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IM AZ or "Holyday´s in the US"…

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Here I am back again from the desert at the stormy and rainy southern baltic coast. Both landscapes have there own charm, but right now I´d prefer the desert ;-) . It has not been very warm in the US (even some nights under 0°C in Joshua Tree NP) but at least sunny all day long.

Now some words about the race. Or better not, maybe later…

Climbing in Joshua Tree National Park after the race was really cool. I think there are enough routes to climb for an entire lifetime. And if you walk 100m away from the road you are even totally alone, since most Americans don’t want or are not able to walk more than 100m from their car.

We spend Thanksgiving Day up there in the park and from 9 in the morning every picnic area was totally overfilled with cars and several thousand mostly “big” people who spend the day at the BBQ. Since my friend got sunstroke I used that day for a long walk in the desert and did not see one human being all day long. That was an amazing experience to walk through this very special landscape with the Joshua trees and so many different kinds of cactuses. As I wrote in my Thailand blog, I´m not the best friend of snakes, so I was very cautious not to disturb a rattlesnake. But fortunately in this time of the year it is much to cold for them and they don´t leave their burrows. After that long walk the BBQ in the evening was even better!

Also the travel back to Phoenix was kind of special. 250 miles just straight on the Freeway 10. That would be half through Germany. Just two small towns did interrupt the desert landscape.

Concerning the area phoenix is the biggest city I´ve ever seen 60 miles from east to west and more than 30 miles from south to north!!!

Ok, now its finally time for some words about the race. They say you learn much more from bad races than from good ones? So I can proudly say, I´ve never learned so much in a race…

It was for sure the worst I´ve ever had. There are week moments in every race, but I had to fight to see the finish line already very early during IM AZ.

This F*§)”ed up day began with a flat tire before the race even started. That was a very stressful situation, since I wanted to save my spare tire for the race I tried to get a turbular tire from the bike service, but they had just clincher tires. So the solution was a spare wheel from the bike service. I don’t have to say that it was´nt even close to the performance of or campy wheels…

The swim felt actually good and I have no idea why I lost 11 min on the leader?! I think one reason might be that my group swam a bad line that was much longer than necessary. On the bike it got even worse. My stomach was not able to keep any nutrition after I began to take the first gels. It went like take a gel and some water an puke for three or four times and then I decided to do the rest just with fluid nutrition, which meant coke and perform drink, which was not even half enough of the energy I needed…

My stomach did not get really better but I decided to battle it through, since it was the last race of my season. I ended up with a 8:59:58 and 29th place at last. But I´m proud that I´ve seen the finish line at Nov. 20th! Just try a little morning marathon without breakfast to have an idea what it was about ;-) .

But thanks to everyone supporting me during the race and in the preparation and of course our fantastic team sponsors! I´m sure that without the best material I would not have seen the finish on that day!

Now it is time for some rest before I get ready for a smashing 2012 season!!!

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