I started my European trip with 70,3 IM St. Polten. I arrived there on Thursday morning, after sleepless flight over the night from Johannesburg via Zurich. When I waited for my luggage, I found out that my bike is still in Zurich. Ok, not a best start.
But since this time everything got better. I had accommodation in really nice hotel in the centre of St. Polten, organized transfer from airport and even my bike arrived with next flight. In the evening my dad came from Czech republic to help me and watch my race. About this I was really happy because it was already long time since he saw me racing and I know that he is my biggest fan. I hoped to have a good race also for him. I think it was only second time he left Czech republic and travelled abroad and I know that he was very nervous about this trip and driving so long way (450km).
Time before the race was flying and suddenly it was Sunday morning and I was standing on the pontoon, ready for start. Yes, start was from pontoon! Luckily only for pro athletes. But still it was more then 80 athletes on the start, men and women together. Oh well, I though I was used to this start from ITU races, it should be ok. No it wasn’t, all the guys were diving and starting faster then me so I found myself in the middle of field getting hits from all sides. Luckily after first buoy I got some more space for swimming and slowly but surely started passing some people. But with this swimming trouble didn’t end. In St. Polten they have a specialties and it is swimming in two lakes with about 300metres run in between. During this run I was passed again by some people. Swimming in second lake was finally good and just before exit I caught second pack with all the favorites and came out of the water as a first girl.
Then I spend long time running around changing tent in first transition, looking for female enter and lost quite lot of time. When I finally jumped on my bike, all the guys I swam with were gone. Yip, lesson for next time, look properly in transition area before the race! Cycling part was in really nice nature. I tried to push from beginning as I knew there were some really speedy runners behind me and I wanted to come to second transition with some advantage. Just my legs wasn’t feeling strongest and after 30km my long time friend from ITU circuit Eva Dollinger caught me.Bike course was mostly flat or rolling hills with two big hills, second one after 60km, 10km long and I would say quite steep and hard. I was bit worried about this hills because climbing was never my strong point. But it seems to be changing and I started to feel better and stronger during this uphill and I was able to push. I finish bike still as first lady with Eva right behind me.
We started running together, shoulder to shoulder like in old ITU days. And we run like this for whole first lap (10km). I felt really good and I was actually enjoying this run. I was aware of other girls not far behind us. Especially of Sandra Wallenhorst one of the fastest runner in long distance triathlon. She finished bike only 1:30 minutes behind us and unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Sandra passed us after 10km. I tried to run with her, but after few meters I had to let her go. Eva wasn’t able to speed up at all, so I was left alone on 2nd place and hold it till the finish line. I finish only 1:20min behind Sandra, with my so far best halfmarathon 1:24. I think I can say my running is improving a lot and I am sure this is still not the end.
I am really happy about my race in St. Polten and I am looking forward for my next races Challenge France in two weeks and IM Klagenfurt beginning of July