The race day, finally!
After a week spent on holidays instead of training I’m ready to race. Since two days I didn’t feel very good; I had some problems with my stomach, but the race is on and I must compete as better as I can.
In this picture at the start Gianmarco, Simone (two italians I’ve met in the week) and I trying to keep the concentration at the highest level..
The tools are ready, will be I the same?
The swim section has not been a problem, despite all the concerns we have had during this week regarding the waves and the strong flow of the ocean; I swam without suffering the waves and the strong current; my only concerns was related to the exit, when you try to escape from the “jaw” of the waves. I managed well and I finished in 29th position of my category, as always this year.
Four people reported arm injury after swimming; so, I’ve been lucky!
I felt really well after swimming, so I run quickly to the transition (I passed many others competitors running up the hill in the Ritz Carlton park) and I mounted on my bike to start recover as much positions as I could. The first part was on asphalt due to the impossible mud of the trail (as the organizers told us at the briefing), and then we went into the deep forest on this horrendous, slippery and muddy track. This track has been cleared just two weeks before the race, so it still was plenty of leaves and cutted branches: as I wrote here in this chapter trying to escape from the muddy grip was impossible and also dismounting from the bike and walking was very demanding.
At first I still was excited and plenty of energy; a mexican racer passed away called me “The muddy man” because I was able to climb up a hill on my bike. Then I started to become discouraged.
Every 5 minutes I stopped to clean the bike; the cooking lubricant “PAM” we sprayed in the framed didn’t work very well. After one hour struggling, I broke also the front mudguard to make the front wheel turn properly. Every people was in the same condition and when we reached the top of the mountain with some dry terrain I though our odyssey was finished but the I started to suffer a lack of energy.
The refreshment stations only had water so I started to slow down my chase; I finished 15th, walking with my bike in very poor conditions; in the transition area I eat some energy bars and started slowly to run. After the first two km when I lost some positions, I started to recovery my energies and realize
that not all was lost. I run as fast as I could, finishing 15th in the run section and 20th of my age group, 144th overall.
To be honest I’m not very satisfied about my performance; a good swim (30’52” in the ocean with an intermediate exit, compared to the best score 21’48” is not so bad), a very bad bike due to a energy crisis like a rookie and a acceptable run.
Probably I didn’t face this race with the right mental attitude; after the excitement for the qualification and the journey, I realized that I was not so interested in the race. Anyway, I managed to finish it and that’s the most important thing.
Here is the official video; you can realize it was a though race.XTERRA World Championship - JTL Timing Systems