This off-road triathlon is becoming an annual event for me, I have been doing it now since 2012 and enjoyed every one. I did the full event of a 1.5km dam swim, 28km mountain bike ride and 12km trail run. The route was very similar to last years route which can be found on my gpx maps page.
The weather on the day was fantastic, and I was aiming to improve on my performance from last year. The swim in the beautiful Eikenhof dam was tougher than I had expected possibly because of the wind that created some small waves (30cm), but more probably because I had not swam enough before the event, admittedly I still swam 6 minutes faster than I had in 2014.
The mountain bike leg (and mountain biking in general), as much as I love it, I do find quite tough going. I rode on my 26″ (last year 29″) bike because I felt it would be a better option on the technical bits, although I must admit I do prefer my 26″ over my rather heavy 29″. After a very slow ascending start I decided to go balls-to-the-wall on the descent with the unfortunate result that I fell and had to deal with some bleeding (why did I not take my first aid kit with me?), a bruised ego and a slight loss of confidence. Having been patched up at the first water/medical stop my confidence improved and I started to push for time then disaster, my rear derailleur sheered off, the result of years of abuse no doubt…. Well I enjoyed the remaining 8-10 km, the beautiful scenery, and especially thought of my kids pushing their ‘black bikes’ as I pushed my ‘ black’ bike via a similar method at every descent opportunity – I must have been a sight to see. After reviewing my times after the event, shock horror, my MTB time was still (marginally) faster than in 2014, enough said!
After another medical check on my arm, have I told you how super impressed with the general & medical staff at Xterra I am, I was off on my run, my strength, well…. not today…. after the cycle and my arm that was now starting to throb, read excuse here, I decided to take it easy on the run and enjoy the route. I did enjoy the route, maybe a little to much seeing how my time was 40 minutes slower than in 2014.
All-in-all a wonderful day in Grabouw even if I did come 11th last. Interestingly my time was only 20 minutes slower than 2014!!!
As per the wonderful medic, who cleaned up my wound initially, who said I might need stitches and I should go to the medic tent, I did stop off at the medical tent and get 3 stitches on my elbow.
See you next year Xterra Grabouw.
PS Getting my bike back today (Friday 27th), ready for the Cape Town MTB 55km on Sunday, will I learn, or more importantly improve my MTB competence.