BSV Winterlaufserien 15km

1 week after the first instalment came the 2nd instalment of the BSV Winterlaufserien. Last week was interesting and I was happy with my run, I was hoping for more of the same this week.

An equivalent run to my 10km time from last week over 15km would be 57:30, but I was aiming for sub 57 as I weighed in at 79.7kg instead of 81.1kg last week. My week of training was good, my Achilles feels a bit better and my only fear was that my 21min 5k Parkrun the day before might have been too fast and left my legs slightly tired.

Unfortunately, Lukas, who was faster of me last week, had a cold this week but started anyway. He didn’t seem too confident!! Everyone else who ran well last week was on the start line again.

We set off and I ran with Carsten from the get-go, our pace was good and were even with Gray for a while, who ran a sub35 last week, but it turned out he was doing a progression run this week.

I had worked out that the pace for 57:00 was 8:41 per lap, so that was my aim for the first laps. We passed the first lap in 8:36 and I was feeling good, but it was still early. After 2 laps me and Carsten were still dead on pace and I had seen that Christoph wasn’t too far behind us. (you can see him behind in the video below)

Slo-mo of me and Carsten – good form!

Nearing the end of the 3rd lap, I had the feeling that Carsten was fading and I was taking the lead, it was a shame, I wanted to run with people again this week, almost as soon as I had thought that, I heard someone catch us from behind – it was Christoph!

We went off together passing the halfway mark and soon enough the 10k (on my GPS) in 37:30. After another lap of pushing each other, Christoph started to open up a few metres gap on me, I didn’t feel like I could go with him.

I knew that after 6 laps my time should end with :06 seconds as it was 8:41 per lap for 57 minute pace, but I saw :18, so I was 12 seconds or so down with 1.25km to run.

I wasn’t dead yet though and I tried to pick up the pace for the last km. As I entered the stadium with 300m to go, I could give it another kick, even though I had convinced myself that sub57 was in the bag. It started getting a bit tight at the end and I needed a good sprint to finish with 56:58 on my watch, so I hit my goal time by the skin of my teeth!

Christoph was 15 seconds faster and Carsten ran about 58:00 and Lukas battled it round for a 58:15, that must have been tough with a cold! That means that the series standing must be pretty tight between us 4 still, I reckon I have 20 seconds on Christoph, 55 seconds on Carsten and 65 seconds on Lukas. Strangely our order of finish was the exact opposite this week to last week!

Team Hasenheide Parkrun – Konstantin, Carsten, Christoph, Me, Lukas and Andy – Gray was already gone

So next week is a rest week in the series, then comes the half marathon. I will be aiming for a 1:21 assuming that all goes well until then. Whatever I run, I’d like to be first from our little group if possible, but it’s still all to play for 🙂

BSV Winterlaufserie 2020 – 10k

Right, it is 2020, return of the comeback time! I haven’t been doing my race reports much recently, you may have noticed that my results over the last 18 months haven’t been great, really from Kandel 2018 onwards has been a shitshow! After a while, I started to lose the will to write up another bad race, so I missed my 39:30 10k run in Plänterwald and my 1:28 Mugglesee half marathon, both my worst times for the distance in the last 5 years I guess.

Anyway, there have been glimpses of light. My 17:46 parkrun 5km was a PB, I haven’t had one of those in a while! I have also ‘won’ 2 parkruns, including one where I wasn’t running at 100%! I have decided to concentrate on running in 2020 anyway, with me getting a puppy in November, time is a bit more limited and I won’t have the time to train for 3 sports to any decent level, so I will try to get a lot of miles in the old legs and get back on running track.

So to the Winterlaufserie. It’s in Wilmersdorf which is miles away, but pretty easy to get to from Adlershof. It’s a 10k, followed by a 15k a week later, then 2 weeks later a half marathon, pretty cool.

