Matilda Terry

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In early October I travelled to Hawaii to compete in the “XTERRA Off Road Triathlon World Championships” after winning my age category (16-19) at Xterra Anglesea about 6 months before. The race consisted of a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and a 10km trail run. As its name states, its “off road”, therefore you ocean swim, mountain bike ride and trail run. My family and I made it a holiday, leaving 2 weeks prior to the race. We spent one week in Oahu, on the famous Waikiki beach and then caught a plane to another Hawaiian island, Maui, where the race was held. The weeks before the race we explored both islands, eating lots of traditional food and experiencing some of the tourist attractions. The weather was only around 30 degrees, but the humidity was high, so it was quite hot, especially compared to the cool weather in Melbourne we had flown from!

The race was held in Kapalua, which was only a short bike ride from where we stayed in Kahana. So three days leading up to the race I was able to practice on the course, which was very beneficial as the track was technical and its good to work out when you can eat and what sections you need to practice. I was quite nervous race morning, but as soon as I started, all of my nerves had disappeared. The swim was divided by a 100m beach run, which allowed the distance to be broken up. I had a great swim, so I went into transition feeling energetic and comfortable for the ride. I knew going onto the ride that it would take me over 2 and a half hours. My swim allowed me to have a good position going onto the ride, which was excellent because it meant that I was never stuck behind slow groups of riders, which can happen frequently when there are 800 other competitors on course that is mostly single track. The ride was suited for hill climbers, with about a 1500m gain in elevation over the 30km. The dust was thick, as the soils pretty dry. So by the time I was off the bike, I was covered in a layer of dirt from head to toe, which all added to the fun! As I expected, the ride was challenging, but I finished in a time well under what I was expecting. So going onto the run, I was feeling as good as I could have. My family had been cheering me on at every opportunity they could get and while I was racking my bike in transition 2, they told me I was in third place. I was a bit shocked, but Dad had told me to just enjoy the run and get to the finish line. I remember the thought of coming third was the only thing that kept me running, while others around me constantly stopped to walk.  

The run was always going to be the hardest with the heat and the hills. In some sections, it was faster to walk up the hills than to run, which says a lot about the steepness! Every water station I would grab as many cups as I could, never actually drinking the water, but to just try and cool my body. The whole run I had the thought of third in my head, which in the end kept me going to the finish line. Every time a girl overtook me I would check her number to see if we were the same age group, but thankfully no one ever caught me. Going over the line was one of the best feelings and I was so thankful that I had just finished. I couldn't believe I had come third, until I physically saw my name on a result card after the race. The days after the race I enjoyed the beach and tried to take in my achievement, which is still hard to believe now!

I would like to say a big thanks to the whole team. It was amazing to be given support, let alone from such a high class brand. I love the products and I was proud wearing the brand. Race day I was covered in tattoos! My favourite product is definitely the bars, especially the apricot flavour. Also the Banoffee gel, I think that saved me coming off the bike onto the run! My t-shirt also started a few conversations with people from Europe, who knew the original place of the company. All of my experiences with the products were positive and I’ve been spreading the word to some triathlete friends about the brand. Again, thank you for the support!   

Matilda Terry  :D

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