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Roth Race Report 2018
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Race1+




Joined: 14 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:42 pm    Post subject: Roth Race Report 2018 Reply with quote

This is my 2nd Iron Distance race. Last was Zurich in 2015. I haven't done any Tris since then. And only Endurance event was Swim Serpentine (2mile) last year with some friends. Training has been going far better for this race than Zurich. Despite starting the year unable to run more than 3k due to injury I picked up last year. I've never thought myself a runner. (4h20 Standalone) But I actually felt fast now going to Roth.


Pre Race Week
I had arranged a rented VeloVault Bike Box and some Rented Zipps 404/808. The latter for placebo Laughing Unfortunately the wheels had a faulty freehub so I had to drive 260miles in 1 day! And ended up with a pair of 404 Firecrests instead (to the rental company and back twice!) Plus the extra 40miles to get the box. Hardly the best for tapering! I therefore missed my last brick session (40mins/20mins) And had to squeeze my last swim and last run into the same day. Nothing insurmountable, but irritating.

Friday


Got to the Heathrow and having paid the extra £60 at booking for my bike it turned out to be 3kgs overweight! The same bike as last time, same pump, nothing was different so can only assume its the box that's slightly heavier. I offer to pay the difference (another £60!) but in the end the unsmiling BA lady says she'll "overlook it this time"

Get to Munich and they aren't ready for us at the gate. So delay until cars come racing over. Get into reclaim and bulky items takes an extra 45mins to come up in the lift! And of course no one wandering around has any idea what's going on. Get to Avis, and the guy there is fine and efficient. Sort out the paperwork, directed to the car park where a brand new 10km on the clock Octavia Estate is waiting. 5min faffing to get the Nav into English (they should do guides for that) and off we go on the 140k drive. The A9 has several derestricted sections. 120mph and legal is amusing.

Get to Roth and this is where it starts to fall down a little. The car parks on the map from the website are all tiny. 50cars each or so and of course all full. As are all the side roads within about 1.5k! So side street it is, someone stays in the car with the kit and I wander to the expo. It's big! It's better than the London bike show imo! But there's no signs, or if there is, they aren't obvious enough in a sea of people!

Directed to the big white marquee. Only that's the Pasta Party (what good is a pasta party on Friday?!?!) Someone else says registration is the white tent round there, pointing to the back of what turns out to be a white tent for a exhibitor. Confused Eventually blind luck finds the actual marquee which is over the little foot bridge. Bit of a queue and ~#*$ me it's hot outside and inside!

Helpers are all trying the best they can and are chirpy and pleasant and probably 1/2 speak fluent English. Get back to the car and drive 40k onto Nuremberg where the Novotel MesseZentrum is.

Saturday.

Built the bike up, packed my Run bag, prepared my Bike bag, test rode the bike and off we go to Hilpolstein for bike check in. Car park is a (free prior to the event) field so massive. but another 800m walk! Past rows and rows of unlocked Tri bikes just left on a rack! Wouldn't last 20seconds in the UK! Put the bike in and have a quick nose about. Drop the Run bag to the truck. Then walked up to the shops to buy lunch (Edeka) and CO2 canisters from Radsport (figured cheaper than the expo prices!) Got back into the car and drove the route my nervous spectator would be driving on the day back to Roth for the briefing.

Briefing was overly long, and if you've ever done a Tri before nothing unusual. No drafting, no littering, we have draft busters on the bike and yellow/red cards. There's a 1k penalty loop on the run if you get seen. Mechanics on Quads will be out there.

Hotel, then out for a Pizza take away, since the Hotel doesn't do ANY pasta based food! 930 to bed 330 alarm set

Sunday.

The hotel was offering an "early breakfast" at 430am. But with the travel we decided to skip that and guarantee a place in the parking field instead. Bought a cheese roll from the onsite vendor. Checked and loaded bike, watched the women pro start. ~#*$ hell that start cannon is loud! It shakes the ground and its on the other side of the canal! Very Happy Wetsuit on, into holding area, into water and off we go!

Swim 1h15 (prev best 1h33)
Bit of biff for the first 400m or so, but nothing too bad. Water is nice temp. And no flow as its in the canal. Felt good, I was overtaking people.