I weighed in at 81kg, so there is a lot of work to do there, and I ran 5 days in a row leading into the race. My calves are a bit sore and I am having a bit of an Achilles problem in my right heel, but nothing too bad. I was feeling a bit negative and thought I should run a 38:00 pretty easily, but 37:00 seemed unrealistic.

At the sign-in I met Lukas and Carsten, Lukas was aiming for a 37:30, I thought it would be a bit optimistic for me, but I could but try. Christoph was a bit less optimistic with 39 minutes.

The course is a bit shit, it was frosty and I was slipping on the uphill part every lap. The lap is about 2.25km, so it is 4 laps and change this week.

We set off and lots of people were ahead of me from the start, but I felt decent. I was with Lukas and Carsten was ahead of us, I hadn’t expected that as his PB was 38:30 or so. Lukas led the group for the first lap or so, then I took over and felt good. After 2 laps we caught Carsten and were keeping a good pace, I always saw 3:45 pace or so on the watch when I glanced at it.

Soon Lukas passed me again, and Carsten again, then near the end of the last lap I passed Carsten again, only for him to pass me again in the last couple of hundred metres! I got into the stadium after 36 mins and could run in a 37:22, which I was pretty pleased about! Carsten was just ahead in 37:16 and Lukas a few metres further ahead in 37:13.

The parkrun team

It was a pretty fun race, if the course were less slippy I fancy I could have run a few seconds faster, but I can test that hypothesis next week hopefully!

37:22 is still about 95 seconds off my PB, but given my weight and lack of training, I feel pretty good about it. There is a lot of room for growth and hopefully, over the next couple of months, I’ll grab that low hanging fruit and get back down to 36-minute shape.

Parkruns

So I haven’t exactly been keeping this blog up to date, maybe due to my string of bad races going back more than 18 months, and maybe because I have been very busy moving house and starting a new job.

Some of the things I didn’t write about include my worst half marathon for about 5 years. The Mugglesee Halfmarathon, I ran 14km the day before and had dead legs and ran a 1:28, dying from the start! I did a Tug-o-Run event, which was a 2 lap 6.2km run with weird short chicanes in the airport hanger where it was staged. It was a fun event with free entry, free food and free drinks!

Another thing I wanted to do was Parkrun. There is a Parkrun in Berlin so on my first weekend in Berlin, I got the train to the start and ran to set a benchmark time. It was the day before the Berlin marathon and there were 750 runners, I had lots of people to run with and ran 18:30.

I week later, I realised that the week of the marathon is a bit of a one off, as I finished first in a field of 110 in 18:40, having slowed down after about km as I thought that I was off course! I started knocking a few seconds off my time until I ran a 18:15 in my 4th week, not a big improvement, but something.

I met a few people at park run who are decent runners and found out that they were planning a paced sub18 group at the end of November, that sounded perfect to me, in a group and well paced, I thought I had a good chance, though it wasn’t guaranteed.

I’ve been running a bit more, generally with a session and a longer run each week, but I’m still not running lots due to work stress and the new dog. I did a proper prep for the sub18 attempt though, meaning a 6am alarm so I could eat breakfast and not cycling to the start (also as it was -2°C when I wanted to set off).

So after a little warm up, we set off. Andy was pacing in his 100th Parkrun, Lukas and Johannes were in the group as well as a few others that I didn’t know. At the start there were really lots of people in the group, I was surprised, usually it gets pretty lonely pretty quickly! Soon enough though the group fell apart and we were down to the 4 named before. I was tucking in as much as I could and felt good, but near the end of the first lap I did feel like I was breathing heavy and could fall off the pace.

I hung on though even though the little rise from km2- 3 wasn’t too easy. By the time we hit the hill, Johannes was gone and the group was down to 3. I passed Lukas for the first time on the hill and Andy was a few metres ahead of me, but after the peak I could catch him back up on the downhill.

