Xterra is what happens when triathlon meets the wilderness. Think ocean swimming, mountain biking, and trail running. It's definitely not for the faint-hearted, but Sundried ambassador Rui Dolores made it to the coveted world championships. Here's how he got on.
Maui, October 29, 2017
The day starts early. The first move is to look out the window to check the weather. The weather has been very changeable recently but today the sky is clear and provides a day of sun and warmth.
I have some breakfast, cycle to the start, and check out the water. It's choppy and hectic, which is just how I like it.
After a chaotic start and being knocked around amongst the other competitors, I find my place in the group. The front-runners are strong and soon there are spaces between the groups. As I exit the water, I hear someone say that I'm in 25th position. Time to move.
In Xterra, the bike course is a hilly, muddy mountain bike trail with jumps and surprises at every turn. After an initial tough climb there were some sharp corners which required full concentration to avoid crashing. I start to gain positions but had to keep a steady pace so as not to lose control. There are long climbs and the Hawaiian heat is almost unbearable, but I continue pushing up the climbs.
After passing my support crew, I'm filled with energy and positivity.
I start the run in 20th position which gives me hope that I'm not out of the race just yet.The first 6k of the course is mostly uphill. It is essential to get a good pace in the first half and I was feeling good. After a few inclines and declines, I had caught up with a few athletes ahead of me.
There are fast sections followed by sections littered with tree roots that you have to navigate and jump over, before a final descent back down to the beach.
I finished 13th overall which is great for my first Xterra World Championship. Thank you so much to Sundried for supporting me through this journey.