Xterra Italy DNStart…

It’s been a while since my last update.

Xterra Italy in July was a race I was really looking forward to , being invited by Mr.Wolf Hart and the Italian job? team  hosted in the beautiful area of Ambruzzo  I was not disapointed and welcomed by Wolf and co up in the mountains of lago de Scanno ,  a village in a  sunny and warm mountainous lanscape. Usually a ski resort but the streets were buzzing with locals and toutristra alike.

I  set out on the bike for the pre ride as usual but hapf way round it strated to thunder and lightning rain pouring with rain, the hills were steep and relentless, but that was all fine as it so beautiful. I got sightly over excited after threee hours of riding and hit the tricky loose desensts at a speed hitting a corner and wiping my fron wheel from under me, bamng I was on the groun not unusual dor ke but this time I hit a sharp rock that punched a deep hole in my knee resulting in my bone being exposed and the skin hanging off. It was not hurtin g or bleeding so I got back on and made it to the transition by the lake , wher I found soem assaitance , who told me to ride home ( all up hill) and drive to the nearest hosloital to get it stitched up. (a mere 60 km away. I knew it needed stitches but as I could walk and had no pian I thought that was all feasible .Until the organiseres changed tbeir mind and gave me a lift to the hospital.During the journey my nkee satrted to sell and then the pain..

It was an experience in the hospital as no one could s[pek Englishh luckily I had Italian friend with me who had to translate, they stitched me up gave ,e lots of drugs and sent me on my way , unfrtunately I fainted on my way back to the car as I had an allergic reaction to the coctail of drugs.I finalluy madde it back by that time my cahnces of racing were nil as I couldnt bend my knee. I hobbled around for  a few days and enjoyed the race as a spectartyior , gained vital kbopwledge of how it looks from that side . and how e= all look , whic gabe me a unique a pricivileded view point. I gained alot of admiration for everyone as it was some tough race

My intentio  was to swpoen d=sme time in Rome but as I coud t walk I sepent it in the hotel and vilaage chillingf a dn enjoying the sun/atmosphere made alot of lovely friends d=rm all around the worls in  Xterra family. I am so happy to a baprt of this world ven more when you cant race.IMG_1348

It took a while fopr the wounds to heal and I sepnt this time to do the things that I wanted to do..go to see friends and summer festivals! Fantastic fewq weeks of reast , and then afyer two weeks back into hard core trainig and workuing , it took a few weeks to get the fitness back by=ut I think sometimes tis is a good thing to go throughb  to tale a back seat amd re group

Xterra BRAZIL!

This is my race report for XTERRA Brazil that was held in the beautiful island of Ilhabela around 200 km from Sao Paulo.

Having arrived after a long journey of over 26 hours the first issue for me was to sort out what was left of my bike after a very poor transit flight from the Uk,  my bike bag was in a pretty bad state and so was the bike inside , I realised the left fork had been severely traumatised and had frozed in a locked out state.

Nothing that could be done as it was a Cannondale dealer that I needed, and the local bike shop hadn’t one of those, so I had to make do. 

The race was given the name ‘the hardest Xterra course there is’,SO in the afternoon  I set off for the pre ride and climbed and climbed with many technical hills amounting to having to ‘hike the bike’, equally tricky descents were  rocky and slippery a full on hard core course, so  after about 3 hours I began to wonder when the hills were going to stop, and it was  getting dark, still climbing on a winding road and still following the markers to a dirt track, so turning back on myself I realised I had been following the same markers for the 80 km trail run, but had ran out of water, had no signal on my mobile and had been on my bike for over 4 1/2 hours , now cold and pitch black on a trail leading into the jungle.. I managed stumble upon  a restaraunt who took me in, gave me a hot chocolate, and called  a taxi home..(after some charade type communications)
Looking on the bright side  I realised that I could get through the whole course and more without any  front suspension….result.
The following evening was the race briefing – in Portuguese , luckily I had a lovely translater called Renata
It turned out that it was a wetsuit swim BUT not for the pros of course what a shame as I had prepped the swim/dive off the peer the day before in my new speedo elite wetsuit,  I was looking forward that part of this epic race.:) 

Race day started on Saturday,  5.30 am for an early breakfast,  a quick run warm up and I was ready to go!! , My compressport calf guards on, craft base layer for the warm up, and my Cannondale 29 er scalpel ready to race, even with it’s locked out fork. 

The transition area was a bit crazy with around 600 athletes crammed into the smallest transition area  at times I thought there was not going to be enough room for everyone , the bikes tyres were touching and every space was occupied including- parking against trees,fences, anywhere..

The pros were ready at the front- starting one minute earlier. The swim had a run around a pier and a 10 ‘ jump/dive back in, the day started  stromy, hence some waves to negotiate, quick decision was to jump off the pier (for safety) but hit the bottom with a jerk and took in some water, the tide was out that morninig… stopping was not an option with bodies dropping in all around, some narrowly missing me like black clad bombs hitting the water.

Coming out of the swim in fourth position I had to do a bit of catching up , I managed to pass one girl pretty early on,  but then came the serious climbs, hiking, scrambling and hoiking the bike on the shoulders, it was so TOUGH. I was on the last of the steep climbs and got off to walk that is when Sabrina passd me,  I managed to keep her in my sights for the rest of the bike leg, I found myself taking some of the trickier  parts of the course with some speed  
(maybe the forced ‘cyclocross’ riding style was a blessing)

Coming into T2 (unscathed) I was feeling good for the run, first though I had  to negotiate  a 3 km  climb where most were walking, my legs burnt,  my Comprssport calf gaurds came into their own, and I managed to get the 2nd placed girl Sabrina back in my sights.
but  had nothing left to give and  couldn’t catch her , once the steep climb was over there was some technical descents that needed some  nerves of steel and guts so not to tumble uncontrollably down. 
I finished strong and came in third and very happy with my performance. Congrats to Shonny V and Sabrina for the 1st and 2nd. Conrad,  felipe Dan for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

After  a few interviews and the award ceremony  (and some well earned Capereinias) came the night run, a 9 km off road trail run peer pressure worked BUT it was a good way to warm down and keep the legs from seizing up. And have some fun too:) 

My Scalplel 1  29′er rode amazing  well considering ,  how I managed to stay upright with a locked out fork I’ll never know So happy with my third place  AND couldn’t have done it without my sposors.support crew:
A BIG thank you to BOOMCYCLE for the travel sponsorship and moral support, Craft keeping me warm during my warm up, cool down base layers, Suunto for the timing and HRT Monitoring,  Shock absorber bras that I always wear when I race and train  I  Love the way they look. 

Clifbar for giving me the energy that I so need during my race, The double expresso I use at the end of the bike and run. THEY SERIOUSLY WORK!

Compressoprt for getting me through the mad bad bike hike hills climbs with my calf guard doing thie job brilliantly .

Bike and run as ever  and  a BIG thank you to JON  at Chelmer Cycles you are so very amazing to keep the bike working for every race ,  Jon you are the BEST. Mark from Purus health, keping me from injury, Bruce Butler,my amazing S and C trainer and of course my fantastic coach Julie Dibens.