Lukas started drifting off the back but I was starting to feel strong. After the downhill we were on pace and soon enough were at 4km. I saw 14:20 on the watch, so I had 3:40 for the last km, I was feeling very confident. After Andy told me that we had 500m left, I told him that it was in the bag, I could even raise the pace quite a lot at the end and finished in 17:46, much better than expected and my best ever 5km (I might have split a better 5km in a 10km, but probably not).

After a quick celebration, I saw Lukas cross the line, I reckoned it was close to 18 mins and it was, but unfortunately in the wrong direction – 18:01.

So after 7 Parkruns in 9 weeks, I improved my time from 18:30 to 17:46, about 9 seconds per kilometer. I had said that if I could run a 17:30, I would sign up for a marathon, well that still seems like a reasonable goal, even though the course is possibly a bit slowed than I had realised when I set the goal!

Nibelungenlauf 2019 – Half Marathon

I haven’t run the Nibelungelauf in Worms for years, I think the last time I was here, I was supporting Katja who ran her last half marathon ever. Anyway, after a decent Firmenlauf a couple of weeks ago, I felt like I could have a good run here in Worms.

I thought I should at least run a season’s best time, so better than 1:25. I thought around about 1:23 should be possible. I am pretty heavy at the moment, around about 82kg, which obviously doesn’t help too much.

So I set off early to Worms, meeting KDötz at the station and cycling to the start. She was a bit apprehensive too and didn’t think she was in form to run a PB. We got there as late as possible, which was good as it was raining and cold! The race started at 10am, I looked around and didn’t recognise anyone, which is a good thing generally, as I remember the people who always beat me!

Off we went and I was near the front, I was wearing my Astra Escalantes and was slipping quite a bit on the way to the train station. The first 1km was in 3:35, but I remembered quickly that the km markers are wrong in Worms, so it was best to ignore them and go off my watch.

The 10km and half marathon both start at the same time, so it isn’t always too easy to know where you stand, but after forming a mini-group with 2 other guys, we overtook someone who informed us that we were 2nd, 3rd and 4th – wow!

I couldn’t tell who was strong and who wasn’t in our group, but I was staying in the slipstream and feeling like I was running fairly easy from about km5 to 10. After the little out and back that the half marathoners have to do, I could see that 2 guys were close behind and 1st was well ahead. I started to struggle to stay with the group as they accelerated, but I got back in to end the first loop in about 41:30.

I was soon off the group in the 2nd lap and after about 3km of the 2nd loop an Italian guy overtook me. It was clear that he had run the 1st loop conservatively and was speeding up now, as my pace was pretty solid and he caught me up like I had stopped! A few km later another guy came past me, suddenly instead of thinking of the podium, I was looking at top 6.

I felt like I stayed strong and held it together well. I could feel a guy close behind me and at the out and back I could see that he was maybe 30m behind me. I wasn’t ready to give up my place though, so I kicked on to keep him at bay. I asked someone watching how far behind me the chaser was, he said maybe 40m, with only 1km to go, it was looking good. My legs felt decent and I kicked for home and managed to keep 7the place at bay, crossing the line in 1:23:30.

Now it wasn’t some super race, it was nearly 5 minutes slower than my best, but I enjoyed the race a lot. Being near the front and being competitive was so much fun after being shit on all season in triathlons!

It turned out that the guy I held at bay had started 20 seconds behind me, so he had a faster chip time, though my gun time was faster. I don’t care, I beat him!

KDötz ran a PB, but was unhappy as it wasn’t a sub 2. I can’t imagine running a PB and not being happy anymore! I am really considering running a spring marathon now. I will start doing some polarized training and see if I can get myself fit. If I can, then I’ll give it a go, I have some unfinished business with 2:50, or even maybe 2:45!

Neuwied 2019 – Olympic

Well I didn’t drop out of Neuwied, why not? I would say I am just that stupid! So instead of doing a longer run on Saturday and sleeping in on Sunday, I rested on Saturday and was awake at 5:45 on Sunday, ready to go to Mombach in the rain and race in Neuwied 4.5h later!

