Ironman 70.3 European Championships 2012

Race Report

The swim was a really weird course it was like a small n shape where you had to get out do a little beach run and jump back in and do a bigger n shape back to transition and like always once the swim started it went like shit off a shovel for the first 200-300 meters. I managed to find myself in a big pack of guys and it felt like we were moving along at a decent rate so I was happy with where I was. It pretty much stayed like this until the end of the swim. Looking at the result and comparing my swim to Antwerp it seems that I definitely had an even better swim here and I was fairly pleased with my swim at Antwerp so that is a big positive.

Out onto the bike and I new before I started that my Garmin bike computer was playing up so I had planned to put my garmin 305 on whilst moving at the start of the bike as the bike was 1 lap and I wanted to know roughly how long I had been going for and how much longer I had left unfortunately for me while trying to put it on I dropped it and had to stop and put it on so lost about 20 seconds. After that everything went smoothly and I was feeling really good. I caught a couple of people up at the start and eventually found myself in a group of about 5 people, 3 of the people I was with were Boris (eventually finished 3rd) Daniel, Thomas Hellriegal, Boris was absolutely smashing it and I remember he caught me around 8 miles in and I though Boriis who the hell is he I’m not going to let him have me so I was smashing it trying to stay with him and after about 20 miles he managed to get a bit of a gap maybe 100-200 meters but we were holding him, however eventually he started to pull away and we could see about 8- 10 guys in front which at this point must have been the lead group. At this point 25 miles in we had a climb of about 3 miles and I calculated them to be about 1 minute ahead which on a hill looks like nothing at all but we were absolutely turning ourselves inside out to get across and I expect they were doing the same to stay away.

Eventually 3 guys managed to get across at different point however I couldn’t get across and had to settle with having Tom for company for the rest of the ride. The really frustrating thing was whenever we got to a climb you could see them in front, it was as if I was a donkey and someone was dangling a carrot in front of me, it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go as you aren’t getting it. A few guys did come back from the group after they had blew there doors off.

Anyway starting the run and I wasn’t really sure how my legs were going to feel as I had really drilled the bike, the bike was one of them courses anyway which just makes you go hard as there was so much climbing in it (1500 meters) that you had to go hard and plus I had to as I wanted to keep myself in contention with the pack and for a decent result. Out onto the run and I didn’t hungry or low on energy just a bit heavy legged which I think is expected after a hard bike. On the first lap I was passed by Mark Threlfell but I kept him in sight and on the 3rd lap I re- passed him and pushed on. There really isn’t anything else to write about the run as I didn’t get passed or pass anyone else. One thing I have to add though is that the course was fairly hard as it was very hot and 2ks of each lap were uphill on a trail through a park with about 600 meters of flat road at the top and then downhill for 2ks through the park back to transition where you had about 400 meters of flat and dead turn, you had to do this 4 times it certainly wasn’t an easy loop and I got it as an accurate 13.1 miles so I’ve got to take my hat off to Michael Raellert as running a low 1.11 in those conditions is a fantastic time.

Overview of the race:
I finished in 15th place in what was undoubtedly the strongest field I have ever raced against and was right amongst the action so I’m very, very pleased about that however looking back on the race now I know there were a few things I could have done to save me quite a bit of time which may have got me across to the pack. This was with the garmin I should have put it in one of the swim to bike transition bags as this would have meant that I could have put it on while running to my bike and would have saved me the time I lost when I dropped it. I could have put my helmet on and number belt at the same time which would have also been quicker.
I remember that it took me about 20 minutes to catch Hellriegal and some other guy who he was with but we came out of the water at roughly the same time so when you think about it that’s a hell of a lot of energy I would have saved which may have got me across to the pack. It’s all simple things really and I’ll remember this for m next race.

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