The biggest outdoor event in New Zealand, thousands of people racing in one of the 4 events – 11 km and 21km trail run, 29km mtb race and main event Xterra NZ off road triathlon. As part of the World tour it was the race where athletes could qualify for the World Championship in Maui at the end of October.
And it was my main focus to get a spot at the World champs in Pro category and finish top 5. And my goal was accomplished as I finished 5th. But that is not the end of the story, let me tell you first about my Thursday ride. I was going to check the course and catch the vibez of the trails.
It started good, amazing single tracks and nice nature, but after while it begun to pissing hard with rain, fog settled in and riding through the local dark deep forest was like riding through tunnel. I was completely wet and cold, but it was still ok. The survival instinct woke up when I lost the signs and got lost with no idea where I am.
To support my growing fear it got dark and night came earlier than I thought. At this moment I knew I am in trouble and thinking of surviving the night in the forest, frozen and wet made me quite unhappy. It was like riding single tracks with closed eyes, mud was everywhere and walking pace caused that I was shivering with cold like cheap dog.
Luckily I hit the signs again, but it was very hard to follow them as it was pitch black. Anyway, long story short and after 2,5 hrs I reached the road and lake where I parked the car. I was so frozen I couldn´t take out car keys from my cycling jersey pocket, my fingers just weren´t working.
It took me almost 10mins to take them out. So this was just easy pre-race warm-up :)But back to race. Saturday 11am and the fight begun. Swimming was for 1 km at Blue lake, cold water and with the wetsuit, I pushed hard and was going out of water at the third place.
I lost some time in transition area as I had problems to put my bike shoes on and wet suit off. The bike course (29 km) was full of amazing single tracks, one of the best ones I have ever ridden (after Squamish) and also full of not so amazing up hills.
It wasn´t the best day for me on the bike and I couldn´t get a groove of the trail so downhill I was going like „old muma“ and it didn´t make me happy at all. 4 riders passed me and I came to the transition at the 8th place.
I was angry with my bike skills and ride so I kicked the run from the beginning and I felt very good, flying like raging toro and on the 11 km trail run passed 3 guys and was chasing other ones but didn´t catch any more so to the finish I came on the 5th place. I am happy for this as the 5th place was last with the prize money.
And what is better I have got the spot for the World Champs. On Monday I am going to Brisbane and than to Sunshine coast where is another challenge waiting for me – Queensland Dirt Fest and Australian off road triathlon champs.
Thanks to Vitek, Ironman dude, for his amazing help while staying at NZ. Diky Vito! Results can be found in here