This year we stayed at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua, we arrived early evening on the Friday. A lovely hotel. The registration and pack pick-ups were at our hotel as well so that made it real easy. We went and picked up our race packs, checked into the hotel and proceeded to see what we got in our race packs. Brad's company is one of the major sponsors of the event so we caught up with some of his workmates as well.
The girls had their own hotel room across the hall from us, so it was really nice for them and for us to have our own spaces. None of us seemed to sleep well that night. Not sure if it was the night before the race jitters or that the hotel rooms were too hot or what but never mind.
We were all up at 6am on race day (Saturday 11 April) and headed down to breakfast at 6:30am. The breakfast buffet was lovely with so much to choose from. It was great to see so many other Xterra competitors in the dining room as well. We even saw Hamish Carter and his family at breakfast.
We left the hotel and headed off for the event at about 7:15am after checking out as Melissa and my event started at 8am at the Blue Lake. We arrived with plenty of time, un-hitched Brad's bike for his event at 9am.
Once we got off the road and onto the trail it got pretty muddy as it had been raining in Rotorua for most of the week and the night before. The weather was trying to clear up for the events, but the wind was freezing. On the 5.5km I did warm up so it wasn't to bad. Karina was doing the 11km so as we came to the finish line we separated and I took off until I hit the soft sand and had to walk until it firmed up again and then just went for it and ran to the finish.
Brad found the course a lot harder this year just because of all the mud and muck on the course. He did really really well though. He managed to have about the same finishing time as last year on his old bike. We reckon had the course been dry he would have thrashed his previous time. It was funny seeing all the mountain bikers return absolutely covered in mud. Quite an adventure out on the course.
We watched some of the individual and teams start out on the triathlon. Man they were amazing, especially those doing the full triathlon on their own. Looking forward to taking part again next year and hopefully beating my time - maybe even running more of it. If the weather is good I will wear my vibram shoes next time.
That afternoon we visited the Redwood forest. This is one of our favourite places to visit when we go to Rotorua. We went for a bit of a walk to try and loosen up after our events.
Another great time in Rotorua. Looking forward to our next trip.
See ya next year Xterra!