My lead up to the national cross triathlon championships was less then ideal. Having barely ridden my mountain bike this year, and coming down sick two days before, I was ready. I think now would be an appropriate time to mention that I have only done one off-road triathlon prior to this. Ok, enough of my excuses, time to tell it how it was. Lying awake since 2:30 coughing and spluttering I was keen to get out of the house and do something. we made the drive to Ewan Maddock Dam in just under 2hrs and got a car park almost at transition. I quickly pulled my bike off the rack and rode the run course to see where it went. I also cleared all the spider webs on the course. Due to the lack of rain and extreme heat, the course was almost completely dry and was rather dusty in places. I racked my bike in what was a very tight transition. So tight, that people were carying their bikes above them to get through transition. My race did not start until 10:15 and was predicted to be 35 degrees. I practiced my swim entries and tried to clear my airways so I could breathe properly. It took me several entries to get it right.
With a beach start and a 400m swim, it was going to be hectic. The first 100m I moved across the pack to clear water and moved to the front. Once I was in first I tried to control my breathing and be as efficient as possible with my stroke. I exited the water in first place and then became an amateur and put my cycle shoes on in transition. Having three straps and a ratchet system they would be too hard to put on whilst riding on Mtb trails. I lost some time and came out of transition second, but regained the lead just past the mount line. The tracks were loose sandy and mostly flat windy turns, making me rather slow. I was soon caught by Dean, and always knew he would catch me, but I was amazed by how smooth and fast he rode through the tracks. I was left behind and focused to stay on my bike. Passing people was annoying and I lost time getting stuck behind, but so did everyone else. I came in from the 10km cycle yelling "I Survived, I Didn't Crash!!!" The tight weavy run I knew that I was not going to catch Dean as he was to far ahead, and I was confident that I was not going to be caught. I slowed and took my time to enjoy the run, jumping, ducking and weaving through the bush. The 3.4km's went faster than I would have liked, and the fun was soon over. I really enjoyed the event and couldn't be happier coming second in the country and qualifying for my third world championship event this year, in Canada.