T1
Run up the ramp, got bag, into tent and quick change. I had my Garmin in the bag, so saw the time and realised Id had a good swim. Very pleased! Slapped on some Factor15. Waddled across to the bike

Bike. 7h03 (prev 7:25)
Spent the first 15-20Km telling myself to calm down, don't over bike, drink, see how you feel. After 35k Lucy Charles came past on her 2nd lap leading. Got a bit caught up in the moment and shouted out some encouragement to her, (not that she probably needed it!) but thankfully she ignored me! Very Happy

Got to the hill at Greding. Ignore anybody who tells you this is a flat course! And about half way up got a rear flat. Don't panic, just change the tube, which I did and after probably 10mins (slow I know, but I wanted to be sure) was on my way again. Up solar berg which was interesting but myself and Brazilian guy were stuck behind a very slow Dutch guy who wouldn't move over until I started calling his name out!

About half way through Lap2, I started to get sick of the energy bars. I've had these in training for months and thought I could stomach them. It was probably high 20s temp wise and I was struggling a bit. I drunk loads, was dousing myself in water at the aid stations. Had to force the 4th bar down (slowly) but in the end decided not to attempt a 5th. I was on a 2hr/1.5/1.5/1.5/1.5 strategy for the bars. And roughly emptying a bottle every 1h15.

Started to feel sick. I guess I was slightly dehydrated so the food wasn't being digested / absorbed. The time is actually better than I expected. I was hoping for 630ish, so knock 10mins off for the puncture and my pace was fairly consistent. Its also about 2k short


Got to T2 and just walking to the tent I felt horrible. Told the helper lady to give me a couple of mins since I felt sick and wasn't sure if I was going to carry on. She got me a cup of water and I changed into my run shoes and applied Factor30 and decided to just walk a bit, see how I felt.

Run (amble might be the right word!) 6h10 (prev IM marathon 6h13)

So I walked out of T1 and all the way to the canal. 4.5K according to my Garmin! Stopping only for a piss by a tree since the toilets weren't exactly close to each other. Felt a bit better, started a run 1.5-2k / walk 1 km for a while. Took on Water then Cola at the aid stations. But then the sick feeling came back. I contemplated running until I was actually sick to see if it reset me. But it wouldn't come up or go down. So like Zurich before it became a Walk/Run #@?# show Sad

Now here we have another thing Roth have got wrong imo, the run route. half of the marathon is on the desolate canal path. There's hardly any spectators after 6pm. There's limited atmosphere generally. And some of the aid stations started packing up at 8pm! Then when you come back in, you're into a forest which has the same problem. The few spectators that have stuck it out that long are enthusiastic and I appreciated them. But 1 long loop is worse for everyone than 3-4 multi laps in around a town. Once again my morale took a big dip!

Eventually the end came into view, I ran in, picked up my glowstick and ran quickly round to the finish. Got my medal

14h45 (prev best 15h26)

So I'm sunburnt, tired, know I've had a crap race compared to what I should have had. and then my spectator tells me that he's bumped the hire car and its been taken away on a low loader since it was "smoking"! To where he has no idea! And he has no idea how we're getting back to the hotel! FFS What a ~#*$ day!

Another problem Challenge need to address. No one knows where the blue/red bags are. A sign is all that's needed but there isn't one! And the volunteers don't know. Eventually one knows that they are with bike check out. So wander down the road and meet a German lady who tells us "this is the worst organised race she's ever been to!" Very Happy There's no signage telling you at the finish area a direction so we head in the rough direction and end up in a dead end road. We have to cross the railway line (unused) to get there. Bikes are just all over the place, no order so it take a while to find my bike. Another guy was angrily livid since he'd been there 2 hours! And they couldn't find his bike!

So we call for a cab (btw no one in the bike out knows the road name where we are, just "the car park by the large green Datev archway" ) and when it doesn't turn up after 30mins, we call again and he's "5mins away" and then after another 25mins we call again! I spot another firm and just as I'm talking to him our original turns up. Load up and off we go but 2hrs after the race I'm cold since I only have a hoody on (expected the car to be nearby!) My general calm nature has pretty much run out at this stage!

