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ETU Long Course Prague 2009 - race report

 
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edwarma




Joined: 16 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:22 pm    Post subject: ETU Long Course Prague 2009 - race report Reply with quote

Just a little one...nothing in the way of epic reports, just of interest maybe to those of you who have raced/are considering racing GB long course to see how this one stood up in terms of organization…

Build up

Reasonable level of confusion about course, timings, course nutrition and so on. Vague info on race website, and apparent changes of mind by organisers, meant that things were still in flux even on race morning, eg changes to wave start times. As of the race briefing on Friday night we still weren’t entirely sure of the number of run laps, or whether any nutrition at all would be available. Atmosphere was summed up by the race registration area in the horse race track – expo consisting of one small sports drink/bar stall (which was by now at least identified as the official race nutrition) and….a lawnmower salesman?

Race morning

Transition/layout still being put together as we arrived at 0630, but a 0930 start so plenty of time to faff. Met chuffdaddy (thanks again for CO2 Steve!) and likely some other TTers though didn't get names. Small entry (around 300 tops??) so had quite low key feel, but lovely sunny day and the river not looking like flowing too fast. Poor organisation of wave starts, unclear instructions and no megaphone meant the swim start was not perfectly managed, but 99% ok in the end.

Swim

Seemed most people enjoyed it, didn't feel like 4k for some reason - possibly as it was broken up into sections and going with/against the flow gave you something to think about, using long stroke when with the current, and shorter stroke to keep momentum against the current seemed to work well. Only the occasional smack in the head. Plenty of blatant cheating going on with people missing buoys, and unfortunately no boats/canoes out there to stop it. But, reasonable amounts of room and water conditions good, tho zero visibility underwater being a river and all. Managed to put at least 4 minutes into a female pro which never happens! Out in just under 1.07 feeling good

Bike

6 laps on a dual carriage way, plus some roadworks to contend with and a 4k hill of unknown gradient....turned out to be about 3% I would guess (not the 10% guessed at by Nigel the Nirvana man!), so nothing too punishing and very fast on the way back in. Just about had enough room, though some narrow sections. And the race official’s quad bikes coming at you were a little nerve-wracking. Less drafting than I've seen before, tho Pros having fun sitting about 4 feet off each other's wheels (are they allowed to draft??) One water station, not well-organised to start with (tops still screwed onto bottles, not handed out well etc) but some old fashioned british shouting seemed to help this. Did get hot later on and from other's reports the water supplies did get low, which is not very impressive. Nice to have a bit of a chat with other Brits on the way round, and just about managed to count to 6.
Off the bike in 3.25 having held almost exactly the same lap splits all the way, and still feeling good though hot.

Run

Really suffered due to some stomach problems, currently putting this down mostly to heat, as position and nutrition were pretty well nailed down prior to race. Really debilitating for first lap, than flew round second before same problem, plus dehydration and over-heating, brought me low on lap 3. Frustrating to finish with a poor run, especially as it was not tiredness or really lack of fitness that caused it. Once again though great to have encouragement from supporters and other Brits on the run, plus the occasional friendly young German lady to trot around with. 2h37m.

So 7.10/62nd overall, 15th/4th Brit in AG and I'm happy with that.

Good to have so many Brits on the podium later on, had a bit of a chat with Scott Neyedli who sounded like he'd just been suffering the entire day.

Overall was an enjoyable race that went off without incident for me personally, though this seemed a bit more through luck than judgement as far as race organization goes.

One good thing to come out of it was the next year’s ETU Long Course organizers were already there giving out info on the course and location, which looks like a good one.

Also hello to anyone I met over the weekend, all good people and good luck with the rest of your season. Well done particularly to all medal winners, esp my roomie Stuart McGovern, kicking ass and taking names in 60-64 AG Smile

Matt
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savaloy




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Useful insight - cheers. I've heard that the heat affected quite a few. Any clues on next year's venue?
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edwarma




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did have a leaflet somewhere. The European LC is reasonably close to Bilbao I believe. Looks nice, probably not a flat course and looks more technical, certainly not straight lines anyway, and the run is round some lake park or something.

I believe the World LC is in Germany, but not sure. Due to be confirmed in next couple of weeks is what I heard but this could just be rubbish.
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savaloy




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edwarma wrote:
I did have a leaflet somewhere. The European LC is reasonably close to Bilbao I believe. Looks nice, probably not a flat course and looks more technical, certainly not straight lines anyway, and the run is round some lake park or something.

I believe the World LC is in Germany, but not sure. Due to be confirmed in next couple of weeks is what I heard but this could just be rubbish.


Thanks for that Smile
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BigFish




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

savaloy wrote:
Any clues on next year's venue?


Next year the ETU Long Distance will be at Vitoria-Gasteiz, capital of the Basque region.
I think the swim is in the lake(s) just to the North East of the city.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Vitoria-Gasteiz&sourceid=ie8-activity

It looks very nice.
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savaloy




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigFish wrote:
savaloy wrote:
Any clues on next year's venue?


Next year the ETU Long Distance will be at Vitoria-Gasteiz, capital of the Basque region.
I think the swim is in the lake(s) just to the North East of the city.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Vitoria-Gasteiz&sourceid=ie8-activity

It looks very nice.


Ta, I assume it will be about the same date. Any idea whether it'll be O2 or O3?
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Whisk




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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Ta, I assume it will be about the same date. Any idea whether it'll be O2 or O3?


Not necessarily the same date. Last year the ITU long course race was 31 August and the ETU race the following weekend.

The preference seems to be for O3 races now.
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edwarma




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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm sure the answer is no but has anyone found an official photos from this? there's some of the pros through the czech bigman website but can't find anything else...
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newarktricky




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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had dinner with a Lincoln Tri clubmate tonight who was one of 3 from the club racing. All 3 had difficult races by their own high standards.

Apparently as Ed says lots of cheating in the swim but also on the bike - the Czech 'gold medallist' allegedly only did 5 laps on the bike and a shorter run due to confusion about the course - should have been one short lap and 2 long laps. The Brit who got silver did the correct and complete course.

Apparently next year it will be late June - I am guessing the 26th.

NT Very Happy Very Happy
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TSH




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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting to hear that there was some imaginative counting on the bike leg too. It was discussed in the Pyramida Hotel at the poste race review - held in the bar. Although, there were lap counters at the turn around point and we had our electronic chips (I didn't cross a timing mat all day).

I find it hard to understand how you could shorten the run though - without some blatant form of massive corner cutting (like turning around in the underpass and not doing the horse racing track!). Shocked
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HIMUK 04, IMUK 05, 06, 07, 08, IMFR 09 & ETU Long Course Prague 09, Vittoria Gastiez 2010, IMWales 2011 DNF, IMWales 2012, Wimbleball 70.3 2013, IM Wales 2016 & IMWales 2017
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