We got to race in Xonrupt in 2017 and it was awesome. The bike course is long, technical and awesome. It suits me really good and I was looking forward to race here again after my first time two years ago. The swim is in the beautiful lake which is mostly nice to swim in- without wetsuit. The finishing run is not really special or exciting, but its still a solid trail run. What the Frenchies are really crazy about are some steep wooden turns and bridges, jumps and pump tracks in the start and finish area, which we had to ride twice on the bike and run twice on the run.
So we rented a little house close to the venue and stayed there with 6 other friends and Xterra athletes from Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and Portugal. The mood was great, I always had a partner to go and train with, checkout the course of just spin out the legs.
My preparation for the race went pretty well, I felt good, very rested. I didn’t really know what to expect due to my 4 weeks off training just before the race, but I was exciting to put it all out on the course.
The start of the race was a bit late on the day- only in the afternoon, which was nice to heat up the lake with the midday sun. This Xterra is the biggest in Europe, and the transition area is probably twice as big as normally. I got a good spot and set everything up perfectly- my Mountainbike was ready to go, and also my Salming OT Comp was waiting for a fast run.
The swim start was from in the water because there is no smooth transition between the beach and the lake. We had to wait for a bit in the water before the starting horn blasted. I didn’t feel really fast on the swim, so it was always very crowded around me- especially until the first buoy. I found my pace and could swim a solid split.
Onto my bike I didn’t feel comfortable, but I just thought it was of the training break. My excitement was still high. I overtook a bunch of athletes until the hammer hit me hard. My nutrition was perfectly planned and also the hydration was good, my body was just not ready for racing again. With a lot of pain in my legs and also arms I made it back to T2 where I changed into my running shoes. The race was over for me already, but I didn’t want to pull out.
I was a bit running and a lot walking, and I still finished the race. It was good for me mentally and to get some race feeling back, but I was far away from my goal. Next race will be in two weeks time back in Italy again.
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