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X-Terra Philippines Race Report. « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog


X-Terra Philippines Race Report.

Hey – well if im gonna blog about the good ones, I gotta blog about the bad ones a well…For my sponsors, for the generous race organizers, for my fans and for my own personal closure.

2 days before the race, I was checking out the race course with the other Pro’s when I came into a downhill a bit to hot, ‘Tokyo Drifted’ into a tree and smashed my right hand up real good – initially I though it be fine, but the next morning my hand was very stiff and simple tasks like shaking hands, typing on a computer, eating, brushing my teeth, ect where all painful and difficult to do…

Like any day before the race, I had  a mountain of things to do and going to the hospital as far form convenient…Race morning came, I hoped for the best, stayed positive and planned around my injured hand.

I did my race warm/up and the salt water burned my open wounds and made sure I was aware of it…I hoped this would be the worst of it and did my best to keep my head up.

Once the gun went off I charged into the water and my hand started to hurt as soon I as I put some power into my stroke – you can be sure I’m one of the ‘swimmers’ who GRABS a lot of water!

After a one handed transition I did one loop of the very challenging bike course and decided to pull out after sever pain in my figers/hand/wrist…

Here you can see how I'm resting my slightly open right hand on my handle bars versus my left hand that his firmly gripped!

Banjo was 2nd Filipino out of the water and leading on the bike until he got a flat in the coral section…A second flat afterwards ensure he would finish further back…

Joyette was the only good performer from room # 118 where she grabbed 3rd spot in the Filippina Elite category and a small paycheck! Her swim keeps to improve, she has mastered the hammer up the hills and walk down the hills strategy and had a very strong (overall) run slip over a tuff run course.

And then Joseph Miller, my partner in Putik Pare last year won the Filippino Elite race and gave a very good/grateful speech with his daughter at his side.

I would like to point out that Joseph is a bike mechanic at The Brick Multisport Store in Cebu and actually went from the race back to the bike store to pack the bikes of some athletes who where too tired to pack their own bikes and where leaving soon after!

Young Filipino athletes, are you paying attention?

Now, this is the section where im supposed to insert some cliché quote/statement post failure but none come to mind – I mean this was my 2nd only every DNF and 11 years in between. There is for sure the: shoulda-woulda-coulda thoughts that drift through my mind…Did it hurt enuff to pull out? Could I not have just gone slower and limit the pain/damage to my hand?

Stopping mid race gave me instant physical relief, but temporary mentally relief…When I would see some spectators/fans/friends/organizers/sponsors/ect asking me what/why/how I stopped, was about the time I wanted to go hide in dark/deep hole far-far away…For the first hour I had stopped,I had repetitive urges to get back on my bike and re-enter the bike course where I had stepped out, you know, to finish what I had started and not disrespect others who where having a bad day, had also crashed or where suffering from any other adversity over a hot and grueling course.

Well, it-is-what-it-is. I pulled out. I quit. I stopped. I DNF. I tap out. I give up.

Last but not least, let me finish with something more positive:

While I may not be Filipino, I feel a sense of bride to being associated by these races organized by Sun Rise Events because every single foreigner that I talked to had a genuinely fantastic experience where they will remember the atmosphere, the energy and local hospitality of this race for ever – they will go back home and rave about the event, say good things and recommend this unique event to their peers!

Trust me, its easy to focus on the negatives of The Philippines, their everywhere! But some-how, the race organizers put these big idea’s into reality, regardless of the logistical complexity, chaotic environment and poor infrastructure – it gets done better than anybody would ever expect!

I would be very interested to know if/which other events that draw’s such a variety foreign tourism, gives The Philippines a great name and allows the visitors to leave with more than they came with?

One of those who did way more than his share of true  Pinoy hospitality was my Kuya from a different mama Noy Jopson – yes everybody knows him, hes that Filipino guy talking to everybody, smiling/laughing and helping anybody who needed a hand all the while having a good time himself!

Regardless if it was organizing transport, tours of Cebu or giving out spare tubes/Co2′s/tires/tire levers/saddle bags to those who needed and asking for the money AFTER the race – Kuya Noy was every-where and any-where ready to help regardless! He managed 2nd in is age group despite being slowed down by a flat tire!

Anyway, thats it for now – check out this cool clip from the race:

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