Totalsports Xterra presented by Rehidrat, 3km, 23km, 7km
The Knysna Pezula leg of the Xterra series bit me a few years back, and seems to attract me every year to come back for more. It’s such a fantastic event, with great atmosphere in a special location, its hard not to come back each year, especially being ten minutes down the road from home.
This year the competition was great, with a lot of big names taking part. I had prepared slightly different this year. I had run consistently for a month leading up to the event, and I had busted out a new pair of Salomon shoes for the run. This is the only leg of the Xterra that I’m able to do, mostly because I cannot swim to well, and the Knysna leg is more like a duathlon with just a run/cycle/run.
Tactics for me on the day are fairly simple, limit my loses on the first run, make up as much time as possible on the bike leg, and then get to the finish in one piece on the second run.
Luckily for me, heavy rains the night before would turn the mountain bike course into a nightmare. The extreme mud would prove to be very technical, and this would give me another advantage on this section. I managed to make up all the places I had lost on the first run, and the last person I passed was Stuart Marais, who is such a fast runner, I would need to put as much time into him as possible.
Its always exciting when you get to the transitions, and the commentators do a great job of giving you time splits, and letting you know how slow your transitions are!
I went into the final 7km trail run with a healthy three minute lead, but against an exceptional runner like Stu, this would only get me to the last 2km, where he came flying past me.
The trail run is quite technical, and I didn’t take any chances, nor expect to stay out in front, it was more a matter of when he would catch me.
I call this part of the race, ‘buy now, pay later’, as the body continues through fitness, but in the next few days, becomes really sore and stiff from recruiting different muscles. Fortunately this year was not too bad, as the training had helped with the post race soreness.
Thanks very much to Stillwatersports for having me at the event; it’s always great to take part. Maybe next year I can have a special number to secure a spot on the ‘Pro rack’!
Next race, exciting as I fly to Israel to compete for South Africa at the Maccabiah Games, in the road and time trial. Will keep you posted.
Till then, cheers.
1st Stuart Marais (RSA Web) 1:41:02
2nd Kevin Evans (FedGroup/ITEC) 1:42:03
3rd Kent Horner (My Training Day)