I was fascinated by road kill. There it was, I had seen the blue gel packet in the same spot twice before and a little further on I would find the orange jelly baby just to my left on a flat rock. Discarded but now a friendly supporter on each of my three laps of the run course. And then he was not there….
I ran on wondering if somebody was desperate enough to pick him up and eat him. I had thought about that often (today and at previous races) in the closing stages of a triathlon. Where the hell was my little friend?
I climbed two of the three sandy hills and almost forgot about him when suddenly next to my left foot he cheered me on. Glowing bright orange in the sun.
I was a few hundred meters from the finish line of Enduroman SA and my race had gone to plan. In fact better than expected.
Just over seven hours ago I had to work hard against the cold, black, swallowing too much water. Not enjoying it much. The water temperature was 15*C but it felt colder. The darkness pulled at me while I tried to maintain form and I had to try really hard not just to call it a day. Then the rainbow appeared. Rain left little dimples on the surface and all became better. I waved at M and friends as we started lap two and then I found my rhythm.
Why are they all still in transition? It seemed like half the field was just standing there taking their time. Getting dressed. So different form the usual rushing madness. And off we rode up the first hill. A few passed me and I knew it would not last long. Over eager on the technical section. Then one of them fell. Frustration has to be held back so early on.
Spectator point one and I was ahead of schedule. Glad to see M and friendly cheers. I burnt a match trying to catch a draft. All in vein as they disappeared into the distance a little while later. A lesson in caution and patience. I ate meat and real food and fueled the machine. Spinning, spinning all the time. The monster hill and I let them go. Down the mudslide and front wheel was tracking well.
Easy down the cobbles and then I started to gain some places.
Pit stops went like clockwork thanks to fantastic support.
Get the speed up on the final approach.
Then Transition two and I heard them announce the winner. I knew I would walk the monster hill. But anything other than that was to be run. I stuck to the plan. Attack the downhill and then push on the sandy bits.
And so it was over. Just like that. Like a dream.
Thanks to organisers: Glyn, Geddan and crew; sponsors: Orca, 32Gi and Oakpics for making this possible. I certainly hope that this will become an annual fixture on the calendar.