All competitors and the daily newspapers agreed in one point: the tenth annual Ostseeman Triathlon was the hardest in its history. When racing in northern Germany everyone has to be aware of that it´s going to be windy and mostly not very warm, but this time it was partly a fight for survival!
Luckily triathlon provides the same conditions for every participant due to its mass start. The fight against the waves and the storm will be the same for everyone!
Looking in the faces of some other competitors before the swim start said everything. It was not going to be a normal competition, since the wind picked up to storm strength some minutes before the gun went off… The crests of the waves got higher and higher and were flushing over already far out on the Baltic Sea, since the Sea is not very deep there. The swim was nothing but a one hour washing programme in a gigantic washing machine called “Flensburger Förde”! I was happy that I did not puke, like about 1/3rd of the 800 competitors, but became Sea sick. After I got out of the water after 1hr and 2 min in fourth position I was so dizzy that I crashed in the first corner just after I jumped on my bike. Fortunately just some skin off, bottles lost and chain down, but nothing serious. So back on the bike for a quite slow first 30k loop. It took about half an hour before I was able to ride the corners not mother like any more…
But than cheering of the fantastic audience in Glücksburg (20000!!!) pushed me over the bike course! I think I even overpushed a bit, but I wanted to take the lead as early as possible to make sure my main competitors get the massage that I want to win again quite soon. I paid for this effort already in the two (of six) last loops on the bike. But I´m very happy with my bike split of 4:33 at a day with 60 to 70 km/hr winds. It seems that my bike leg is getting more constant and is not so unpredictable any more J! Like a deja vú of the last year I once again had a 5.5 min lead over my toughest competitor Horst Wittmershaus and unlike last year I felt already exhausted on the first k´s of the marathon after cramping during the last loop on the bike, which is not the best condition for a fast run. Obviously the swim in the washing machine and the bike leg with storm and cold conditions cost a lot more energy than normal and I had to pay for it now during the run. But once again the amazing crowd in Glücksburg carried me over the marathon! Thank you so much! At the last loops I wasn’t even able to give a smile back. At the end I was just thinking: “don’t walk, keep running!”. And I wasn’t the only one suffering from the hard race conditions. Even though I was slowing down at the End I could extend my lead to 14 min!
After a very tough day that has been affected by high waves, wind up to storm strength, a crash on the bike and four wasp stings (three of them within 15 min!), I´m super happy that I was able to defend my title “Ostseeman” and north Germany long distance champ.
Everything had not been possible without my survival tool in the water, the 2XU Project X:1 wetsuit, the bike that even parts the wind, my cervélo P4, my fast avia running shoes, the best saddle in the world from cobb cycling (more about the saddle in a later blog), thebikeboutique, luis garneau and 3T!
A big thanks to the spectators in Glücksburg, who are one of the most important reasons why Ostseeman is such a hearty and charming event! It was overwhelming to race in such a great atmosphere, since everyone no mater if 3 or 90 years old supports the event! A thank you very much to the hearty person behind the Ostseeman Triathlon, Reinhard Husen!
Special thanks to my family for supporting me 100 % at any time! At the end of the day it looked like my wife did the whole competition too, because she was not able to eat anything during the entire race…
And as I wrote in a recent blog: The own children cheering is the most powerful weapon in a race!!!
Last but not least my second victory is a result of the perfect training conditions in a team like teamTBB! It´s really pushing forward to train with so many world class athletes.
I think I have to come back to Ostseeman Triathlon next year to earn the title “Mr Ostseeman” like Mathias Klump and TBB´s Joseph Spindler who both won the race three times!