I couldn't wait to race Xterra Motatapu and get into the Off-road Triathlon season. After this race I had another five races in seven weeks in different countries so I was looking to get off to a good start!
A couple of weeks leading into the race I ended up getting food poisoning which kept me out of training for a good week. It was touch and go whether I made the trip down south but with everything booked I decided I may as well head down and have a good time if I couldn't race.
I started feeling better once I got there though so decided to line up. With the help of Sam Thompson from NZXC I was on the start line and ready to go. My positive thinking about how I was going to go didn't eventuate at the start as I had a shocker swim, possibly my worst in years, after feeling weak and lacking any rhythm. It's not a nice place to be when you are getting smashed from all sides...
Things got a bit better on the bike though and I got into a good rhythm, even though it didn't feel comfortable. Not feeling 100%, I was able to slowly move up and come off the bike in 4th overall, and more importantly, only a few minutes down on 2nd.
Surprisingly I felt decent on the run and quickly caught Patrick Harvey in third. I could see 2nd ahead but couldn't close the gap on the climb. The climb is a long one though and I thought if I conserved my energy for the steep and dodgy descent I might be able to catch him. Finally at the top of the climb (it is a LONG climb) I was able to relax and stride out on the descent. I seemed to be pulling him back quickly and caught and passed him halfway down. I kept pushing though knowing that at the bottom of the descent we still had to run 3km of roads/river crossings to the finish.
I definitely struggled in the last couple of kilometres but managed to hold onto my 2nd place and cross the line exhausted behind Braden Currie. Not to bad considering, although I would have liked to be a bit closer to Braden and see if I could put him under any pressure.
It was a good start to my racing season though and I;m looking forward to the next one, Xterra Guam!