ADIT 2012

ADIT Short Distance (1.5 / 100 / 10) 4:29:44 [Results[Certificate

Swim - 33:52

T1 - 3:39
Bike - 2:56:31
T2 - 3:23
Run - 52:01

M40: 58th out of 119
Male: 237th out of 522
Overall: 238th out of 666

After some shenanigans with the bike at Frankfurt Airport, I flew out to Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening to be picked up from the airport by my club mate Uwe around midnight. Luckily the bike arrived safely, but the box took quite a bit of a battering - I think this might have been its last trip.

We got up early on Friday morning to go for a quick test swim before breakfast. Less than 5 minutes drive away, we had access to a nice beach as part of a (very) posh golf club - perfect training conditions. This was the first wet suit swim in over 5 months and I didn't feel right after little sleep and no breakfast. Less than 5 minutes in the water I had a flutter that lasted for about 30 seconds. Not good. This was followed by another just before getting out of the water. My first thought was not to start the next day as I perceived it too risky to have a flutter in the Arabian Gulf… We then went for a quick 30 minute test ride on the bike to make sure everything is working.

The rest of the day was filled with the usual pre-race obligations: race pack collection, purchase of CO2 cartridges, bike preparation (incl. a flat tyre), check-in and checking out the transition area. We also had the pleasure of driving Sylvia Felt, one of the female invited pros, round the bike course. This was rounded up by a perfect carbo-loading session and packing everything for race day. I didn't sleep well at all, subconsciously worrying about the swim.

When the alarm went off at 4:30am, I was in a complete delirium, but had decided to race after all. I would take it really easy during the swim and avoid anything that could trigger another flutter. Quick breakfast, drive to the start, bike preparation and transition setup. There was only a single transition area, separated by gender, and everybody had a numbered hook and a chair. Fantastic.

The start was delayed by 30 minutes and we watched the pros go off. It was my turn almost 2 hours later. Good time for some last preparations (read: visiting the loo multiple times) and do some relaxation exercises. The wave was only 200 people and I started right from the back. I avoided any collision and took it very easy indeed. Orientation was quite easy. First turn: the tallest flag post in the world, second turn: 2 exposed skyscrapers, last turn: finish. The time was very slow - I didn't even take a Garmin! - but, I managed to get through without a flutter. I have also no recollection being hit by the chap ahead of me when getting out of the water:

On to the bike and out in the dessert. The course is, apart from a couple of nasty bridges, almost flat. The wind was relatively kind, but picked up towards the end. After a third of the distance, we had the pleasure to go round the Yas Marina Formular One course. Great fun. At the half way point, my speed was still very good and I felt that this was to be a good bike split. And so it was. 34 km/h on the training bike isn't bad at all (the Plasma wouldn't fit in my bike box).

Now the run, my other Achilles heel. Because of a meniscus tear I had run about 20 miles in the last 8 weeks - this doesn't even count as preparation and I had no idea whether the bandaged up knee would hold up. By this time temperatures had risen to about 28-30 Celsius. Warm, but much milder than expected. We ran down the Corniche, passed the Emirates Palace hotel and turned at the famous flag pole.  The run was much better than expected. I slowed down every time I felt a niggle and got through without any issues.

To my surprise I even finished sub 4:30. Not only that, I felt great. After receiving a nice medal I went straight to the buffet, which was the best I have seen in a while. Tons of local dishes, fruit, sweets, and drinks - exactly what I needed. We then watched the pros from the long distance come in before checking out our gear. A perfect day was finished off with some perfect steak and a drink in the roof top restaurant of the Yas Marina Formular One hotel.

Lesson learned? Leave the Garmin at home and don't panic. Not so sure about racing with little training and an injury, though. 2 weeks to go until the knee surgery and then we see how the rest of the season goes.

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