I found out about an olympic distance triathlon in Taunusstein a while back, and decided to give it a go. It's not a real olympic distance as the swim is only 1000m (in a pool) but the cycle is pretty hilly, so it looked like a good training event.
I met up with Jochen this morning at 7:30 to head over to Taunusstein, we got there in good time and could check in and watch the jederman race and the sprint start before the olympic started. I had forgotten my HR monitor, so don't have any HR data for the day, a travesty I know, but what can I do. Jochen started at 9:30, so I watched his swim, a not great 22:20. Then I got into the water. There was a bit of discussion in our lane about who wanted to swim at what pace, it turned out that only me and 1 other thought we would go sub-20 mins, so I took the lead. I was hoping to swim 18mins or less, and having started and leaving the other 5 in my lane behind, I felt like it could happen. The swim went by quite quickly and easily, and I jumped out to see an 18:34 time, a bit disappointing but no nightmare, 3:45 ahead of Jochen.
My transition was decent, I found my bike easily and got my stuff on easily enough. I went sockless and didn't try a fancy flying mount, so it was all standard. I started passing people pretty quickly on the bike route, especially as it went uphill from the start. The other TCEC guy there – Jörg Zech – was a better swimmer than me but I caught him near the end of the first climb. Someone came past me like a train on a short sprint hill, I thought that he was either awesome, or an idiot, I passed him a few mins later and didn't see him again, so I will let you decide which he was! My recce from last week paid dividends a couple of times when going around corners leading into steep climbs, I could get into gear in advance and have a good flying start.
There is a really steep hill which was tough, I reckon at least 15% for a few hundred metres, but I got over it in my bottom gear at 400w, then overtook a few more people, 1 of whom had passed me on the downhill when I was busy messing up the corners. It started to get a bit quiet on the bike, I was riding really well and after passing a girl and a guy on the last big climb, I didn't see anyone else, so I started to think I could possibly be in 1st place. I got over the last hill and kept the pace up on the slight downhills that followed, right at the end I managed to undo my shoes and get my feet out for a faster dismount, though not yet flying. I put my bike on the rack but couldn't see my shoes. I was a bit confused until I noticed that some cock had put his towel over my running shoes, what a dickhead, I wish I had thrown his shoes away in retrospect, but I didn't.
I headed out on the run. I had seen that there were 2 bikes already racked, and no one entered transition while I was there, so I seemed in a solid 3rd place in my start group. I was worried about my run as I haven't been running enough, so I feared a 42m+ 10km run and was also a little worried that the girl I had passed would be really fast on the run, but I started off well. I asked the helpers how many were ahead of me, 2, disappointing. The course is 4 laps, the first half is against the wind and goes a little uphill, the 2nd half is with the wind and downhill. I liked that route as it is hard work followed by an easy rest downhill. My GPS said that I was running 4:05/km after the first lap, I thought that would naturally fall to slower than 4:10/km. After 2 laps my pace was actually faster, but I was also disappointed to see that my time was 18mins, so the course was way shorter than advertised. The last 2 laps went by pretty uneventfully, no one passed me, I lapped or double lapped lots of people but didn't catch either of the 2 ahead of me that were for position. Lots of people were saying to me that I looked like tit was very easy, I had to say something like, "it doesn't feel it!" but actually it wasn't the hardest run ever. My pace actually increased on each lap, and to be honest, I could have gone much longer at that pace on that course.
I ended at 36mins, pretty happy with my day, even if it was only an 8.9km run. My swim wasn't perfect but decent, my bike was good and my run stronger than feared too. My time was 2:05:11, about 5mins40 ahead of Jochen, meaning he lost almost all of it on the swim! I was 5th overall, with decent gaps to the top few, the winner did 1:58:28, swimming 1 min faster, cycling 6 mins faster than me and running a few seconds slower than me. My Swim was 25th, Bike 5th and Run 3rd from the 57 entrants, lots to do still on the swim. I need to swim 16 mins to get a top 5 swim time.
I got my medal for 3rd in my age group and went home happy, but not too exhausted. No races now until 16. August, so the next 2 weekends will be big training weekends, I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing anymore!
Next up Merzig City Triathlon Sprint.