Our trip to PE started by waking up at 3.30 on Friday morning and started the long drive. After 14 hours we arrived and I had a quick swim to loosen up a little and a nice pizza to settle the tummy for bed. Saturday was the usual pre-race warm ups and race briefing. Sunday morning I had a good wake up at 6.30 and headed out to the gym for a swim to wake up because the start was only at 12.30.
The race started with a non wetsuit swim and I knew the weaker swimmers would suffer more so I kept the pace fairly hard up in front with Frederick Belaubre (FRA) and got a 20-30s gap onto the bike and attempted a breakaway. We were caught after about 8km when Wian Sullwald (RSA), Wikus Weber (RSA), a German and a Moroccan athlete were working hard together in windy conditions and we all continued working well through to the run. I was struggling through the bike with sore tired legs but a couple of gels made me feel a bit more confident.
We hit T2, dashed to our racks and got ready for the run. I was 2nd out just behind the German and kept a fast but maintainable pace and keeping in touch with Belaubre (FRA). He attacked and I decided not to go with him and kept my pace. Going into the 2nd lap my legs started to feel quite tight and could feel that I dropped the pace slightly and started running with Sullwald (RSA) and the Moroccan. Going into the 3rd lap all hell broke loose and my inside quads felt like they actually pulled and I just wanted to make sure I finish because it’s all about points at the end of the day. I lost 8 places and only a little more than a minute behind a podium spot. I was very disappointed about that but I’ll take it as a learning curve and move on.
Congats to Wian Sullwald for the elite SA title as well as everyone else. Awesome organisation of a great event by TSA and ATU.
I will be racing in Mauritius next weekend for the African Champs and keep you updated after the race. Till then cheers!