I’m going to keep it brief, as it’s no longer a shock when I have a bad race. We all went to Neuwied, got the bus upstream and swam about 3.4km in the Rhein. The water was really fast so the 3.4km wouldn’t take too long. Wetsuits were allowed. The race was pretty badly organised, the way into the water was dangerously slippy, then they wanted a water start, but as soon as you weren’t on shore, you had to fight against the flow to stay still.

Some genius decided to start the race themselves by starting a countdown from 10. Half the field started and had to be stopped. Then the race officially started by someone saying, naja, schwimm einfach los. Professional.

It was fun to see the kms click donw so quickly and I felt like a swam ok, but when I got into T1 I saw a TCECler ahead of my. I assumed it would be Robert, that’s fine. I dreamt it would be Micheal, it was Uli. Now Uli is a great guy, but a swimmer is he not!

Off I set on the bike, passing quite a few with a decent transition. I was again passing more than I was passed, but I was also pretty far back in the field. The course rolls generally uphill, but not steep, for about 10km, then back down and we do 2 laps. There was quite a lot of drafting, not from me, the number 79 ahead of me for a while was very blatent, and even when the ref watched him draft for a few minutes, he didn’t get a penalty.

After the bike I wasn’t feeling too bad and I put my socks on and set off. Uli and Heiko (not Heiko actually, it was Danny) had passed me on the bike, now was my time to bring them back. Except that in 2019 I can’t even rely on my run! I was ok, but far from fast. My guts were a bit sore, somewhat like in Zell, but not nearly as bad.

I trotted along anyway, passing some but also being passed too. I knew that I was our 5th man so wouldn’t count in the results (again). On the 2nd lap at the turn around, I saw a TCECler, who wasn’t Uli (he was about 100m ahead of me all the way). I thought it must be a masters or 2nd team person, but amazingly it was Matthias, our fastest man.

I thought he must be injured, he has had knee problems all year, but apparently it was just a day from hell for him, so I managed to overtake him and counted in the results one last time for TCEC.

I finished a good 9-10 minutes behind Chris, Peter and Michael, all aspects of my race sucked. It was just so 2019 for me. This time at least I knew in advance what to expect, so I was less disappointed and tried to stay positive. Form is temporary, class is permanent!

So that was my last TCEC race for the season and most probably ever. If I don’t start in a league next season, I could jump into a race at somepoint for TCEC, but I’ll assume that I am done for now.

In the next week I have the firmenlauf and the Vereinsmeisterschaft. I actually have a feeling that they won’t be too bad, lets see how it goes.

Firmenlauf 2019

Finally, the triathlon season is over, and I can start to run again. I am getting the inkling in my legs to run more, but I don’t have many miles in my legs at the moment.

With this in mind, I wasn’t expecting too much from the 2019 firmenlauf. I knew that no one in TRON would be close to me, but Peter Lang would be starting and I’d like to beat him to be the first from TRON/BioNTech.

I jogged to the start in town and that served as my warm-up. I had anticipated that I would run about 18 mins, maybe a bit faster as my best time inbreeding course is 17:06 when I was in marathon training and last year with anemia I ran 18:05 or so.

I wasn’t allowed to walk into the front of the start pen, even though I knew almost everyone who was there. I met Robert and we went to the back and pushed our way to the front, what a waste of time! Later when Lukas and the other real fast guys turned up, they just ignored the marshall and walked to the front, much more efficient.

I was thirsty before the start but felt decent. Christoph, Robert, Lukas, Timo, Markus and Flo from TCEC were all there, pretty crazy, a few years ago no one else from TCEC was there. We set off and Christoph bolted out of the gate, going with the front group. I thought he was a bit optimistic and I’d be seeing him again soon!

Peter was just ahead of me, as was Robert. The first km is always a bit crazy as people set off at 800m pace and start to die pretty quickly. The rest of the race ticked pretty uneventfully away, me just behind Robert and Peter, not really gaining and not dropping off either.

