The Johannesburg local is also keen to experience the new route for the 55km mountain bike race.
“With a new start at Steyn City everything is fresh,” Hill said.
“My off-season has officially begun, but I couldn’t not race my local route. The fact that I can ride to the start line is just too big a sign.
“I feel confident having this race on ‘home turf’ and am excited to see the rest of the women come and join in on my training ground.”
The Cape Pioneer Trek champion said she’d had an outstanding year and the 947 was a nice way to round off a world-wide racing season.
A route suited to her abilities
“I’d also like to see where my legs are at after the Trailseeker race the day before, and I’d like to give this shorter marathon distance a good go.
“Punchy and explosive courses suit me well so now it’s time to enjoy a course that fits my strengths.”
Although Hill was not 100 per cent familiar with the Steyn City singletrack, she had a vague idea of last year’s sections.
“The course is very punchy so I had better save my matches for when they will matter the most.
“They’ve mixed the climbs up a little bit, making us climb quite a bit in the beginning and ending with some short and sharp ‘nasties’.
“Northern Farms is always incorporated in the 947 MTB route, meaning there will be lots of flat corners and hard accelerations. I had better bring a full matchbox.”
Hill said short and sharp intervals were generally her strengths, so the more there was of that the longer she could hold on for.
“Climbs lasting a couple more minutes just mean I need to grit my teeth a little harder and hang on for the ride.”
The Galileo Risk rider said having started her off-season she was actually feeling quite fresh at the moment.
“Anyone who has followed [my teammate] Theresa [Ralph] and I will be exhausted just looking at the races we participated in.
“With the Trailseeker being a bit of an opener, I think I will be race ready for Sunday. Having a bit of time off has made me hungry to race again.
“This time last year I was quite tired and ready for a rest. So starting my off season a little earlier has made me mentally ready to push again. Now let’s just see if the body will follow.”
A special win on home turf
Hill said a win at this event would be quite special as it was her home race.
“I’ve never won this event and it’s always something I strive for since I live around the corner.
“I’m going to keep my mind open though as this time of the year is all about relaxation, fun and recharging for next season. Sometimes that frame of mind makes me race stronger though, so let’s see.”
Hill, who won the Insect Science Classic last weekend, felt she had learnt a lot and matured as an athlete this season, which boosted her confidence heading into this event.
“I’m humbled by the events that I’ve participated in, and I really want to apply everything I’ve learnt to my future races.
“Every race I find out something new about myself and add it to my experience box.”