Zsolt bei der XTERRA-WM in Maui 2013
I would start to tell the story a little bit back in the past what it meant to me the XTERRA Worlds.
Back to the roots, in 2007 was my first ever XTERRA World Tour race in Austria, which was a quite shock for me. That year was my real first year in cross triathlon in the hungarian series and I always ended up in the front, okay the field was not so huge. But here, the course was so tough and the racing level is pretty high. Every kilometer, which led me to the finish line, was a fight but on the other hand a huge experience. After that it came to mind the thought once I want to compete in Maui. Thousands of atheletes want to take part in and Maui as race spot just uplifts the prestige. The qualification is not easy and you have two major options. The easiest way if you take the lottery. Every december there is a large pool for that and if you are lucky and get picked you can go. Or you choose the rough way of hard training, struggling and suffering for it to get qualified on a World Tour race with earning a podium position in your age group. Of course the second one means the honour but here you might also need a bit of luck. This year I made it on the XTERRA Greece and got qualified with my third position in 30-34 age group. On the World Championship we faced to a combination of a 1.5-kilometer rough water swim, a 30.4-kilometer pure mountain bike with 1000 m elevation gain and a 9.5-kilometer trail run best described as a tropical roller-coaster ride through pineapple fields, forests and beaches.
From the base period to this race almost one year past so I made a summary what I could manage during this one year. In details: 278 km swim, 5675 km bike (included MTB, road cycling, time trial) and 1523 km run. 510 hours of training per year (included also strength sessions and stretching), which is 10.5 hours per week. Not bad but everything is relative according to Einstein. Maybe a couchpotato might say „ hey this guy should be at least an olympic champion with this amount of training” but on the other hand a top ironman agegrouper would just slap me on the back and add „quite good but I use to train the double as you”.
The race was a huge experience. When in the morning 800 of us were standing on the beach and listening to the hawaiin blessing and facing with the wavy ocean, that was thrilling. I had two goals for the race, having a good race by feeling and after the techinical issue with the bike happened during the week no matter how but I must reach the finish line. You never know maybe this one is the only chance to participate here. I believed this story couldn’t end with the result DNF (did not finish) that’s why I didn’t take any unnecessary risk on the bike course and I saw many crashes along the fast downhills. I was really enjoying the race although my face looked like more suffer than joy but it’s unbelieveable how many little successes could happen during a this kind of long race. For instance when you can make a lead on a techinical downhill or when you climb in a group almost in hypoxi status and have enough extra power to push to the top of the hill and turn first on the downhill or when on the last few hunder meters on the sandy beach you can outspint 3 others, that’s priceless. The result was secondary for me, I was already winner because I could fulfill a dream. Ultimately I reached the finish line as 23rd in my age group. I survived. Here we got survivor medal instead of finisher one representing the toughness of this race. Many pros were smashed by this course as well. I’m so grateful for this amazing experience, being part of this „big show”.