Xterra Philippines


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…

But before that we had the best treatment in our lush 5 star hotel that was Crimson Resort in Mactan Beautiful surroundings and smiling friendly staff, we were treated so well from the off.towel 2

bike xterra phil

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..

xterra phil day break

swim start xterra philThe 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 .


A huge thanks to the people whom made this trip happen:press conference xterra phil

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 21966897_10151985046251517_543635455_n

Xterra South Africa race report -Feb 2014

Race report Xterra South Africa 23rd Feb 2014


south  africa

I hadn’t been to Cape Town for 10 years (I was there for a few months doing some stunt work.)


It had changed, for the better. Gone was the scale and poverty of the shanty town as you drive through as they are replaced by smarter homes it seems much better.

As soon as we touched the ground we were welcomed warmly with a shuttle bus to the hotel in the beautiful area of Stellenbosch, the famous wine region. I had visited this area before and remember a wine farm named Simonsig -a wine so good that it stayed with me for all this time, in fact my last

MINI cooper was being built at the time in the UK whilst I was away and I named her SIMONSIG as she was a little red  and white car.


The race was in another breathtakingly beautiful place named Grebrauw, The event was BIG, over 800 competitors for the full on Sunday and 1200 for the Lite race the day before.

Many athletes took part as this was THE bike COUNTRY on and off road. The Cape Epic is held here and many ultra distance bike  events too. Three Xterra races in the year with its exceptionally organised by Nicola Collins and her team.


The schedule was full starting straight away with a

visit to SAS (a new complex for elite sportsman in SA), I had a swim in the pool on my own the next minute I was surrounded by all the SA rugby team in the  water playing catch up as I swam lengths they ran the widths of the pool, not many swims I get to be joined by a bunch of young burly Rugby players in swim briefs.


Afterwards was a lovely evening of chatting to the organisers and other athletes. With hosting of lovely food and drink for the evening


The next day with the sun beating down on us as we prepared for our first interviews on TV. The red sofa in the middle of this beautiful countryside looked incongruous but also special.


After this I set off with two local MTB’ers Cherie (elite CX MTB’er and her friend, I had to admit I wasn’t prepared for the heat or the dry loose terrain, apart for the fact I had only been on my MTB twice since Hawaii in October hence was


a little rusty for the first 30 minutes.


South Africa swim start 2014The course started pretty hilly but soon cam

e the fab single track and some wicked rock garden descents with added forest single track that flowed with everything added sand, a little jump/ drop off’s roots rocks all the ingredient for the best


mountain bike course on the circuit.


It took a good 2 hours to get round and I treated myself to a swim in the Damn, cool fresh water from the mountains with its unique reddy – brown colour it felt good on the skin, clean and fresh considering its colour.


The next day I went again to the race venue to check out the famous and beautiful run,  only a the first few kms with rolling green hills with the damn one side and mountain the other. Breathtaking.


I felt really good about this race. And felt very relaxed at the start I know it was going to be a good day, all the ingredients that I favour, sun, dry heat, flat swim witho

ut wetsuit, technical MTB and rolling run on sweet trails in the beautiful countryside, what’s not to like?



pro sart swim SA


An early start to the day ON Sunday at 5 am, I had organised an early

breakfast for the boys (there were a few


International athletes staying in Stellenbosch lodge ) and the van picked us up at 6 am , it lovely to see just how big the event was and how many women too, there must have been around 40% means XTERRA is getting more competitive for the girls which is a really good thing.


The swim start was epic, 800 people lined up and pros only having 1 minutes head start, us girls would be mowed down with in a few minutes and indeed we were ! I had to stop and keep out of trouble as the boys steamed rolled us . Hence my swim time was not great As I ran to T1 I had an official trying o tell me off for racking my bike in the wrong area, I po

litely replied it was probably NOT the time to be telling me this but he persisted ‘Can we discuss this AFTER the race?

I said as I hoped onto my bike and was away into the mountains.


flying for south africa

I loved the bike but tired legs towards s the end and some faster single track efforts with a few mistakes ended with a few small tumbles, took a few seconds to get back on and off I went again. Pretty happy with my bike leg, it was done in 1 hour 48 and onto the run, feeling really quite strong, yes there was a hill or two but nothing like Hawaii, and so onto a lovely descent that lasted a few Km’s, I started to overtake some girls who had slowed down on the hills, and away on  to the sand and home past the damn  in just over an hour.


I didn’t know which position I was in the race as there was about 150 teams, as well as single competitors in fact one lady passed me so fast at end of the the run turned out she also was part of a team. THIS HAPPENED A LOT DURING THE BIKE TOO

I really loved the race, loved the whole experience but would also like to better my 9th overall position. Still the priz

bike start south africa

e money wasn’t too bad …3000 ZAR


Thank you once again to my sponsors:





Shock Absorber,

Bike and Run,

Chelmer Cycles,


Purus Health,

Blue seventy

Bruce Butler.


Clif bar.