It was an unbelievably cold day in Potch (and an extremely early start to get there), but I was very keen to race and test my legs. It was also my first race for my new team. Team Inov-8 so I was so keen to kick off with a good result. I love the shoes they are so light and comfortable and the best thing about them is that I didn’t get any blisters. This is the first shoes that I have ran in that don’t give me blisters. 10 out of 10 for Inov-8 for sorting that out! The shoe I chose to race in was the Inov-8 Road X-Lite 155 Racer.
I had a good first run with Erhard and Brand and the three of us managed to get away in T1 and stay away on the bike. All was going well until about 8km to go when I picked up a 2cm nail in my back tire. The race referee was in a truck behind us and they had picked up two other guys who had also gotten flat wheels. The truck pulled up as I stopped and I asked if they had a back wheel for me. Johan Pretorius gave me his wheel and just as I was busy putting the wheel in the chase pack flew past me. I quickly closed the skewer, jumped on my bike and absolutely killed myself catching up to them. After a 3km TT I caught the bunch and went straight to the front to try and catch Brand and Erhard again. There were two guys who were racing in teams that were able to help me chase.The rest of the bunch was just sitting and sucking wheel like leeches. My legs were burning like a bonfire and unfortunately there was not enough time to bridge the gap to the front guys.
By the time we got back to Potch I could see Erhard and Brand ahead of us. I went into T2 with the group and I sprinted out as fast as I could – with my helmet still on my head! It was so cold that I couldn’t feel it. Luckily Robyn was there to shout “HELMET” and I chucked it just before I left the transition area.
I didn’t feel my feet until the turn around point as they were just so frozen. I was running so hard that I couldn’t see where I was going. I just knew that I was going to need a wheelchair to get around after the race.
I hung on for 3rd place, but unfortunately I was disqualified because I took someone else’s wheel.
It was a really good training session and I was pleased with the way that I had fought back and not given up after puncturing.
No words for this photo!!!
So now I know that I am ready for World Champs. Well done to Brand and Erhard – they raced really well.
I really enjoyed the race and I am definitely going to do more of them next year. Well done to Andre de Beer and his team for great organization of the races.