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Published: September 4th 2011
At the start
Waiting for the starting signal before the swimming part (Picture from www.nordseeman.de)
Last Sunday, I participated in my second triathlon, which took place in Wilhelmshaven
, about two hours from Hamburg. This time, there were no minor catastrophes. I found the place right away, checked my bike in, prepared all my gear and made sure I knew which way I would have to run and cycle, and how many rounds there were to do.
Then I just had to wait. I did not get excited until I listened to one announcement they were repeating a couple of times: All the short distance triathletes were supposed to meet fifteen minutes before the start for a briefing, and they told us to bring our neoprene suits because we would start right after the briefing. I did not have a neoprene suit, and I hadn’t even worried about it. The swimming part would take part in the North Sea, in a harbour basin, in the middle of summer, so I thought the water would be warm enough anyway. I found out that the water was about 20 degrees Centigrade warm, not too bad for the North Sea. I was still worried, but there was not much I could do anyway...
The distance was the same
The transition area
Here we put all our gear and got changed for the cycling part after the swimming part and for the running part after the cycling part (Picture from www.nordseeman.de)
as last time: 500 metres swimming, 20 kilometres cycling, 5 kilometres running.
We had the briefing and were told everything we needed to know: which way we would have to swim, cycle, and run, what we were supposed to do and what we weren’t, specific things we needed to know about the bike route, and so on. Then we had to get into the water and swim to the first buoy and wait there for the starting signal. When getting into the water in first place, I thought I could not breathe because it was so cold, but I got used to it fairly quickly. I swam to the buoy and held on to it so that I would not waste energy.
Then I heard the starting signal. I started off in the very end of the field, still there were some other swimmers overtaking me or getting in my way. The swimming part was hell. It was a very windy day, so there were high waves. We had to swim 250 metres to one buoy, and on our way there, the waves came in diagonally from the front. I kept swallowing water and had the feeling I
At the bike turnpoint
One of the helpers offering bananas (Picture from www.nordseeman.de)
was not moving forward at all. I looked at the buoy, and distance between myself and it did not seem to shorten at all. The lifeguard’s boat went past me, and for a moment I thought that I’d just have to wave my hand and tell them that I could not go on. Then they would take me into their boat, and I would not have to fight any more. But I quickly abandoned the thought.
Finally, I reached the buoy and turned round to swim back. At least now, the waves were coming from behind me, which made it a bit easier. But when I got out of the water, I literally staggered towards the area in which we had to change for the cycling part. I got changed and ran to the spot in which we were allowed to get on our bikes. It was good that the organisers had put out some carpet on the way there because that made running in the bike shoes a bit easier. I was happy when I finally was on my bike. The wind still made being fast a challenge, but I went alright, and as I later learned I
... making sure no cars would cross the track when runners or cyclists came past (Picture from www.nordseeman.de)
improved by ten minutes compared to last time.
The running part again was pretty tough because I was already a bit exhausted from the cycling part. Plus, there was still the strong wind. A couple of times, I thought “Just walk for a couple of steps to recover.” But I knew that I would not start running again after this. So I kept running slowly. It got particularly bad when I approached the turn point. We ran down a dike and then had to run along the sea, straight against the very strong wind. It felt as if not moving forward at all. One of the helpers wanted to be nice and said: “Almost there. Only 800 more metres to the turn point.” Oh, thanks, only almost a kilometre left, that’s nothing 😉. But I got there, and running back in tailwind was a lot easier then. I was really exhausted when approaching goal and could not speed up much.
My overall result was 1:46:21. Swimming: 00:16:30, cycling: 00:53:56, running: 00:35:54. The results can be found here
(click on “Volkstriathlon – Gesamtwertung – (2011)”). That’s an improvement of five minutes compared to last time, in spite of the
Bananas for the athletes (Picture from www.nordseeman.de)
challenging conditions. I was quite proud of myself.
The triathlon season is finished for this year, but training will continue. Yesterday, I did a 84 km bike tour.
There are a few other projects coming up, so my next blog entry might take a while...
Tot: 2.79s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 30; qc: 155; dbt: 0.1139s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.7mb