Thursday, November 1, 2012

XTERRA Worlds 2012 - Dealing with the unexpected

As I type this 3 days after XTERRA worlds, and a 29th place finish in a very deep and high quality field of pros; I continue to feel the one emotion I didn't want to be reflecting on.... The frustrating feeling of "what if." It is the only thing I didn't want.
 I didn't race terribly. But unfortuantely on race day, the power just wasn't there. No excuses. It just didn't happen. After feeling awesome in preparation and having to hold myself back in course reccie, on race day I just felt empty. On the flip side I am proud I was able to keep my head in the game and continue to push to the end. Giving the best I had on the day, and continuing to move forward throughout the run.
 As an athlete it is not really the result that matters, but the performance. The world championships is a brutal test, and an amazing opportunity to test one self against some of the finest athletes on the planet. I didn't happen, and if anything it probably just fires the motivation to do more. Specifically I want to give a huge thanks to Magellan, VO2max, RATS, and Iconic Adventures for their generous assistance in making it possible. And I look forward to many more adventures to come.

When XTERRA say they have a rough water swim, they weren't joking. This is Saturday pre-race and the waves are breaking on the beach. I successfully body surfed a few in.... but after being unceremoniously dumped onto the beach and filling my suit with sand, I figured I'd try to avoid the wave come race day!
Some pre-ride action and you can see it was some very dry and dusty conditions we had to deal with. While not overly technical, the new bike course certainly has enough to catch up those less skilled, and enough physical demands to break you.
Magellan tells you a lot of very useful information. Some you perhaps don't want to know. Such as an average temperature on morning pre-ride of 32 degrees....
Saturday night, 11pm, and we are sitting in a carpark. Not the plan. But after an earthquake in Canada, Hawaii went on Tsunami alert and we were evacuated from our accomodation at 9pm. We loading up the rental car with gear and bikes and headed for higher ground. A bizzare and surreal experience and not the ideal race prep as we finally got to bed at 2am ahead of our 9am start. Olly still managed to win an age-group world title and beat me home so won't be using this as an excuse!
Race morning and the swim was pretty rough. I was prepared for a duathlon, so post tsunami it was almost a surprise we swam. Some unsettled water movements made for a very testing swim which really showed the strongest swimmers. Case in point Javier Gomez who made the other pro's look like rookies coming out in 19min while no one else broke 20 (including numerous ITU pro's). Phenomenal.

 Midpoint of the swim and I emerge amongst a few pro women and some faster age-groupers having already caught us. Not quite going to plan, but then again it wasn't a normal day!

Early in the bike, digging deep, and hoping that my "race legs" will re-appear any moment soon!

Last 500m and in typical XTERRA style they throw a deep sand beach at you. Kahuna, Janet and the rest of Team Unlimited could be accused of many things..... but making it easy isn't one of them. Theres a reason the medal you are given at the finish line reads "survivor"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

actually stalked you using the athlete tracker when i saw your name on the start list haha. i am hoping to go next year, bike looked pretty tough though!
well done, amen on the "not result but performance" thing, finding this very difficult to explain to friends since itu worlds in auckland where i had a shitty day.