The season has started and Düren -Germany- was the location chosen for the kick off!
We arrived on Friday to the city, close to the Belgium and Netherlands border, and after a pasta dinner we decided to rest for the next day.
On Saturday, we arrived to the Badesee Lake of Düren, the venue of the Extreme Man Triathlon.
Just after parking the car, we saw Frederik Van Lierde in his awesome bike! The guy is quite kind and we were making some pictures and chatting with him. He is the current IronMan World Championship.
After the pics, we head to the lake for 20′ easy Swimming with the wetsuit, to activate the body and check the water. Even though for Carlos and David the water was super nice, for me was a bit cold. Maybe my body was quite strange during the whole weekend.
Following the Swimming, we jumped on the Bikes and ride for 45′ easy, only with some minutes in TT to check the new position.
Eventually, a fast Running of 12′ along the circuit of the race.
Before the Pasta Party of the event, we took a sandwich and drop the bikes, 15′ later but the guy allowed us to drop the materials. A couple of big dishes of pasta to recharge all the deposits and last review of the material for the Race. Last chat regarding the circuit, sensations etc. and sleeping time!
And finally Sunday arrived, with a better weather than the previous days, a good signal to start the day optimistic. We have arrived to the Race at 6.50am, parking the car and going to the T1 and T2 to prepare the remaining material and the last glance to all the stuff.
As usual in these events, the time went fast and we were on the sand after 5′ swimming, waiting for the kick off. Last hugs and cheers to Carlos and David and ready to face the Half Ironman!
Swim: I have started faster than usual, with the idea of swim the first 200m in a higher pace than the competition one, to avoid traffic and hits. Everything was nice but in the first buoy there was loads of crashes, hits and people grabbing your feet. I have put a gear up, but after 500m i paid the extra effort, feeling like in a 300m fast set in the pool, thus I have decreased the pace and the people started to pass me. The rest of the segment, feeling so so, trying to find my pace but uncomfortable with each stroke.
Eventually, 32′ in this part, more than 3′ slower than I expected.
T1: I ran to take the bike and I simply was disoriented and lost on the grass. I ran straight and back to find my bike but I was not able to. When I found it, I put my jacket on (as I said, my body was extremely cold the whole weekend, so I chose to wear more clothes than usual) and the rest of objects and I jump into the bike. 5′ in T1! It’s difficult to do worse.
Bike: The Bike was unexpected for us. We didn’t know the route, only a quick picture in the web telling that the course was divided in three loops with 1.000m of positive gradient. Therefore, I have started conservative, being aware that it was so risky to push hard with not idea of the course.
The circuit was tougher than expected, with a part of hills and bad concrete. Going up in the first hill, the referee came and showed me a Yellow Card, apparently because I was not 10m from the other guys. It was in the kilometer 7 i guess, with a crowd of people climbing where was not possible to draft and also not possible to maintain the distance…5′ extra, not fair because I was not drafting none.
I tried to be focus, pedaling with a good cadence, but then problem two appears: The new bike position was not correct at all, and every time I raised I crashed my knees with the handlebar’s pads. After 1h, a pain appears in my back and also in my gluteus, due to my body was not used to ride in this position. Noted for the next time…
On the second part of the course, a strong downhill and speeds close to 60k/h, but with so many wind in the front.
I drop the bike in T2 in 2h45′, but with some pain in the body and the knees and the sensation of not enjoying any part of the segment. I think this is the worst part.
T2: Acceptable, with only a quick stop to piss but putting the headband and the runners in a normal time.
Run: A trail path of 4 loops through the forest. From the beginning I have decided to push, due I made some calculation and I needed a sub 1h30′ half marathon to cross the line before the 5h barrier (the sanction was +5′ to add to the final half marathon time).
I felt great during the running, where I really enjoy passing people almost all the time.
The 10k check was in around 42’30”, so I was in the time that I planned. The next 5k where the toughest of the segment, with some breath problems but not losing so many time.
The last 3k I felt strong so I pushed again the pace in 4’05” k, trying to achieve the figure planned.
I made the 21k in 1h26’13” and really good sensations of a great running block after my injury.
Overall 117 with 4h54′ (4h58′ with the sanction).
Im glad with the time, to be sub 5h is always a great result and even more when is the first race of the season, but I made mistakes of a beginner that makes me not to enjoy the race, starting for the transitions, following with the poor performance in the bike and the biggest one, the position change before the race.
Congrats to my super friends Carlos (4h39′) and David (4h46′)! You smashed the Half IronMan guys!
More and Better is coming, stay tuned.