So last winter I had This crazy dream about being at the start of an Xterra This year. I looked up all the dates and places and the Xterra in Greece came out to be a good one to start the season with and have an Nice travel with my wife for her birthday afterwards. An all on one pack.
But as the months passed other things came across my path. Quickly my trainer tried to talk me out of this competition because it would not be perfectly timed because on the 4-5th of may I’ll be doing the test event days for the mixed-team relay. I still wanted to do This xterra so badly so he agreed,with following conditions: We will not prepare or train towards this event but towards the more important race in May. The weeks before Will be super hard. Also, YOU CAN NOT FALL ON THE BIKE OR RUN! Agreed?! I Said: Ok coach, we have a deal. So the past 2-3weeks we have been training like crazy and I got a bit of a cold in the beginning of the week as I walked a thin line of training hard and getting enough recovery like a drunken sailor.
I wish I could say I had no expectations as This was my first xterra competition ever. But I Would be lying.. I like it too much to get up on that podium. But as soon as I saw that the 3x World champion xterra and a lot of other impressive races was also starting I got really nervous. Still I wanted to be on that podium so badly.
With a solid swim I knew I could have a good gap. As the pro men and women started together I knew This was in my adventage. I swam with the men and left the water in 4th position without going all the way. Because, OH BOY what a 30k ride was waiting on me😰
With big 1’30” on the second women, I did loved the technical parts SO MUCH! But I tried not to start too crazy cause those hills were hard! After 2/3 of the first lap the 3x World champion came over. I was suprised but Picked up the pace and tried to follow her wheel. In the Technical parts she was really good and it was possible to follow but the hills became faster and longer and I had to let her go. After the 1 of 2 laps the second women and winner of last year passed me by at that time I had a little dip and Just continued my own pace. Even tho I died about 15times on the Bike I was really looking forward to be running. I had a feeling i’d have a better feeling on the run.
With two other women Chasing me I did a good transition and started with a small 1k flat before the hard Hill and mountain part. It was different to be walking for Some parts because it was 1, almost impossible to run 2, you’d kill yourself for the parts after to keep running. The parts between the 2 (walking) rocky hill climbs felt sooooo good. I was feeling really well and the last km’s I was still very safe to get that 3the place.
So wauw, what a race. What an amazing experience! It was cool to change it up after 20years on the road.
First of all I Would like to thank my personal sponsor who Made it possible to make the travel and the stay in Greece: thank you Aquaservice to jump in on This new adventure!
I’d like to thank my wife and friend Alexe moreels to be shouting and pushing me mentally in This adventure.
And ofcourse my amazing team to let me do This race even if it’s totally different than what I used to do. I hope you Guys Will be happy with the first podium of the year.
And last but actually first: my coach Dirk who pushed me every day.
Also everyone who wrote me messages. Y’all appreciated🙏🏼
Much love, Charly