Last weekend saw Kieran Jackson racing twice in XTERRA France. On Saturday, 2nd July, the top 20 ranked athletes in the world plus 5 wild cards raced in a demanding short course race consisting of 3 back-to-back mini triathlons of 200m swim, 6km mountain bike, and a 1km run without a break.
There was a 2-minute elimination countdown that started when the leading athlete entered each transition section. This meant if you were outside the 2 minutes entering transition on any section of the course you were eliminated. The entire race was over after 40 minutes of lung-bursting all-out effort. Jackson, who qualified with a wild card, was 12th exiting the water and was making good progress but a fall on the bike cost him 7 places. A race that is this short and fast means there is very little time to catch back on. Jackson finished in 20th place overall.
On Sunday, the main XTERRA France race was a 1500m swim, 44km (1200m climbing) mountain trail bike course and 11km trail run. This was Kieran’s first professional race in the XTERRA Series having won the amateur race and coming 5th overall in Belgium 3 weeks previously. Kieran came out of the water in 12th position from the 65 athletes and biked into the mountain terrain in scorching 30 degrees heat.
The first lap of the bike took a gruelling toll and Jackson lost several places on the bike leaving him in 33rd position, however he dug deep on lap 2 and the run and pulled himself back to 27th position overall out of the 65 elite starters.
He said afterwards that;
“It was a long way from 5th in Belgium two weeks ago but sometimes not every race goes the way you want, and my body just didn’t turn up to race today, it is a shame as it was my first pro start but we move on to the next one.”
Thanks to Damien Jackson for the above race report.