The above photo is accredited to an Xterra photographer who not only captured the greatness of Dan’s great long socks against his brown legs. He also managed to capture the perseverance of Dan’s effort in continuing to complete the triathlon when he thought he could not and was quite frankly over the event itself.
Now for the entertaining story that precedes the above photograph.
So as Murphy’s law would have it, Dan and I got a good dosage of the common cold (it seemed a bit more severe than the average cold) on the Wednesday before Xterra which was scheduled for the upcoming Sunday.
We had done a fair amount of exercise and so called “training” before the time. I never feel as though it is training as it’s always so enjoyable exercising, that I hardly like to classify it as training myself. We were battling with the fact Xterra was soon approaching. We were feeling like zombies with General malaise and blocked noses. We were not feeling great at all and I was fearing that we would have to bail out of this event due to being sick. I was not wanting to cancel do due to the fact we both had been looking forward to this weekend for months. I enjoy the atmosphere, challenge of triathlon and general weekend away filled with good fun and exercise. Besides which, I am not one to cancel something because I am sick.
Yet with our snotty noses and big smiles we soon found ourselves heading to Grabouw for our Xterra Triathlon.
Wow! What an interesting place we stayed in. Certainly an eye opener and I can understand why it had not been booked out by other people doing the triathlon. With dusty tables and gecko excrement on the walls we had a quiet moment in which to come to grips with the state of the room! I would not recommend it unless there is nothing else available in the area!
The true excitement had started to kick in. We had checked out the venue and familiarized ourselves with the transition points and overall layout of the venue.
Dan as usual assembled our bicycles and did a thorough check to make sure our tyre pressure was correct and we were all set to go. We laid our our clothes out and prepped our stuff for the following early morning wake up.
I was scheduled to start 30 minutes ahead of Dan as it was in waves according to age category. Dan was distressed about this fact and even threatened me with the fact he would come speeding up toward me, him breathing down my back and racing past me and passing me. Ultimately leaving me behind in his dust! Yet this was not to be the case as I was in fact the one who was waiting for him at the finish line much to his shock and horror. I was shocked he never passed me on any of the sections. I had it on my mind constantly that he would casually ride past me while I was huffing and puffing but alas this never happened. Whoohoo. I feel as though I have conquered something.
I really and truly enjoyed this triathlon. Every aspect of it was great. I was actually rather sad that it ended all too soon for me as I was just getting into it. Dan said he struggled with the swim in terms of being kicked in the face and having water splashed into his face by people who suddenly decided whilst swimming that they would stop and take a breather, causing Dan to swim right into them. A bit flustered from that in conjunction with his flu, he spent a wonderful 19 minutes in transition debating life’s trivialities and wonders. Eventually getting on his bicycle only to have rear bearings issues as he reached the first incline. This meant that not only did he have a hard and slow ride, at times walking and carrying his bike on the uphills. Down hills meant full speed with little if at any brakes engaged at all!
We never saw each other along the route and I finished with a great smile and a body that was still keen to do more. I waited at the finish line to welcome and cheer Dan in. I was super curious to find out our times purely cause there was a 30 minute starting gap between us and we were not running at 100% optimum!
Sure enough Dan was under the 2 hour mark by 5 minutes and I came in at 2 hours 3 minutes. I am so chuffed with my time as it is a marked improvement from my first triathlon in December and on top of that I was sick. Dan feels he could have shaved off minutes in the transition points and done better on his cycle. However we both enjoyed it and have no doubt we will be entering a full triathlon in time to come and complete it as a team.
Our Xterra Triathlon experience was certainly one we won’t forget!
Cheers Fiona 🙂