Xerra Grabouw must be one of the best if not the best Xterra in the world. If there is a race to win this is it, I have dreamed of winning Grabouw after my first race as a xterra rookie back in 2012. The last months have been really good. Training has been going really well. I really do have great people around me helping me to make this happen. The support is just unreal.
The last months I have been training really well on the xterra course and I knew it so well. I new what the time must be when I get to some points in order for me not to blow up and over cook it. Race plan was to swim hard and make my gap so that I don’t have to go too hard up the frist big hill. Well lets just say the race plan didn’t work out….. :-)
I went out really fast in the swim just to make sure no one jumps on my feet. I got away really easy and was solo for a long time. I followed the girl on the paddle board assuming she will point me in the right way to me. Never follow the gril on the paddle board. :-) I think I swam about 200m extra. I was really bleak when I saw that I have swam so wrong and didn’t have the lead that I was hoping for. Plan 1 out the window. Improvise!
Onto the bike and what do you know FedEx didn’t make it in time with my legs. Man my legs was broken and dead. I really had nothing to give. I really don’t know why that happen but one has to keep going. I made it up the first climb and lost some time to the other was in 4th. I count even push the flats and thats normal my strongest part of the bike leg. I am not called Big Blade Blignaut for nothing. :-)
The only hope I had on the bike was the downhills. I knew the route so well and had all my lines dialled in. I had to hook it. But for some reason I wasn’t smooth at all. I got so upset with myself. After a while I just told my self just stay calm and keep going. I started to ride bit better but still had no legs.
There was really some sick trails and loved it really so much. Even having a bad day I still had fun. Hitting it hard in the single track.
Once I got off the bike I really felt good, Started running and legs was good. I said to myself I am going to run my heart out. I had to finish in the top 3 South Africans to get my slot to World champs. I just said to mysfel there is no way I am missing out on that. Antonie had 30sec on my out of T2. I knew Antonie is one of the fastest runners in out sport. I saw that I was closing the cap to him so I knew I was running well. Once I bribed the gap to Antonie it was race on and we ran together for the next 7km. We dropped one another a cupple of times and we just couldn’t break one another.
Then I knew its time to give it all. I ran so hard down the hill and passed Antonie then I had a small gap, I kept on running super hard till we hit the first beach section, I looked into the distance and saw there was Roger the 2014 U23 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion. Some how I found another gear and kept on pushing hard. I saw that the gap was closing.
What a shot, Chopper struggling to keep up :-) #DirtyFast I really wanted that top 3. Also after a really bad start to my race how I came back in to the race. When it was 1.5km to go I had to close 50 seconds. I had to fight as hard as I could. As I got closer and closer I saw that I was going to run out of road. I ran hard up the finsh shoot and there I saw Roger just 15seconds in front of me.
This was me telling him he was lucky, then a big congrats for the 3rd.
This photo says it all, Man look at my face I never seen it like that. It just showed how hard I really pushed on the run. I was really bleak about 4th. Man 4th sucks!!! :-) BUT a big but, I am really proud that I didn’t give up and get going all the way to the end. On a race that didn’t go as planned I was really happy to make it happen even when nothing is working out. Got my slot to world champs and super stoked.
Xterra Grabouw will always be a great and special event one day I will win this event and I can’t wait for that day.
Now the racing kicks off and will be doing some travailing.
Will make my racing calendar public soon.
Till I blog again Keep it in the big blade.