70.3 Germany WIesbaden (1.9 / 90 / 21.1) 6:14:10 [Results] [Certificate]
Swim - 37:48
T1 - 4:23
Bike - 3:17:17
T2 - 1:34
Run - 2:13:07
M40: 167th out of 273
Male: ???th out of ???
Overall: 944th out of 1547
They call it the toughest half day, and tough it certainly was.
Because of the 70.3 label and the race hosting the European Championship, everything was done by the rule book. The race briefing lasted for 90 (!) minutes before I made my way to the checkin area and swim start on Saturday, which was almost 20 miles away.
An early start was needed on Sunday morning. Why a half-distance has to kick off at 7am remains a mystery to me. The swim was in a relatively small lake that includes quite a number of turns plus a short exit after two thirds of the distance. The M40 was the biggest group again which resulted in the usual nonsense throughout the swim. I struggled to find a proper rhythm and got out of the water about 2 minutes slower than expected. T1 required covering a distance of 700m, hence the slow transition splits.
Off we went on the cracker of a bike course with almost 1500m of climbs. I managed to keep it easy on the first third, before the rain started. Nothing heavy, but enough to make the downhills a bit more challenging. I really felt the benefit of having ridden the course 3 times prior to the race, as I overtook a lot of riders on the last third. I reached well over 80 km/h on the last long downhill into Wiesbaden. Apparently, the pros hit almost 110 km/h - total and utter madness.
I was almost 3 minutes ahead of schedule when I started the run and was optimistic to beat my 6 hour target. The run course is 4 laps through a nice park. It is never really flat; nothing serious, but enough to make finding a rhythm difficult. The same holds for a lot turns and changes of the surface. All was good until km 7 when all came to a halt and I started to walk. I just couldn't get myself to run through the pain barrier. I realised at the start of lap 3 that 6 hours is not doable which resulted in even more walking breaks. The result was a half-marathon personal worst.
A great event with a very tough bike course. Would I do it again? Maybe to get the daemons out of my system.
Lesson learned: Improving the bike at the cost of running and the lack of bricks doesn't really improve things at all. My running has to get better again. Not sure where the mental block comes from as I can torture myself on the bike any time. Plenty of work ahead after a well needed rest. 6 weeks until Elbaman!