Xterra Buffelspoort, South Africa
2nd, behind winner Conrad Stoltz.
It’s intense, race emotions. They crept up on me like a wave in the ocean, when your back is turned. All senses are heightened, amplified. I drove to the venue on race morning with music full on, feeling the base as if generated from within my being. It’s a trip and I love it. But when so unfamiliar it can be uncomfortable, hostile and not easy to embrace in it’s entirety. Nor was I able to harness all its energy all the time.
To summarize, there was plenty daylight between Stoltz and myself. I’ve not taken a beating so vast in years and it will take some dissecting and processing. The man was class and utterly dominant.
I am happy to be on the board though, on the up and up. “Stay calm and race on”.
For those preferring detail:
Swam well, got clear but struggled concentrating right the way through it. Need to work on that. That’s race ‘fitness’. Stoltz quickly bridged the 20sec gap once on the bike, and was too hot to sit on. I could only hope he over biked with the extreme run and heat to follow, but he kept gaining even through the run. Was 4′ of daylight off the bike and near 6′ all told. It’s a bike route demanding 99% pedal time and I was punished by it. I’ve not got much top end developed yet; that accentuated by the 1400m altitude and perhaps with the TSC in my system… either way, it’s a lot of time to justify somehow.
The Stillwater Management were brilliant, such a class production. For the first time the Lite and Full were on seperate days in Buffelspoort. Allowing 800 entries for the Full, and 1300 for the Lite. Incredible. But the tweaks to route and finish are details that are noted and appreciated.
I am proudly the ambassador for both Totalsports and Rehidrat, the two engines of Xterra in South Africa. Both were great support over the weekend to myself and the masses.
The talking point afterwards centered on the run route. It was savage, and I salut anyone getting round (up!?) the course. We ran nearly equal time to the bike leg. So slightly misguided by the course director, and an error I’m certain they’ll rectify for next year.
I too had my hands on my knees twice… Although not for long, my shuffle wasn’t much quicker than the walk.
I enjoyed finding this image of my training buddy Petrus, who had to borrow my shorts and shoes and vest and Garmin… Did the trail run on Sunday and finished 3rd. Congrats mate.
(Photo Credit ~ Cherie Vale / Newsport Media.)
Thanks for the interest and support.
I’ll be making the next month count. Grabouw 24th Feb. Want and need.