Øresunds Triathlon 2012

1st of July 2012, I’ve been crossing my fingers the whole week for good weather. The weather forecast was not very promising though. I’ve been checking my mobile phone almost every hour expecting that suddenly it would show that there would be good weather on Sunday.

I’ve checked in my bike in the Saturday, the day before the race. I’ve left only the mandatory items in the transition area: my bike and helmet. The helmet attached to the bike and covered in case of rain, I’ve also covered the saddle with a plastic bag. By the check-in we should also choose the starting group and, expecting a swimming time of ~32-33 min I’ve decided to start with the elite at 8:00AM. Another reason was that I thought that the elite swimming group would be smaller, so the start would be more calm; and we would also get out of the water before, so I would be able to get my first bike lap with less people on the road.

I was really very excited for this race and it was tough work to sleep the night before. Specially because I had this weather paranoia all the time and I would wake up in the middle of the night to check if it was raining… And also, and probably mainly, because this was my first long distance triathlon.

Øresunds Triathlon is a 70.3 distance triathlon (1.9km swim – 90km bike – 21.1km run) no-drafting. It happens in Copenhagen area – Charlottenlund, mostly along Strandvejen.

Race day and I woke up quite early. The transition area would open at 6:30 and I wanted to get there in good time.
Fortunately the weather was good, so it was already a good start.

Getting there, I’ve arranged everything so I could get quick transition times (T1 and T2 were at the same location), put my swimming suit on and head to the swimming start. By then, my girlfriend and her mom had arrived and were already helping and supporting me (which they did during the whole race).

My expectations of a “calm” swimming start were blown away when I’ve got to the start line. The start was inside the water and there were ~200 athletes starting in the same group as me. The hell breaks loose and I find myself swimming like crazy, being hit in the head, pulled back and all that you can expect from a swim start. Quite a cool experience though, I haven’t experienced any unsportsmanlike attitudes.
It was particularly windy so there were quite a bunch of waves, which made it very hard to breath to the ocean side and the swimming leg harder than I was expecting. The swimming course is 1.9km, but you will rarely hit that. I ended up swimming around 2.1km with a swimming split of 00:39:18 including the run to T1. I was not expecting much of my swimming but I think that it was a good time.

After the swim I’ve taken the weatsuit off, put my biking shoes, took my bike and headed to the bike course. The bike course was not particularly fast. We should complete 3 laps in a circuit that was not very flat and had several technical turns. It was quite a disappointment to see so much drafting during the race, some people really didn’t take the race seriously. In addition, I haven’t seen one single judge during the race.
Anyways, I pushed hard in the bike and got a pretty decent bike split: 02:27:38, which means ~36.5km/h in average. For my standards this is quite good and better than I was expecting.

Concluding the bike leg I had the half-marathon left. So I put my running shoes on (elastic shoe laces are a wonder :-)) and got started with the running leg. The first km went quite well, but then the fuel extinguished. I was not tired (no muscular pain), but I just had this sensation that I could not go faster. I guess I haven’t eat enough during the bike leg and therefore had none or little glycogen left. That is a learning I’ll take for next time: eat properly during while on the bike.
I consider myself a decent runner so my split of 01:42:40 was quite a disappointment for me.

In the end, I’ve reached the goal with a time of 04:53:32. So well enough under 5 hours, which was my goal. Goal reached then :-)! I’ve placed 100 over 875 overall, 90 in among the men and 20 in my category, which was a pretty good result I think. It is an incredible sensation to finish such kind of race, all kind of emotions come out when you are running the last meters to the finish line.

My very special thanks for my girlfriend Maibritt Skovgaard and her mom Hanne Rodam for the great support during the whole race. They’ve stayed there from the beginning to the end of the race. It really meant a lot to me! Also thanks to my friends that showed up just in time to see me crossing the finish line. It was nice to finish the race and see you all there!

Now there is a bigger challenge to be accomplished: Copenhagen Challenge 2012 – Full Ironman Distance. I had no pains at all after the Øresunds Triathlon, and I’ve hold only 1 day of pause before getting back to normal training (just for safety), which makes me confident that I’m in shape to finish CC2012. But I’m sure that a full Ironman distance is a different story. I’m looking forward for the race and to live this new experience.

© 2012 – 2013, fbastian. All rights reserved.

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