The last 500m metres, on the beach, lose sand, dunes, can’t give up….I can do this. I can already see the beach club and all the people there waiting at the finish line. I want to start walking, but everybody is looking at me. I have to cross the finish line running, even if it is the last thing I do!
The Mayan X-Tri eco triathlon at Punta Venado Bike Park. Definitely a big challenge. It is not like any other triathlon. Through the jungle, alongside the beach. Amazing beautiful but also amazing tough. At crossing the finish line, you have won. Doesn’t matter if you are first or last, you have beaten yourself. Even if some moments you thought you would never get there.
Finally it was time. Before you jump into the water, your body trembles with nerves, you forget your strategy. But once in the water you just swim and swim……..
2 rounds of 500 metres, in between you have to get out quickly pass over the beach and jump in again. The sea looked beautiful and calm, but it was deceitful. Small waves made me drink litres of sea water and also the current was present. The first round I had some problems with my goggles, which means losing a lot of time. After adjusting my goggles them a few time, I had some catching up to do. It is difficult not to get lost in the beautiful colours of the reefs and the fishes. The water is so clear here, that you can really enjoy the Caribbean sea.
Running out of the water I was already with my mind at the second stage, the mountain bike leg.
Mountainbiking normally is my stronger point, so I feel confident. The trails start as a single track through the jungle, lot of curves, beautiful scenery. It turns into a double track full of stones, going up and down. Getting more technical around every corner. As it has been raining a lot, it is also slippery, adding an extra challenge. The light in the jungle is amazing, shadow, sun, mysterious. You feel like your riding alone in this mystical place, forgetting for a moment that it is a competition. Half way there is a cenote. Some people stop here to refresh quickly as it is warm and humid in the jungle. After the cenote, we all know what is next. The fear of many! We hate it and we love it. 3 km of sand road. This means losing control of your bike, trying to tractor through the lose sand. I see bike tracks going to all sides. Some people definitely ended up in the sand dunes! It are 2 rounds, 2 times trying to conquer the jungle and the sand.
I get back to the transition zone, dusty, muddy and tired but ready to go running. The running leg also goes through the jungle, off road running. Pfff I am almost at the end of my energy. I am so happy when I see the first volunteers with water and sponges. They really saved me. 7.5 km over small single tracks, hearing the sounds of the jungle. Then suddenly I hear the ocean. I am so close by now. Just before I go down to the beach there is another point with water and sponges. I take advantage of it before I go into the full sun. Just about 500 mtrs more…..but what kind of 500 mtrs. I run, I stumble, I curse going through the sand. They are all watching me, I have to go on now. I can do this. I am a warrior. My mum is there and my husband…….What am I doing?
But then….I am there.
The same as when I was about to start, I feel excitement and nerves, I feel my body tremble as I cross the finish line. I am totally out of breath, but I made it. I beat myself. I completed the Mayan X-Tri, one of the toughest triathlons, but also the most beautiful. Next year I will be there again.
Note: next year the Mayan X-Tri will be held the 4th of May. All the information can be found on http://www.cancunbikeraces.com/