My good friend Luke McKenzie once called me the “rain man”. As every race I showed up it seemed to rain. Not a good thing for me, as I dont like cold and wet races at all. My body just does not function the same way in those conditions.
But the last 2 weeks showed it once more. Freezing cold and rainy conditions at Voralberg Triathlon. A great revival race in Austria. In the 90′s it was famous for being one of the toughest triathlon events out there. Then it disappeared and now, about 10 years later, it is back there. And I can say, it still is a real tough challenge. The distances changed a bit. it is now a 1.2km swim / 102km bike / 12km run. But the bike course starts in Bregenz and ends up in the mountains. in the ski resort of Lech. which means, the course is super hilly and towards the end you climb up a 15km mountain pass. Followed by a 12km trail run up at altitude. I got off the bike in second, but due to wet and cold conditions, my back was completely locked up. I nearly didnt get up those mountain trials. I finished 4th at end. which was ok after a big week of training.
Only 6 days later I was on the start line in one of the european classic half distances. The Gerardmer XL triathlon. A challenging half distance race in the Vosges mountains. I ended up racing in the coldest conditions I have ever raced in. the temperature dropped down to 6°Celsius. Conditions I think more of jumping on my snowboard then jumping in a mountain lake …. well, it was the same for everybody. so why complaining. and like my TBB team mates, I made sure I covered myself up in as much warm clothes as possible. which ended in the slowest transitions times ever. I was out of the water with the lead pack, but lost 1minute on them in the transition. so it took me a while to catch them again. After 90km I ran out of transition in 3rd place. I showed improved running form, but it was not good enough to hold of a flying Dave Dellow. At least DD and I didnt end up in a sprint finish this year.
Now this period of training races is over. it is not always easy to go to a race knowing you are absolutely flat from the training you have done in the days before. But when you finish still strong, then you know, it will be so much easier once the legs are a bit more recovered.
I am looking forward to race the epic Leadman Triathlon in Bend,Oregon on September 22 now. The distances look very interesting. A 5km swim / 223km bike / 22km run. It will be a different challenge in an amazing area. I cant wait to explore it and give my very best on race day.