It was time to get all the rust out of the legs again and head down to Cape Town for the first big race of the year – the ITU Cape Town African Sprint race. It was a crazy good field that was entered for the event, with the likes of Tim Don, 2006 world champion, and Daniel Unger, 2007 world champion. That was just the start of it. It really was a really strong field. It was more like a world cup than an Africa cup.
After getting heat stroke at my first Xterra it took me quite a while to get back into things, but I was ready to get this big body of mine going again.
The race started at 7am at Big Bay, Blouberg. The water was a crazy cold 13 degrees! We ran into the freezing cold water of the Atlantic Ocean with our knees high and began hitting, pulling and knocking each other all in an effort to get onto a fast set of feet. I had a really good swim and was out the water in the top 10. I flew through transition and onto my beautifully fast Argon 18. Right at the beginning my mate from Denmark, Jens Toft, made a break and he stayed away for the whole 20km. I did my fair share of the work at the front of the pack.
Coming into T2 it is so important to be in front to be able to have a fast transition without having to fight around corners with another 20 guys and their bikes. So if there is no space then you need to make it. As you can see in the photo below I made space for myself between Gavin Noble and the corner. He got the fright of his life when this big bloke in black came flying past him, half in the bushes and cutting into his line. He shouted at me “What are you doing?!” So I replied “I’m passing you.” Not a happy Irish chappy.
The black arrow is pointing me out!
Out onto the run it was Jens, Richard, Tim and then me. I knew that I needed to pace myself as I was going out way too fast, but it was so hard and I ended up blowing big time and lots of guys passed me. But then towards the end I was catching guys again and I ended up 22nd in a world class field. It was the first race of the season so I am happy, but also not happy about my run. It is not that I need to work on my run, it is just that I paced myself extremely badly. Well I have learnt and next time it will be better.
It was also great to get to spend the weekend with Robs and celebrate being together for 4 years!
Thanks to all my sponsors who make it all happen for me. You guys are the best.
Stay safe, take chances and gooi hom in die groot blade!!!!