Post Race Interview with KeyHealth Elite Athlete Greg Avierinos

Greg competed in the Inaugural 24HR Obstacle Course Racing World Championships (http://ocrworldchampionships.com/24-hour-enduro-championships/) held in Sydney, Australia from the 9-10 June 2018.
He was racing in the SOLO Race Category with over 200 athletes and competed in the 18 – 29 age group, but unfortunately had to withdraw after lap 4 due to injury.
We spoke to him after the race and he shared some insights and details about his 24 hours out on the course.
CG – Congratulations on being part of the event. How was your first experience at a 24HR OCR World Champs?
GA – I’m pretty bummed with how it all turned out and I guess it’s just one of those things. I was really happy with how things were going and things went well for the first two laps so I was fairly optimistic about the opportunity and really looking forward to the experience. Looking back now it was really an awesome experience to be out there competing with some of the world’s best OCR athletes.
CG – You started off very well and were in the leading group for the first 3 laps. When did your knee start giving your trouble?
GAIt was about ¾ into the 3rd lap I started feeling a bit of a niggle in my left knee and I managed to carry on. Then at about 25km it really started to become uncomfortable, especially on the outside of my knee. I pushed through the transition not exactly knowing what it was and at that stage, I was lying in 2nd so I decided to carry on. I started pushing quite hard again and then on one of the downhill sections, it became too sore to run. When I tried to run, even for a very short distance, it would be extremely painful. I then had to walk the rest of the way on the 4th lap and dropped right down to 19th position. According to the medic, it was a strain in the ligaments around my knee and not an ITB issue as I was thought. It is feeling a bit better now and will have it assessed properly soon.
CG – When you decided to stop racing what was going through your mind at that stage?
GA – I had to weigh up the pros and cons – obviously, I couldn’t compete for a podium spot anymore so it was either I push ahead and do more laps and go for the bronze buckle OR look at the bigger picture. So I decided it was better to call it a day before I made things worse and potentially affect the rest of the season. I lost a lot of time on the 4th lap and it almost took me 3 hours instead of the lap taking just over an hour – so it was mentally tough to push through. After that, I decided to pull out and rather be safe and not run the risk of further injury.
CG – What was it like supporting your dad out on the course?
GA It actually ended up being really cool helping him with his race and his strategy moving forward. He had an awesome race and he was literally untouchable. He was very consistent getting in those laps and I mainly helped with getting his nutrition and hydration planned. It was fantastic being able to watch him for a change on the route, as he is normally the one supporting me during races. Obviously, the idea was for both of us to be out on route but I’m glad I had the opportunity, in the end, to help him and watch him. It was especially great as he ended up winning.
CG – What were the highlights for you during the race?
GAIt was fantastic meeting people before and during the race. With the endurance format you have the opportunity to see more people on route. The forest sections were also really great and I really enjoyed these sections. The location and course layout was also great. The night running in the mist was also a wonderful experience as it really gives you the opportunity to make use of all your senses and experience of new sounds and sights was pretty special. The vibe and atmosphere along the route was fantastic and it was cool to be racing with all the other athletes.
CG – What is the first thing you ate after the race?
GA Lots of real food!
CG – Overall thoughts about the event? Would you do it again?
GA Really enjoyed the whole race experience. Had to dig deep and push through during the night but overall it was a good experience for me. I would definitely like to go back and give it another go. Hopefully, I will also be in a bit better shape and prepared and also use this experience to my advantage next year.
CG – Any messages to family, friends and supporters at home.
GA Thank you to all our family and friends for all their support and messages. We are busy catching up and reading all the messages that were sent while we were competing in the event and we really appreciate all the support. Thank you too to all our sponsors for making this opportunity to race at the 24HR OCR World Champs possible.
Craig Giese is an Outdoor Adventure Photographer and Media Content Developer from the Eastern Cape, South Africa
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