I seemed to be moving well and when I was out of the curves and onto the home straight, I saw 16:xx on the watch. I picked it up a little and crossed the line in 17:14, better than expected!

I was happy with my performance but a bit disappointed to be behind Robert Peter and Christoph, although to be fair, they all raced damn well! I think the race sets me up for a run season and it’s good to know that I’m not starting from zero, in fact, my run fitness is half decent, I should be able to pick it up again pretty quickly.

Frankfurt City Triathlon 2019 – Middle Distance 2-80-20

This was to be my A-race, I would really train and go for it. Around 4:00 was the goal, I could do it! Well that was the thinking when I signed up for the race ages agon, but as you may have read in my posts this year, I suck!

I just can’t get it together so, although I would be giving my all, I wasn’t expecting the race of my life in Frankfurt. So, I went and signed in on Saturday in Frankfurt city centre with a (for basically no reason) pissed off Katja. I then headed to my hotel in Langen and she went shopping.

The race started at 6:30, which meant I had to leave the hotel in the dark and ride 4km through the forest to the start. Luckily I didn’t crash or get a puncture so all was good. I met Robert and we started pretty close to each other.

The start was rolling, the pros went off at 6:30, I started at 6:39. Luckily the water temperature had fallen a lot in the last week, it was 26.9°C last week but on race day was 23.2°C, so I was in my wetsuit. I felt like I swam pretty well, I overtook lots of people and felt ok. My arms still felt a bit full after 1km, so I tried a few strokes of backstroke, that didn’t help at all!

So after finding some legs, I got out of the 2km swim after 37 mins, not great. I took the transition far too slowly and had a 500m run to my bike. I got going quite quickly and after maybe 2km passed Lisa from work. I was generally overtaking rather than being overtaken, which is something!

The first lap is the longest, but I felt fine and my average was about 36km/h. I actually managed to increase that over the laps to about 37km/h, which was a bit better than expected, even though the route is completely flat and 40km/h should be possible.

Soon enough I was done with the bike and in T2. I felt quite alright, but started thinking negatively pretty early on. I realised that I haven’t run 20km in a single run since Mainz Half Marathon in May, and even that was a nightmare! I quickly decided to implement my run 9m15, walk 45 seconds plan from Roth 2017.

The first lap was fine, the 2nd also ok, but I knew things were getting worse. In the 3rd lap I needed the toilet, but my zip on my trisuit was broken. I couldn’t open it during my walk breaks, so I decided that when I finally reached a toilet, I would just try to wriggle out of it.

Well I tried, but I failed! I then went to a helper and asked if they could open the zip, they couldn’t. So I told them to rip it open. The female helper couldn’t do that, so a guy came and tore it open for me. After the toilet break, it had cost me more than 3 minutes!

The last lap was slow as hell and I wasn’t having fun anymore, but I got around and finished in 4h27.

Robert had had a pretty good day and did a 4:12, which he was happy with. Mark passed my on the run in the 3rd lap and Heiko had started as a pro and stayed ahead of me all day.

After the race I was done, I wanted to drop out of Neuwied in 2 weeks and really reconsider my triathlon hobby. I just suck so bad this year! The season is nearly over anyway, so I can see it out and keep on delivering crappy results, but next year either I’ll be better, or I won’t being doing triathlon!

Nibelungen Triathlon 2019

Worms triathlon is probably where I did my best ever sprint triathlon in 2017. Even though I got done for drafting, I could see the winner of the race ahead of me as I ran down the chute.

2019 is very much not 2017 though, and not to be too negative about it, I suck compared to how I was in 2017. Since my first DNF 2 weeks ago, I swam once and managed about 13 hours of training over the 2 weeks. At least I feel more comfortable on my TT bike now that I have changed the bars back, but I haven’t ridden enough to feel great on the TT bike yet.