Back to the hotel, now too late for food of course. To bed, wake up, strip bike into box call a cab for 1pm. Wait around. Then when the cab does turnup he thinks he's taking us to Nuremberg airport. Queue the comedy exchange
"Nuremberg"
"nein, Munchen"
" Shocked munchen???"
"ja Munchen"
" Shocked OK"
So he's driving along cancelling other jobs. But the 260Eur cab fare that I didn't pay probably lightens his mood! (the hire car only cost 225+fuel + additional driver for the 3 days!)

Flight home is delayed by 45mins as well! Though the smily girl at the counter didn't even weigh the bike so that's OK.

Overall

This is obviously coloured a little by me having such a #@?# day of it! But this race is overhyped imo. Its probably fine for the pro athletes when the crowds are huge. But because it sells out so quickly, Challenge assume everything is fine. When a few tweaks could make a lot of difference imo. The volunteers are all great and try as best they can. The locals REALLY support you and the race, it's more an organisation problem. The finish line thing is cool, but as I was so slow I didn't really savour it in the way I hoped I would pre race.

It possibly being too big and the run course being such a bad route means I wouldn't try to enter again.

In fact sitting here I'm not even sure I'm cut out for Iron Distance Triathlon. I cant seem to get my nutrition right on race day despite practicing with it for months. I don't change anything really. I've trained in hot days and cold days. But I never really "race" in the way I want to. I wouldn't attempt the known hot races like Lanza or Nice.

I suspect my next "race" will be another Marathon next year. Probably with the aim of setting a decent pb. Hopefully 6 months of run training will net me a low 3h time? (be great to do a sub 3, but not sure that's in me)
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tin pot




Joined: 08 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the write up - shame
You didnít enjoy it, but not every experience will be a good one eh? At least you found some humour in it all.

I gave up after my second, held out for six months before signing up for a half Wink

Gotta point out that you improved on swim, bike AND run splits...chin up lad!
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Tupperware




Joined: 09 Oct 2012
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Location: Swindon

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tin Pot wrote:

Gotta point out that you improved on swim, bike AND run splits...chin up lad!


^^ This! 40mins off overall time and you could barely run at the start of the year...sounds like a pretty good race! Smile

It sounds like a busy weekend, do you think spending a day or two around there before or after would have relaxed things a little?

How was it for your spectator? I read it can be a bit of challenge to move around whilst the race is on.
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Flee




Joined: 08 Dec 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:29 pm    Post subject: Better experience Reply with quote

I had a better experience of Roth, but I do agree that little things are badly organised:

Friday registration went without a hitch.
Hotel in Nuremburg was excellent.
Food and beer and scenery in Nuremburg were awesome.
Drive to Roth and parking was a complete ball ache.
Saturday racking was fine - even though I was in the 'crap athletes' field
Got about 4 hours sleep on Sat night Sad
Set off too late on Sunday, ended up in traffic and only just made the start of the race.
Swim was #@?# as expected - but at least its an easy layout.
Ride was good. Definitely lumpier than I was expecting but road surface is awesome and Solar Hill was mental. Superb feed stations too.
Run went better than expected. I thought the regularity of the feed stations was fantastic. Water and Cold sponges at each and gel at a lot of them got me round at a pretty even pace. The crowds were fantastic, especially for the last third of the run through the towns. The finish is also pretty special and the after tent had everything. Kudos to the helpers too and there are so many.
I asked a knowledgable helper to find my red/blue bags and it also took me a long time to track down my bike.
an hour later and I was back in Nuremburg with excellent memories of my adventures.
11:13 overall and I was happy.
My second and last full distance event and I was happy it was Roth.
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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Location: alles was ich bin, alles was ich war

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on the PB, and welcome back to TT!

