After my DSQ in Belgium there were more stumbling blocks. I wasn't the only athlete who was in bed with gastrointestinal pain a few days after the race. For me, after the short track on Sunday at the Xterra European Champs in Belgium, I continued towards Switzerland. The Xterra Switzerland was only 7 days after my last race. I was forced to take my days easy, spending most of my time in the hotel room behind the computer, answering a few emails, planning the next few runs and trips, booking hotels, googling distances and routes, and working on my most recent graphic design work. I felt weak.
The Xterra in Switzerland took place very close to the French border. We swam in a tiny lake called Lac des Taillères, then rode the mountain bike trails across the border into France before the final run took place near the lake again.
So I didn't inspect the routes until relatively late, on Thursday I went on the bike course - I thought it was really cool. It was very fast and not very demanding/technical, but the speed was high and towards the end we were rewarded with really cool single trails and technical downhills. The running track was tough, first it was fast and flat along the lake, but then there was a steep climb, meadows and trails with a steep section down at the end.
I was lucky enough to start the race with start number 1, which gave me another confidence boost, with a solid swimming time I got out of the water after 1.5 km as 10th, we swam with neoprene suits, which I am sure of helped. After that, I quickly got on the bike and felt really strong and was able to make up place after place until I finally moved up to 3rd place. The pace was high behind me with a Frenchman in tow, but then 2 mountain bike specialists on the bike overtook me and I was in 5th place go run I knew I had to move forward, my mileage in Belgium was promising, and that was also confirmed in Switzerland. However, the distance to 4th or even the podium was unassailable and so I finally ran after just over 2.5 hours over the finish line. TOP 5 is always a good confirmation of performance, and after a mixed week that made me extremely positive.
I will definitely come back to this awesome event in Switzerland, but for now it's time to go back to Klosterneuburg to pull more strings with my coach from Qualitymovement in Klosterneuburg in order to fight at the very front at the Xterra in Italy in 5 weeks.