Find your Xtreme

May 16 2019

Car packed, bikes racked, and Wes and I were off on our way to Hermanus for the annual WalkerBay Xtreme event.

First up was the 12km CliffPath Xtreme. It was 4pm and we were told to line up under a large blue Hi-Tech banner. I can remember thinking to myself, “let’s see what all those Tuesday track sessions have done for my speed”. The gun was fired, and we were off!! Before I knew it, we were flying down the Hermanus beach road, wow what a spectacular sight! 1km into the race, I looked down at my watch “…3:45… WOW WEE it’s paying off!” But before I knew it, I started feeling dizzy and felt like I was going to peg right then and there. “Slow it down, slow it down”, I said.  Finally, I found my rhythm and continued at a smooth and comfortable pace. I then realised that there were 2 ladies in front of me, I was not going to let my rookie explosive start interfere with a potential podium finish! 

Day 2, I woke up and my legs were feeling rather stiff and my shins were playing up, as usual! Luckily, we had the day off from racing. Wes and I decided it would be a grand idea to go for a cycle around Hermanus to experience the spectacular views and to support the many races which were taking place on the day.

It was finally day 3 which meant it was time to SWIM, BIKE AND RUN. We made our way to transition and after racking the bikes and having a chat with Wes (convincing him that all would be fine during the swim leg, Wes isn’t the greatest fan of the swim), we hear the following over the loud speaker, “it is a wetsuit compulsory swim, the water temperature is 12.1degrees!!!” I looked over to Wes and saw complete panic in his face “…12 DEGREES, what the actual F****!!!” After lots of persuasion we managed to squeeze him in to his wetsuit (thanks Tanya!) and made our way down to the rocks. I stuck my big toe into a puddle of water and giggled quietly to myself knowing that this swim was going to be a terrible experience for Wes, haha! Finally, all the athletes entered the water and we were off… 500 meters in and I start thinking, “we are still very far away from the harbour… the swim was supposed to be 600meters, what is going on?” “Shame, poor old Wes”, I thought to myself, “he has been swimming for about 6 weeks, he hates cold water & anything longer then 500m is enough to put him off forever!”

I exit the water, freezing cold and disorientated... I wobbled up onto the cement, goggles off and I remember seeing a friendly face, it was Viv who swiftly guided my up on to the path and shouted “run… run .. run… that way!” Phew! we were done with the swim; it was then time to tackle the bike. After a relatively smooth transition, I was on my trustee steed, Liv. I navigated her around the circle, while trying to tighten my shoes with numb fingers, and finally I slipped into my tribars. It was now time to do what I do best (and try make up some time as I can never keep up with the racing snakes on the run!). I felt strong on the bike and for the first time managed to stay in my tri-bars the entire ride, thanks Kent!

After 2 laps of the cycle course, I found myself back in transition as it was now time for the run. Bike racked, feet out of cycling shoes and OUCH! Trying to squeeze frozen feet into my running shoes was horrible!! The run consisted of a 5.6 km loop which was situated out along the cliff path and back along the road. The first 2 kms flew by (I still had not regained feeling in my legs and kind of just floated along). We had now reached the turn around and the racing snakes I spoke about earlier, appeared to be catching me… very quickly! The final sprint down the coastal road flew by and before I knew it, we were at the finish line.

Wes came in shortly after me (shame, it must suck getting beaten by a girl all the time 😉) and the first thing I asked him was “How was the swim?” He looked at me, smiled and replied, “I didn’t swim breaststroke once!” thanks Coach Migs!

Thanks to everyone for an epic weekend! I must say, the best part of the whole weekend was cheering and shouting for friends along the way and seeing so many friendly MTD faces! MTD FTW!!!

Ashleigh Watermeyer

 



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