for essential bike maintenance Cannondale for the scalpel team 29er gets me faster every year and Bruce Butler and Mark at Purus active health keeping me maintained and strong! Suunto for the Ambit 2