We had an absolute blast at the first Xterra event on Sunday. Me, Shaun and Josh made the car journey North to Whangaparoa Peninsula and braced ourselves for some savage hills and chilly winds. Giving ourselves plenty of time to travel to the furthest race on the calendar, to register and collect our gear.
We were a little nervous, as this is the first race of the series and our first race for a few months, plus the peninsula and its big steeping climbs were going to make our legs and lungs work extra hard! But the nerves soon gave way to excited energy, even the driving Nor'easter and hampering rains couldn't deter us as we made our way to the race briefing and start line.
Taking off for the first of many climbs we hauled ourselves to the top of the pass, climbing is tough in Shakespear Park but the views are spectacular and worth all the hard efforts. The trail is very open and we found ourselves being blown sideways on the ridge line! Sometimes it felt difficult to put one foot in front of the other but the camaraderie of your fellow runners was fantastic and you never felt like you were struggling alone.
Facing the final climb up over the pass my legs were feeling pretty heavy. I passed Josh at the aid station just before and he rallied himself with the powerade and lollies on offer. I don't often stop for drinks unless I'm going for a long run, I sometimes find it harder on my running rhythm to stop and drink, preferring to just bypass and kick on. The final kilometres took us along the open trail with the rain easing, and a windswept run along the beach watching the kitesurfers having fun out on the water. Even with the wind whipping up along the beach I could hear the cheering coming from the finish line. That cheering narrowed on the sprint finish to the rallying voices of Shaun and Josh, freshly finished and high-fiving me on my way to the line. I felt so happy and proud to have finished I had to give a big beaming smile over the finish line!
Then it was time to head to the food truck for hot chips and beers and a mingle with the other runners. What a fantastic day! Looking forward to Waitawa in 3 weeks time :)
Thanks for reading