My last Xterra race for the first half of the season was Xterra Malaysia, ending my run of five races in six weeks, all in different countries.
It has been awesome travelling and racing so much but its fair to say that by the time I arrived in Malaysia I was ready to go home and have a break. Mentally and physically I was on my limit and I was hoping I would be able to hold it together for one more week and end it on a high!
I arrived from Sydney on Tuesday early in the morning. After a few hiccups with getting to my hotel and checking in at Putrajaya I was able to relax. The focus of the week was to do small sessions to try and recover from the Asia-Pacific Champs and also to stay out of the heat as much as I could. I had been warned about the heat in Malaysia and sure enough it was intense. By far the hottest/muggiest place I have been to so far.
Race week was awesome, staying with all the other athletes in a hotel only a couple of hundred metres from the start line, meant a relaxed week, socialising with everyone else and having a good time. For everyone it seemed that it was the last race in a big block and they were all looking forward to recovery! A huge thanks to Dave and the crew at Xterra Malaysia for their hospitality.
Unfortunately the day before the race I picked up a small stomach bug, even though I had been careful about the food I was eating over there. I guess my body was tired, and not used to the food and heat.
The course was difficult. A VERY hot swim felt like you could barely move through the water. Onto the bike and the coolest part came straight away, in the form of a bike park that had awesome single track. I was gutted it didn't last longer. The rest of the ride was quite flat, with only a small climb and descent breaking up the flat dirt road riding.
The run was an adventure. Over grown, steep tracks and quarry's made for a tough run where walking was essential in many places.
My race day didn't get off to the best start. Straight away I felt average and ended up losing more time then normal in the swim. On to the bike and I was hoping that I would feel better but the opposite happened. I had nothing and after 30 minutes, breakfast started to come back out. This carried on for the whole ride and I had to focus on hydrating myself as I didn't want to go to sleep out on the course. My goal changed to just make it to the finish and hopefully still make top seven and stay in the money. I climbed off my bike and onto the run which turned out to be mostly walking apart from the flat/downhill parts.
Mentally it was a very tough day but I stayed in there knowing that it was the last race I had to do for a while and I could rest after. Also there was still a bit of prize money up for grabs so I didn't want to give up.
I toughed the run out and somehow managed to hold onto 6th, way down on the front guys, but happy to just finish and now enjoy some rest.
I have loved the past couple of months travelling and racing but now it is time to head home and rest up before starting the second half of the season where the goal is some Multisport races in China and then Xterra Worlds in Maui.