XTERRA Phuket 2017 - The Short Course Report

Despite it now being just over 8 years since my first Triathlon (Feb 2009 - IMMY) as with other aspects of life I proved at this event that this specimen is less than perfect with some well intended actions turning out to be silly mistakes...

  • Mistake No. 1 - Arriving last minute but, due to the usual self doubts about my MTB skills & overall bike fitness, still feeling it necessary to ride the bike course in its entirety to ensure I could do it. 
  • Mistake No. 2 - Insisting on trying to ride the most technical section of the course with a flat back tyre and picking up a cut and badly swollen ankle as a result of the ensuing wipe out that reminded me that I am not Danny Hart. 
  • Mistake No. 3 - Forgetting that T2 was a remote one and that I needed to get to T1 to register and sort out my bike rental with Optima Bikes resulting in me riding 48km rather than the intended 30km the afternoon before the race which was not a good idea! 
  • Mistake No. 4 - Doing no serious swimming since November of last year causing me to be anxious about this that evening and resulting in a rather restless night's sleep. 

These all added up to a less than text book start to my first really competitive event of the year. However, as I always prefer to do, looking on the positive side of these, had I not made these mistakes I would not have discovered that...

a) Paul McCalman's, whose bike I'd borrowed for the course recce, had a punctured spare tube.

b) I didn't have to wait a whole year to ride what was a real gem of a bike course, as despite the added ache in the legs on the climbs the following day during the race, the pleasure of riding the fast flowing course again was well worth the XTERRA pain. 


c) Fortuitously for me they didn't negatively impact the outcome and primary purpose for being at this race which was to win my age group and pick up all of the 75 available Asia Pacific Tour points for this race as it turned out no one else in my age group was able to finish.

So, despite a safe but slow swim (00:34), a smooth and solid bike (02:00) and a seriously sluggish like run thanks to selection of the wrong shoes and the swollen ankle (00:59) I crossed the line in 03:33 which, given the lack of preparation put into the run up to this race, I cannot help feeling both relieved and reassured about that this old dog whilst struggling to learn new tricks still has a bit of life left in him yet!

I won't have much time to put right all that needs correcting before the next race in Rotorua this coming weekend but at least I won't be making all of the same mistakes. I'll most likely find some new ones though as one of the other benefits of "staying in the playground" as I like to refer to my Live More life that I'm blessed with is that "everyday is a school day" too :-)


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