Day 1 starts in a small city called Leye. Located at 950m altitude and the course only goes higher!
This year I race again in Team O2B with the same NZ Team mates as 2016: Marcel Hagener, Simone Maier and Hamish Fleming. This year we have a cool matching race kit!
As with every China race it begins in the streets to put on a good show for the locals.
After a welcoming dinner and then Opening ceremony in the morning the day began with a fast 800m run along the roads then a 1.8km ‘wheel barrow’ where one team mate had to sit in it (Simone) while one pushed (Marcel), Hamish and I hooked a towline onto Simone and pulled! A very aggressive and fast past to start the day had our heart rates high and us in 2nd place beginning the 28km Mountain bike.
On the bike we rode with Team Thule (Martin Flinta, Sam Clark, Helena Erbenova, and Rickard Norlin) and Team Purao Biomed (Jacky, Mimi Boisset, Dan Jones, Alex Hunt) all the way until the end.
Then begins a 4km GPS orienteering section where we are given just coordinates… However no one’s GPS could gain satellites except Hamish’s! So we all run together until the transition.
Here we have to climb 20m of vertical hanging rope with Jumars. Our team has practised good technique and we gain over 6mins on the two other teams putting us in the lead going into the final leg, a 16km trail run.
The run is technical and full of ascents over saddles as aswell as and amazing run through a cave in the dark, it was in the cave that Team Purao caught us and sneaked ahead. We pushed on to finish 2nd place just 3mins behind and Team Thule another minute back.