Sunday, June 29, 2014

Xterra #3 - Woodhill

I should have known better. When walking to the start is painful, it might be a good idea not to race 23km. Last weekend I somehow injured my foot, and then aggravated it running in the Waitakeres on Saturday. Nevertheless I was determined not to pull out of Xterra Woodhill. Call it stubbornness, stoicism, or just downright stupidity.

As always, the long (19km) and superlong (23km) courses started together at 9am. The wide, sandy Inland Road was a perfect way to spread out the field and it was firm underfoot and the few bits of mud were easily avoided. Soon it was onto the single track where the open pine forest provided plenty of passing opportunities. Roughly 4km into the race was the long/superlong split, with the superlong runners heading out for a 4km loop up a gravel incline and back down a flowing sandy singletrack. This was the only real hill on the whole course! The course was relatively flat although there were plenty of small undulations.

We rejoined the long course at the 9km mark and from here the trail wound in and out through the pine forest for several more kilometres before turning and heading for home. I enjoyed running on the sandy tracks carpeted with pine needles as the sand wasn't loose and it made a nicely cushioned surface. My foot was getting more and more sore as time went on and by the water station at 15km I was running with an extremely uneven gait, chasseing downhill instead of running.

The final 5km was very flat and should have been very fast, but I was forced to stop and walk frequently which was rather frustrating as normally I finish strongly. The weather was brilliant for running; overcast and a perfect temperature with just a hint of breeze. This was a neat, fast course and I wish I could have done it justice.

Event website
Photos by Photos4sale

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