Camerons Macnairs 2018 ITU Cross World Champs: Svedberg Denmark
It was almost time for my second ITU Cross World Champs but this time around racing in the U23 elite category. The weeks building up to the race were going really well under the guidance of my coach Travis Johnston who was keeping me honest in training and the results that I was getting out of the training leading up to world champs were really promising.
It was the 9th of July the prerace routine day and race briefing day. We made sure that I kept everything the same as any other race so that the body never got any surprise and knew what to do. 4pm came and it was time for race briefing and this was where it all sunk in that I was at world champs and the next day that I will be on the start line where I have the opportunity to represent my country again which is one of the best feelings that you can have.
Race day the race was scheduled to start at 9:35am which meant I got to sleep in a bit, well try to sleep in as race day nerves were starting to kick in. pulling on the SA suit which caused some excitement to race after eating and putting on race number tattoos it was time to head down to the race venue and check in the athlete lounge where the check your suit and make sure everything is according to ITU rules after this we could go to transition and go through the normal process of raking bikes putting shoes out walking through all the different steps before heading to warm up. One hour to race start we found out that it was a wetsuit swim.
10 minutes to race start nerves are in full swing waiting for your name to be announced and run down to get in the water as this time around it was a water start. The famous ITU heartbeat starts which is an indication that it was almost to start as the heartbeat sound gets softer the horn goes off to start the race, I managed to have a really good swim start and missed most of the washing machine from all the white water from all the legs and arms flying all over the place when everyone is trying to find clean water or feet to swim on. Towards the end of the swim I found myself leading the second swim group was a really big surprise for me as I’m normally further back and no up I the front end of the race with some of the big names of the sport. Coming out one T1 with the current Xterra World champ Bradley Weiss who lead the charge with me hanging on his wheel up the first tar road climb where I was firmly on my limit as the chase group behind us caught us I was unable to go with the attacks to get in the first set of single track in a good positon getting dropped like I did was a huge eye opener but was really encouraging at the same time as it gave me something to work towards at the same time. At about the half way mark my training partner Michael Ferreira caught me and we proceeded to work together where possible with another French athlete for the next lap and a half.
Going into T2 my legs were feeling okayish but I was feeling confident going into the run as I have had some really strong runs lately but after the first 1km I was dropped by my training partner and the group of guys I came off the run with I kept pushing as hard as I could as the race is never over till you cross the line and you could just be going through a bad patched and Travis has trained us for this exact thing through his mind games that make our head space strong which really helped going into the last lap of the very tough and demanding run course I was starting to feel strong again and ran as hard as I could to the finish line where I found out that Mike manged to hang on to 3rd place which was really awesome to learn and a huge congratulations to him on that result.
Once I sat down and proceeded to stuff my face with free food and chocolate (key words been free and chocolate) provided in the finisher tent. I started thinking back on how the race unfolded I was extremely happy with the result that I just archived as I was still a first year in U23 and I crossed the line with nothing left in my tank which was all I could ask for from myself when I race the overall feeling for the result was really positive and left me wanting more.
A huge thanks to my coach Travis Johnston and support system around me who is constantly pushing me to achieve the best I can and all the support I get when results are not good which has allowed me to achieve the goals and results I have achieved so far.