Roth was my first LD, and it pi55ed down most of the day! That didn't deter the crowds though, and first time up the Solarerberg I was welling-up! The original run course was nearly all on the canal! Although tbh I didn't mind that, as it's a bit easier on the legs and anything's better than running around a rowing lake like Outlaw. Crowds were probably a bit better as I did a shade over 10h, but as it was pouring at the finish it was quieter, and it was literally a bit of a 'dampener'. Roth is in my opinion a great race, but the logistics make it a PITA without some support (luckily my wife was there with the car, as we lived in Bavaria at the time).

I would do it again, if it weren't for the logistics - hard on your own, or with a young family.
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Chrace




Joined: 28 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Race1+ - what you need is a local, low key event to get your mood back up. No faff, easy logistics, and just rock-up-and-enjoy atmosphere. And far, far cheaper, both entry fee, travel and accommodation.

My first half was in Denmark which, in hindsight, was daft. All that logistics crap is really not needed for a first-anything.

First IM was Outlaw which is 1.5 hours from here. It made all the difference that I could just load up the car and rock up. No worry about "this HAS to be good for that money" which will play tricks on your mind. IM Copenhagen a few years later had that feel to it. Despite me being an hour(!) faster I still felt it was below par. "All that effort for that?"

So my preferred race these days is the Triathlon X style stuff in the Lakes. 2 hours away by car, silly cheap (by far the best minutes-per-pound available Wink ) and very low key. No 100.000 spectators edging you to go faster - 100 and you're lucky. But it does mean you can focus on just doing what you are there for and take the experience for what it is. No pressure. At all.

The X-style stuff is not for everyone, but there's load of smaller races around with near-zero logistics but awesome organisation and support. Near me Freebird Events (max half-IM) are fantastic organisers, completely up there with all the big Challenge and m-dot events. Find a local half and/or IM distance race and just go for the fecking fun of it? Smile

Other than that, well done for sticking it out and getting through. You've obviously got the mental strength which is the hardest part. Sometimes the body just doesn't want to follow, it happens. So a very well done!
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Big' races I've been to with easy logistics, once you're there...

IM Austria
IM Barcelona
Outlaw

With Ironman (abroad), I always get there on the Thursday to register, it's just worth the extra night to take the stress out of things. I think you'd like Austria: everything in one place, good for family if needs be, scenic. I've done it twice, second time going solo: flew from STN-Klag direct, taxi to my B&B between town centre & lake: <1km from transition Cool

Forget Frankfurt, that's a PITA like Roth, and it's normally baking hot.
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Symes




Joined: 25 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:
'Big' races I've been to with easy logistics, once you're there...

IM Austria
IM Barcelona
Outlaw



See also IM Nice
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Chrace




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since we're on the topic, IM Copenhagen has great transport links and infrastructure but the split sign-up/transition/finish line is messy at best. Organisation and course is good but general geographical layout is pants.

May be need a new sticky thread for races people have been to with basic vital stats, "How to" and "Do/Do Not"s?
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Race1+




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses everyone.


Tupperware wrote:


How was it for your spectator? I read it can be a bit of challenge to move around whilst the race is on.


As others have said it's harder than it needs to be to move around.

Jorgan kindly pointed out last year that traffic could be cack, hence why we prioritised getting there over a hotel breakfast on race day. We came down the A9 came off at J55 (Allersberg) then straight down ST2225 and parked in the field just off "Heuberg A" by the bridge


They don't allow cars to leave the car parks until certain times and the bike course comes north along ST2225, over the bridge before turning West towards the canal lock. But the main road is divided in half. So I guess it means it's one way only (North)

In more general terms. Where the Park n Ride is out in Buchen-Bach. The shuttle only goes to Roth and back. Which is not good enough really.

On race day, the coach with the trailer goes from Roth to Swim Start. But only for athletes, not spectators. Even after the race.

So any spectators are forced to decide if they want to see the start and struggle to Roth via the roads that aren't closed (and I saw no list saying which were). Or have an easy time in getting to Roth itself, but then miss all of the bike and Swim Rolling Eyes On a side note, if you want to see an athlete entering the water for the start, and the start itself, you need to be on the Eastern bank! You cant see anything from the Western bank.

Zurich had a free spectator bus to Heartbreak Hill from the village area. Odd that Roth didn't have one to Solar Berg

Flee wrote:

11:13 overall and I was happy.
My second and last full distance event and I was happy it was Roth.


