Sunday I was racing the inaugural Green Hell Triathlon. It is definitely a race that is worth to be called “epic”. In addition to the 2550 m of elevation during 99 km on the bike and 400m in the half marathon the conditions were really hard with just 15°C and heavy winds. Green Hell Triathlon is a very special race with the bike course taking place on the “Nordschleife” which is kind of the most popular motor sport racetrack in Germany. There was a race on Saturday and the noise and speed of the cars was really crazy! Thousands of spectators came to the track and every second seemed to drive a Porsche, Maserati, Lamborgini, Ferarri or something related. Everyone of them seemed to be a wannabe race car driver which made my easy 1hr pre race loop on the bike really, lets say “exciting”, because bikes on the road seemed to be strange for them.
On race day I had a good start in the water, thanks to my 2XU wetsuit, and lost just 3min on Per and less than one minute on another little group of favorites. I started the bike course quite conservative because I was not sure how my climbing skills are. I rode the three loops on the racetrack with exactly the same time (+/- 10 sec) and found myself in second position just 30 sec down on Clemens Coenen in transition two. All of the others did slow down significant at the end .
The motorcyclist with the camera guy accompanied me during one descent and told me afterwards that I rode 108 km/hr in that downhill… That was definitely a not needed information because it was in my first loop and I had to do that downhill 2 more times!
The half marathon was unbelievable hard after such a bike ride. I was running side by side with Per from km 2 to km 6 and had to stop suddenly because of some really nasty cramps. The second half of the run was affected by the fact that I ran totally out of energy. But I think a 1:18 HM with 400m of elevation is still not to bad. I´m happy to have finished the hardest half distance race in the world in second place just 90 sec behind Per who fought strong for another impressive win! Congrats to Per!
The race was perfectly organized and there were always people with flags who showed the dangerous parts of the downhill sections. Also the feeling of riding on a racetrack was awesome. It was built for speed and you can feel that in the downhill serpentines! Especially on a cervelo bike which is also built for speed! I found a nice video on youtube from a porsche gt driver who rode the 20,8km loop under 8 min (with a maximum speed of 280km/hr…)! I needed 30 more minutes on the bike . The first 1:50 of the video is the formular 1 racetrack which was our run loop. It was quite helpful to watch this video to get an impression of the race track since it is normally closed for cyclists.
Now I look forward to Ironman 70.3 Haugesund on July 8th!