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Bean and the black card – how unlucky? « Caroline Koll's Blog

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Bean and the black card – how unlucky?

So last weekend I headed off to the luckiest town in the whole of Germany, to do what was intended to be the luckiest race of my whole season. While this blog is actually dedicated to luck itself, it is the race story itself that made me realise that luck is a happy thought, but actually does not exist to the same extent that fate does…

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Glucksburg, which directly translated means “Lucky Town”, is to be found in the northern most point of Germany, a stone’s throw from the Danish border. An excellent adventure I thought! I just had a good feeling about the place, and thought where else would I get the opportunity to go THERE!!! So, it took two trains, two planes and another 3 trains to get there, but I arrived with my battered bike case in Lucky Town expecting this to be my big break weekend.
Ok, so the weather was bit shit, but that’s not bad luck is it??
Go and register for the race, oh so happy-go-lucky, after all this is going to be great!
Sign in and realise that I have got race number 13 – ha ha! No such thing as bad luck…my Mom thinks that number is not exactly recommended, how silly! Found some electric pink socks at the expo (just like Erika’s) and decided that they would now be my new “lucky” race socks!
Saturday. I go and check my bike in and have a look at what is on my shoe – a lady bug! In German culture the lady bug is considered lucky and is often depicted on such greeting cards. Super! It is going to be a lucky day!

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So race day dawned, I managed a decent sleep without THAT dreaded dream of not getting my wetsuit on in time, and so, was ready to go. I was first on the beach, warmed up in the chilly waters of the Fjord feeling like the luckiest girl in the world (which I am). Race organisers had put in place an army of American Football players (helmets and all) to prevent the field from “creeping” into the water. Unfortunately, one did not realise that I come from the country of the world’s best rugby players, and he was unlucky enough to go for a bit of a swim!
Swim went great, stayed with the pack of top relay swimmers and came out the water first in the women’s race – YIPEE!!! I am so lucky, now we must just fight and hang on…
The bike course was a 6 lap leg biter with many, many turns, accelerations, sharp bumps and gusts of wind. So now I am thinking how lucky I will be if I manage to hang on to this lead…
Lap number 2, have a string of age groupers and relay dudes sitting my wheel – strange that they would actually WANT to sit my wheel? After about 20k, the wheel sucker directly behind me suddenly jumps out and cuts in front of me (I nearly hit the gravel), and as luck would have it, just the moment when the Ref pulls up on the motorbike. Bean gets flashed the black card – oh dear! What on earth does that mean again?? Black is not a lucky colour, it means an 8 minute penalty in this race. Try arguing with the Ref, knowing that I am just in an unlucky situation … Nope. That’s it girl, you’re not going to negotiate your way out of this one, first EVER card, boy that is unlucky! I think not, it had nothing to do with luck.
So, we served our time, cold, wet and shivering for 8 minutes in a prison reserved soley for the unlucky. Rest I did, re-focus I did, hope that my luck would change? – No. I headed out on that run harder than ever before – with no luck to count on, only heart and energy. In 5 laps I hunted everything in my path, eating them up one by one, charging by in my lucky pink socks. In the end I crossed the line in third place, rather lucky some would say?

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Moral of the story is that I no longer believe in luck. Luck like hope will not win you races. I have not yet won an Iron race, but am slowly replacing luck with perseverance, persistence and patience. Not as simple as luck I am afraid…

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