In april this year, I raced the XTERRA Greece competition, a beautiful place and race.
It was my first long XTERRA race, which goes over: 1500m swim (in the sea), 32km mountainbike and to finish a 10km heavy trailrun.
I started not too fast, knowing it was going to be longer than I was used to. And this plan worked out very well; I finished on a 2nd AgeGroup place (= not-Pro’s) and 22nd including the PRO athletes.
This was enough to qualify for the XTERRA Worldchampionships in Maui, Hawaii on october, 23rd 2016.
The months pass by, and the trainings are getting harder. I raced in mean time XTERRA Belgium; France (where I spotted another REHAU-employee’s car); and Denmark. Belgium and France were not as good as I wanted due two crashes with the bike a little bit earlier. But in Denmark I did a good race, with a 2nd place in the AgeGroup category again.
Untill a few days before the start; it started raining on the race location, like it was a normal Belgian rainy day. This changed the course into one muddy track…
The gun went off and there we sprinted into the water at DT Fleming Beach in Kapalua; the strong waves and current wanted to push us back onto the dry land.
The big waves of the Pacific Ocean were fun to swim in; but also difficult to maintain the right course. I was ahead of some PRO's, so I knew I was at a good pace.
I was passing much athletes; direction front of the race!
As a triathlete, you have to manage the three disciplines (swim, bike and run). But biking is definately my best; and swimming or running are about equal, depending on the course.
As we approched the top of the mountain, the mud was changing more into wet clay which was sticking to the bike. I lost a little bit of time with clearing the tires from this muddy clay.
But when the course went down again, I got more grip and could ride faster again!
Once we past a small lake, I knew we were at the highest point of the running course. From there on my pace went skyhigh, and passed a lot of athletes who were faster then me the last km's before.
The ocean came back into sight so we were coming closer to the finishline. But then we got a little surprise; the last kilometer was maybe the hardest one... In the loose sand along the coastline fighting for every last second and place.
3h56 after the startshot I finished on a 12th AgeGroup/Not-Pro place. Tired but happy!
I'll definately come back to Maui, and can only recommend it for having a relaxed holiday.