Racing in Denmark suits me. I like the courses and the people. Everybody looks so fit and beautiful. It must be because of their lifestyle. They have a very active and outdoor sports culture. You see people commuting on bikes all the time, everywhere. In my first year of racing XTERRA I finished 8th and later on I recorded my best finish ever in an XTERRA race: 2nd. When I’m in Denmark I feel good.
My rental car was the smallest car I’ve ever been in. All my gear fitted in perfectly. That’s all that really matters.
I arrived in Denmark with high hopes and honest expectations after a perfect month of training. But the days before the race I was feeling a little bit weak and even sick. I tried to convince myself I was still 100% healthy to get in a very positive mood to the starting line. Lying is a bad thing to do, even to yourself. When you’re racing at the highest level you can’t have any weaknesses. And weak I was.
Somehow I managed to have an average swim. Half a minute slower than my normal level, but being in the effort I just thought I had a slow start or another hiccup. Once on the bike I went from average to very slow even though I really enjoyed this course. Non stop rain made the course even more technical, but this was not my day.
The 10k trail run was a complete nightmare. I couldn’t run for more than a few minutes at a time and I got really cold. Sadly I didn’t have the courage to drop out and finished way back feeling terribly, both physically and mentally. Luckily I don’t have to look for a reason of my terrible race, it’s pretty obvious.
One of the great things about life is that even in bad situations like these, there are always good things happening too: a new sponsor came along and even though I never felt great I had a fantastic time with my friends from South-Africa and the usual European racers. The owner of our hotel appeared to be one hell of a chef who served us Michelin star ready meals. This, the beautiful scenery and the friendship and support of my fellow competitors made me forget my worries for some moments so I could enjoy Denmark as I was planning to.
I’ll take the next days of to get healthy again and I will be back on track pretty soon.