There has been a heat wave over the last few weeks, so as expected wetsuits were not allowed for the swim. That is a bad thing for me! This week we had a very strong team, Michael, Basti and Timo are all very strong and Robert and I are fairly similar athletes.

So after waiting around for hours, the race finally started at 12:10. I felt like I was near the back from the start, but I could see Robert almost all the time and swam on his feet for a while before he seemed to veer off to the right, so I kept on straight. I wore a new pair of Swedish goggles, which immediately filled with water and I struggled to see much, hence the swimming on feet! I got out of the water just behind Robert in 14:08, not a good time.

I overtook Robert after about 1km of the bike, but after about 3km he overtook me again. I felt comfortable in aero, but I still wasn’t fast. I had to let Robert go as I couldn’t keep pace, I swear I used to be quite good at triathlon! I kept on at my pace, passing a few people but I wasn’t flying.

Less looking, more riding!

In T2 I managed to overshoot my parking spot and had to go back, costing me a few seconds. I shouted a comedy – I hate triathlon – to the masters team who were cheering me on. On went the shoes and I was off on the run, slightly worried after my nightmare in Zell. Fortunately this time I could run, and I actually felt like I was running well.

I overtook people pretty constantly, but I counted that Robert was about 40 seconds ahead of me at the start. I was very slowly catching him, but it was going to be tight as to whether or not I would catch him. The course has changed in the last couple of years and the run isn’t very nice anymore. We run over a bridge, around a loop and back over the bridge, it’s hardly scenic and very windy and up and down.

On the 2nd lap, I was definitely much closer to Robert, but as I came back towards the finish area, it was clear that I wouldn’t catch him. That means I would be the Streichergebnis, the one who doesn’t count in the team score, as Michael, Timo and Basti were all minutes ahead of me.

So, after a DNF last time out, this time I wouldn’t count in the results, it’s quite a season I’m having. I was shocked at how bad my bike time was, and I will really try to get a lot of kms in before Frankfurt City in 4 weeks.

This result also means that it is almost certainly my last race for TCEC, as I’m not allowed to start in the 2nd team and all of the best starters are available in Neuwied, meaning I should be left out. I’m moving to Berlin in Autumn, so won’t be around next season for the league races.

I might sign up as an individual starter in Neuwied, just to compare myself against the others and for fun, but if my training doesn’t go well, I’ll just leave it be and go out with a whimper, not a bang.

Mittelmosel Triathlon 2019 – DNF

I had dreams of grandeur going into this one but it ended up being my worst race ever!

Zell am Mosel is a lovely little town, very picturesque and normally a good race too. We would swim in the Mosel with the flow of the river, so it was 2km swim instead of the normal 1.5km in an Olympic triathlon. The river was really slow though, I reckon it was more like a 1.8km swim, which doesn’t exactly play to my strengths!

This week the team was completely different again. Michael was back and Heiko B and Stephan J were filling in the 1st team, with me and Robert starting again.

After a walk along the river to the start, the race was finally underway with a mass start. The river is fairly wide, so it wasn’t aggressive like last week. I felt like I was swimming well at the start, but I realised that I was probably too far to the side, whereas the fastest stream is in the middle.

After what felt like an age, I saw the sprint start to my side, so we still had 700m to swim, damn! It all went ok though, and I was 2nd out of the water in TCEC, well behind Michael, with Heiko B and well ahead of the others.

In winter I messed around with my bike, I angled the tri-bars up so that I could get my head lower. It is really uncomfortable for me though, but I have been trying to get used to it. I set off on the bike in Zell but after 1km I was already out of aero and riding on the top-bar.

Heiko passed me, which isn’t normally the case. Then when we hit the hill, which was a bit of a beast, Mt Barlo, Stephan S came past me like I was standing still! I tried to take it easy, an Olympic is much tougher than a sprint and I could catch him later on the run.

Finally, I was on the descent and back on the flat, but that was only lap 1 of 2. On the 2nd lap, I caught Heiko again before the hill, but Robert and Uli caught me, that means they were way, way faster on the bike than me.

