European Cross Triathlon Championship in Sardinia

Last Sunday was the European Cross Triathlon Championship in Sardinia. My first ever Xterra triathlon! 1,500m swim, 30k mountain bike and 10k run.

Wow! What an experience.

25 degrees heat, the water was 16 degrees. A beach start (~300 men and women together) and two laps with a 50m run on the beach before returning to the water for the second lap. I have never swam in such clear water. Super choppy so it was about 200m before I saw the first (piddly) bouy. The bouy turns were super busy and a bit weird to look down and see a frog-person underneath taking photos!

I exited the swim pretty high up the field. However, once on the bike I soon realised that my bike legs hadn’t made it through customs. And as you can see from the photo below (the crying wall) this was not an easy bike course and psychologically doing two laps was tough! So a bit disappointing to not feel competitive on the bike – usually my strongest discipline.

I was nervous about whether I would finish the run, as 12 weeks ago I picked up a hip injury on a long run and haven’t run since so I had no idea how quickly the pain would return. I was lucky (or the pain relieve drugs worked) and I crossed the line in 3 hrs and 6 minutes and was well chuffed to have completed by first Xterra. I definitely have the bug – whether I have the time needed to train to be really good at this is another matter.

2nd in my age group and 6th female.

(Claire Hitchings)