Last Sunday I was racing Ironman 70.3 Haugesund in Norway. It was my second time racing in Haugesund and I was very motivated to improve on my 4th place finish in 2012. I knew the course from last year which is helpful due to some technical passages on a smal coastal road. As I wrote last year, the course in Haugesund is one of the most beautiful race courses in the world. Even though the weather on race day was not what most of the athletes hoped for there were once again so many spectators cheering! Not as many as last year on the bike course, but I think that was due to the rain. During the run the weather got better and the crowd got biger and biger every time I passed the finish area. It was just a pitty that the sun did not come out before. The afternoon was perfect, but by that time most athletes were on the run course already .
It was once again a perfect organized race. Even though you try to find something there was nothing to critizise. There is just one thing I do not agree with. I don´t think that a former drug cheat should be invited to the press conferece. The entire triathlon comunity should leave such people unnoticed. They should not get any attention of anyone!
Unfortunately my race went not like I hoped for. It was pretty cold before the race started and it began to rain some hours before the start. The two days before the race the weather was just perfect. Not warm but at least sunny and about 18-20°. The swim felt good with my new Huub wetsuit. On race day the rain did not stop before K60 on the bike. It was not too cold but still uncomfortable. I was riding alone most of the first 50 K and then got caught by a group of 5. From that point on it was much easyer, but stil cold . At least it felt like being in a race again. But after all I did not loose as much time as I thought. Fillip Ospaly was far away on his way to his second title but a group of 3 was 6 min away and another group of 5 or 6 guys was within 4min. I knew that my run improved a lot compared to last year and hoped to catch some of these guys for a top 5 result. My legs felt good at the begining of the run and I ran just under 3:30 pace for the first 5-6K. The pace did not feel to fast but suddenly within 500m my legs started to cramp. Not just in one muscle but almost everywhere. It is just frustrating to put so much work into training and then not to be able to run faster than in an easy training run. At the end I finished the race in 9th place. I´ll come back next year and I promise I´ll sort that cramp issue out until then and run much faster! I was really impressed of Ritchies 1:08 halfmarathon. That was one of the fastest half marathon runs in history of triathlon! And the course was not to short, it was measured to be exactly 21,1K. The half marathon course in Haugesund is not easy as well. It is quite hilly with some cobblestone parts.
My next races will be Ostseeman Triathlon and Cologne 226 Triathlon which are both full iron distance events. I normaly do not have that much cramping in longer races, therefor I am very much looking forward to defend both titles!