After the bike was finally over, I decided to put on socks and really go for the run. I was confident of catching everyone but Michael on the run. I set off and almost immediately was paralysed. I had a really bad stitch and couldn’t breathe. After 400 slow metres, I thought I should walk and try to let it pass.

It didn’t pass. I jogged slowly and it hurt like hell. I jogged very slowly and it was still dreadful. I knew I couldn’t run at all, so I would have to walk and make sure that we had 4 finishers. I hadn’t seen Stephan J at all and even after walking for a long time, I still hadn’t seen him. I knew that if he had dropped out, I needed to finish no matter what, even if it meant walking 9km.

Luckily Stefan was still in the race and passed me after about 2km. I walked to the end of the first lap and dropped out. It’s my first ever DNF and not something I am proud of at all. I feel like I let down the team, even if I had run well, it wouldn’t have been a good race, but this was just a nightmare.

As soon as I got home, I started to change the set up of my bike back to being a flat bar, as it used to be. I just can’t stay in aero with my arms in a slight praying mantis position, so it had to go asap.

Baumholder Triathlon 2019

The 2nd race of the season was in Baumholder. Where I hear you ask? Yes, Baumholder, it’s about 15km south of Ider-Oberstein. If you have to orient yourself using Ider-Oberstein, then you are in the middle of nowhere, and so it was in Baumholder.

It’s actually a nice little town and it works very well for a triathlon, as there is the lake which is just about big enough for a sprint tri, a hilly bike route and the run around the lake.

We arrived nice and early and were all ready to start. The team that started in Hachenberg was decimated, with only Peter starting for the 1st team again. Timo was subbed in, along with Robert, Stephan Schweiger and me.

The 2nd team were all between 16-18 years old. That’s not normally a problem in a sprint, but today the bike course was 26.5km long. They announce 45 minutes before the race that no one under 18 years old could compete, as it is too long. All in all 11 kids couldn’t start, someone from another team even cried!

As a compromise, the organisers shortened the bike course to 20km (22km actually) so that everyone could start.

They also changed the advertised swim. It was going to be 600m, but advertised at 750m, they added a short out an back to make it a bit longer than 750m and a real boxing match at the start.

Baumholder Triathlon 2019

So we started. It was really aggressive, I was hit and kicked and people were swimming all over the place, even with only 45 starters. After 200m it got much better and we had to swim once around the lake in an anti-clockwise direction. Sighting was difficult as they had different colour buoys. There was also an almost invisible rope that we had to swim around to get to the exit, I didn’t know it was there so it cost some time.

But the swim was over and I was just ahead of Robert, with Peter and Timo being miles ahead of me as expected. I took my road bike as I wasn’t sure what the best choice would be. It was advertised as 410hm over 26.5km. That’s hilly! It was also raining on the way to the race, so I wanted the disc brakes, even though it actually dried out completely before we started.

I rode ok, but think I made the wrong bike choice. I was overtaken by a good few people, especially on the flats/downhills. Robert came passed me after maybe 12km, but I managed to stay with him, even overtaking him on an uphill, only be overtaken again on the next downhill.

We got into T2 together, so I followed Robert. He ran into the wrong row of bikes though, so I did too. I decided to dip under the bike hanger and get my shoes, but the ref saw me and told me to go back out and around, that cost me quite a bit of time.

I set off on the run maybe 20 seconds behind Robert. He seemed to be keeping the gap pretty steady to me, but after 1.5km the elastic snapped and I caught him quite quickly. I passed him near the end of lap 1 and could extend my lead over the next lap.

Baumholder Triathlon 2019

At the very end, my guts started to feel really bad, but luckily it was only a 4km run, and I was done before it got bad. I crossed the line as 3rd in our team and 19th in the league, nothing great, but ok.

Overall I was satisfied with my day, my swim kind of sucked and I think if I had been on my TT bike I would have been faster, but who knows!