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Germany 70.3 2008 - a wee race report & review

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Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 1981
Location: Algeria/Lanzarote

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Germany 70.3 2008 - a wee race report & review Reply with quote

A wee race report/review of Germany 70.3, which I did this last weekend, there doesn’t seem to have been much love for this event amongst Tri-Talkers this year, the 2nd year the race has been run. So here’s my race report and a review of the event if you fancy it for 2009:

My build up to the race hadn’t been perfect, going on holiday a month before, getting flu, then aggravating a recurring calf injury. I’d been aiming for sub 6 hour in this, my first half ironman distance race, but come race day, with no running for 4 weeks, I’d have been happy to finish.

My race: The swim is in a marina, off the main flow of the river. So the water is dead calm and spectators are on their boats cheering you on as you go along the out & back course. Being as buoyant as a brick, I kept well out of the biff and just kept plodding along. I’d previously only raced Oly distance but had done plenty of OW practice in a local loch, so was confident that I could do the 1.9km if I kept to my slow but steady front crawl. There were helpers to drag you out at the end, up an almost vertical exit ramp and into T1. Out onto the bike course, a single loop of 90km on closed roads that went from undulating, to hilly, to 10% and challenging. The bike course is pretty tough, goto the race website to check out the elevation profile. The only good thing is that after each long climb there’d be a long, fast descent down some very twisty roads usually leading into a small village. Now I’m not the best climber, carrying maybe too many excess lager pounds compared to some of the whippets that were flying past me up the hills, But for some reason, a lot of the good climbers were complete girls’ blouses on the descents and I was able to get back in front, overtaking on the downhills & corners. The bike route goes through a lot of small towns & villages, giving plenty of ‘street racing’ opportunities. The locals were out in force, picnics and beer tents , Mexican waves – the Germans like their triathlons. Huge support on the climbs – on the final one ,”The Hammer”, it was a TdF fantasy with people either side, all the way cheering the riders on , a huge boost as I was in a fair amount of discomfort towards the end of that climb. The psychological boost that kept me going was knowing the last 8-10km was going to be downhill. And not downhill in a gentle coast to T2 way, but as in 70kph down a 10% hill and flying through the streets of Wiesbaden sort of way. I’d have hoped for a sub 3hr bike, but the hilly nature of the course made it 3:29 . Although I was disappointed with the time, the bike course really good fun, much better than a faster, flatter course. I hit the city centre & before I knew it, one of hundreds of helpers at the dismount line was pulling my bike from me and pointing me towards the racks of run bags. The run is 3 x7km loops, going through a large park with a couple of bits on the streets. Again, the support from the locals was fantastic, with your name on your number belt, the Germans aren’t shy about giving you some advice, at least I think that’s what they were saying. I felt good as I started the run, but 2km in at 5 min/km, I felt the old calf injury begin to make its intentions known. Some fast mental arithmetic told me that 6hrs wasn’t going to be possible no matter how fast I ran, so I chose the ‘definite finish without making the injury worse option’ and kept to a strict 1 min walk/4 min run plan for the rest of the race. For the most part this meant I ran faster than a 100% run strategy and caught up the slower runners who’d overtaken me when I walked. At least the calf injury didn’t get worse and I was able to finish the race with a good strong run over the last 2km, to finish in 6:34:54. Not 6hrs, but WTF, it’s a PB and I can do better next time. I won’t lose sleep over the fact that Faris beat me by over 2hrs….

So what about the race & organisation ?
The race is held in Wiesbaden, about 2hrs south of Dusseldorf and pretty close to Frankfurt. For me coming from Aberdeen it was easier to get to than IMUK 70.3, which is one reason I entered it. Plus the fact that the Germans are SO organised.....
The swim is held about 6km from T2 & the finish line. All the bikes & T1 are checked in on the Saturday and the army of helpers make sure you go in the right place and take your T1/T2 bags from you. There was a shuttle bus to take you & your bike to T1, but these were so slow that convoys of racers were choosing to cycle from the race office with their T-bags down to T1. That was probably the only poorly organised part, but riding through the Saturday traffic in a large posse was great fun, so I’ll let it slide. The swim & T1 were great, the bike ride was an absolute hoot, despite really hurting on some of the climbs. Closed roads and fast downhill sections more than made up for it. The support through the villages was just brilliant and the 3 aid stations were faultless. The run course I found a bit boring at times in the park, but once you got to the street sections and the hundreds of spectators, it was excellent – pretty flat and fast.. 3 well stocked aid stations every loop meant only 2km between life saving pepsi or whatever you wanted to refuel with. The finish line is in the town centre in front of some very impressive buildings, giving a great setting and having an excellent atmosphere. Plenty of food at the finish line, although a few more showers would’ve been good. Personally I thought the whole organisation of the race was brilliant, moving so many people & their 3 race bags around, looking after their bikes,etc. etc. all done with clinical german efficiency. I was therefore amazed to get an e mail from the organisers today to say that 8 bikes had been stolen from T2, by people cutting a hole in the fence and bypassing the otherwise pretty tight security. They’re offering a 25,000 euro reward, to help relieve their embarrassment. To sum up: challenging course, great support & atmosphere, very nice setting for a well organised race. I’d recommend it for anyone looking for an overseas 70,3 next year. The beer’s nice too! Cool
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Joined: 07 Jul 2004
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Location: SW18

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats. Definitely sounds like one to do in the next couple of years.

Good to see Faris back in winning ways too Smile
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Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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Location: alles was ich bin, alles was ich war

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mudman wrote:
the Germans like their triathlons

I'd say that was a fair assessment Wink

I just wish they weren't so damned good it it too
26 Years since it all began....
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Joined: 25 Jul 2007
Posts: 1155
Location: Southport, Merseyside

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooo, that sounds like fun, I'm planning a 70.3 year next year, this could be in the mix, if not then the year after. Sounds like a decent alternative to IMUK 70.3....
My Training - 2014 - Yet to come....
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Joined: 22 Sep 2004
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Location: Tooting (hopefully not for much longer)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done, sounds like a good race
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a really good race .... hmmm one for the future I think.

Good effort mudman .....
2016- Try Ironman again....
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