Great time. Well done.

Chrace wrote:
Race1+ - what you need is a local, low key event to get your mood back up. No faff, easy logistics, and just rock-up-and-enjoy atmosphere. And far, far cheaper, both entry fee, travel and accommodation.


I can see the appeal of that, but I like to do "big races" It appeals to me. My first Half Marathon years ago was at Silverstone. Dull as #@?#! No atmosphere, no spectators on 95% of the course. Next one I did was in and around Greenwich (Run to the Beat) and that was mega to have so many spectators. Same with my first Marathon being Berlin (cant get into London just yet!) I'm a little fish in a big pond Very Happy

Jorgan wrote:

With Ironman (abroad), I always get there on the Thursday to register, it's just worth the extra night to take the stress out of things. I think you'd like Austria: everything in one place, good for family if needs be, scenic. I've done it twice, second time going solo: flew from STN-Klag direct, taxi to my B&B between town centre & lake: <1km from transition Cool

Forget Frankfurt, that's a PITA like Roth, and it's normally baking hot.


With Zurich I went out Thursday, but then ended up sitting around a lot on Friday (briefing was on the Friday) doing nothing (getting bored tbh) Hence for Roth just got an lunchtime flight out on Friday. Dammed whatever you do tbh.

Oddly, I was thinking Frankfurt as a maybe, split transitions I can deal with OK (if I have a working car and there's car parking) but to use a quote I like

"My blood is too thick" for baking hot days. Laughing

Symes wrote:

See also IM Nice



Same problem I predict.
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Jorgan




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tupperware wrote:
How was it for your spectator? I read it can be a bit of challenge to move around whilst the race is on.


Disappointed no-one has picked-up on the pun here Wink
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Race1+




Joined: 14 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jorgan wrote:


Disappointed no-one has picked-up on the pun here Wink



I didn't want to dignify it with a response! Razz Very Happy
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Tupperware




Joined: 09 Oct 2012
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Location: Swindon

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Race1+ wrote:
Jorgan wrote:


Disappointed no-one has picked-up on the pun here Wink



I didn't want to dignify it with a response! Razz Very Happy


Very Happy

Thanks for the tips.
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Race1+




Joined: 14 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some other random thoughts. Laughing

1) The 3rd party photos and video are now released. There's nothing on Lap 2 of the bike for me, and nothing at all on the run! I did check another entrant I vaguely know of, who was 10hrs ish. More Photos, more videos too. But still nothing on the run.

So evidently "Marathon-Photos" decided to pack up early and head back to the finish line around that time. I'll still buy them in a week or so (just in case more will be uploaded) For 99Eur I feel it's a bit miserly.

2) Food options in the village are aimed at Spectators. Not participants. Beer, chips, burgers, coffee etc

Bar the somewhat pricey fruit juice/ fruit salad stall. A sandwich/roll stand with soft drinks wouldn't go amiss.


3) And I don't know if its because Challenge are now advertising when the registration opens for 2019. Or because my social media is full of Frankfurt stories. Or that I don't actually feel very tired since I didn't properly race. But I want to do another Long distance race again! Idea Rolling Eyes

4) I am disappointed the rental company didn't offer me a refund on part of the rental due to the running around as an offer of good faith. I spent at least £50 on a tank of petrol and didn't actually get the wheels I paid for.

No matter. In due course, he'll be getting a #@?# Google review Smile My (retired!) Mum of all people has said she'll buy me some fancy wheels if I do a race next year. That may change when she finds out how much a pair of 808s actually are! Very Happy And to be honest, I'd probably get a new bike next time which would come with decent wheels anyway.
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JeffB




Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 1176
Location: Middlesbrough

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Symes wrote:
Jorgan wrote:
'Big' races I've been to with easy logistics, once you're there...

IM Austria
IM Barcelona
Outlaw



See also IM Nice


Maastricht wasn't too bad either, T1\T2 together, and only about half a mile from the finish line.

Hamburg looks like it is all in the same place, but it could end up like another Barcelona by the look of the bike course. Was looking at that for next year but can't make my mind up.

Jeff
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