Buffalo City – South AfricaAndre Barbieri
Estimated readers, one more dream got checked off my list, and that was South Africa. It’s not like I was on vacation, doing safaris and sightseeing, but still, how many people get this opportunity to compete and see the world?!
This is one post I slacked on writing, and it’s because I didn’t do well in the race. I couldn’t wait for that bad feeling to be over and restart fresh again. Nothing like a bad result to get me fired up and motivated to train.
At that specific location, I knew I was gonna do poorly, because of the super hilly terrain. The reason I knew is because of the athletes with Cerebral Palsy (CP), they get an immense advantage on hills, having 2 legs. I don’t like complaining, but it’s not fair that they’re on the same category as us. For now, it is what it is, I just have to deal with it, and take a beating every now and then.
Below are some technical details of the race, for those interested:
-I had the best swim time of my category, but the crutching from water to Transition 1 (T1) was long, specially with the low tide. That helped the CP guys.
-Spent precious time in T1: for the first time, my wetsuit got tangled upon removal. With that, I also lost my timing chip that went flying away. I spent time putting the chip back in the velcro and the velcro back on my leg. By then, a lot of competitors were leaving T1 already. That momentarily killed my morale, because I knew I most definitely would not catch them anymore.
-When leaving on the bike, we crossed over this gate’s metal bar on the floor, that had been covered by a rubber mat. The impact from my speed made my precious PossAbilities water bottle fly away. Since I was too fast, I didn’t want to go back for the bottle and loose precious seconds… This meant I did the whole bike course on no water. This sucked because that’s where I drink water, and on the run if I feel the need. I don’t have water on transition anymore lately. With this I learned my bottle holder is too loose, I need to change that.
-Bike course was tough with hills, which helped the CP guys. I made a promise to myself to attack hills with more gusto from now on when training.
-Transition 2 (T2) was separated from T1, and bad for amputees also, it was a long inclined downhill stretch to run holding the bike on one leg with cleats. That sucked, and also helped the CP guys.
-Run course had a couple “false” hills, which you “almost” don’t feel. Those made for a bad time on my part. I was pretty dehydrated and felt my heart going wild after giving my all on a little hill.
All in all, I knew it was gonna be a tough race. I guess I was pessimist, because you just never know what can happen…
I’m still so happy to have been there, the people are amazing, so happy and so humble, and those are the memories I’ll keep. I really wanna go back one day. Thank you Team PossAbilities, Quest Diagnostics and Brazilian Triathlon Confederation for the support.