Friday, August 19, 2016

Challenge Ratisbon 2016 - race report and data

It was a long and great week-end, a good race embedded in holiday-feeling. And also, besides all the great atmosphere, the race itself was joyful and fun.


When my group jumped into the water of Lake of Guggenberg, sun wasn´t yet up. I slept well the day and the days before, and ate a lot of carbohydrates, and was really ready to rock, although I did some really hard races from spring to summer already.

The first lap all went well, and after 1,9k athletes had to get out of the water to go run 150m on the shore, for to go enter the second loop in the water 22,5°C , thus wet-suits had been allowed to wear. After some time I got an evil shock, as of my transponder wasn't fixed propperly to my left feet anymore, so I had to make full-stop and refix it under water. I did propperly, however, after another 500-600m, the stripes became loose again, thus 2nd full stop and another diving action. I felt a little panic, as of loosing the transponder I wasn't sure as of if so I would get my first DNF ever. When the end of the swim-split came insight, I felt a little relaxed, kept pacing and overtook an athlete, who did beat at my head by his left fist/hand, thus a full stop 3rd time in order to rearange my aqua-mask (swim-glases). Finally I left the water at 1:06:43 h min sec according to my own clock. I felt ok, however a little disappointed, as I wanted to go swim 1:02 or 1:03 h min. Later, as of gps- data, we found out the swim course was 4.0k. That means minus three min, minus the time I needed to exit the lake and run the 150 meters at the shore in order to enter 2nd loop.


Transition 1 went ok. I wasn`t too fast, nor I wasn't too slow. However, when I wanted to start on my time trial bike, out of a sudden my watch being mounted on the bike did quit service. I tried to repair this, but that did not work but another 30 seconds extra. Thus, with the begin of the bike-split, I had no idea of speed, average-speed, kilometres and time. 


A litte irritated I started biking. The first 13k had been flat, then came the mountains with inclinations of 15% for longer. According to tactics I kept easy pace uphill, and at the peek there came k30-sign besides the road and my watch on my left hand showed 58min. Then downhill I speeded up, bevor the hilly part of the first loop of the bike-course followed. And that went pretty well, a collegue mentioned by this pace we might be at 5:10 h min in transition-zone 2. 
Bypassing lake of Guggenberg the racers of the fun-race had been on the course, and among them I turned right to Ratisbon with them, and not into the 2nd loop! After some time one of that fun racers told me I am wrong direction! And within a glimpse of an eye I recognized he´s right! U-turn, heading the mountains again thus second loop. Had been 1,5 extra kilometers and additional time. The climbs to do for a second time was surprisingly felt easy, however it become hot, so at the aid-station at mountain*s peek, I reloaded a lot: water, isotonic drinks, I took salt, engery gel and energy food, and a banana also. 
The hilly part was still easy to do, but then, at the k150-sign, somehow I lost power, back-pain started as of so many kilometers in aero-position and I wished the run-split might start right now. So the last 30k, especially the last 20k from lake of Guggenberg to Ratisbon had been really hard. When I entered transition-zone 2 my own clock registered 5:34 h min for the bike-split, that was 184km according to my info. Officially it are 182k. So, let`s take the offical version, then plus the 1,5 Kilometers I did extra, ok, this is 183,5 Kilometers for me, right, thus 5k more then the bike-course in Roth (178,6k), and with 1600 meters of elevation not an easy one. 
What to say? When I got off the bike I was okay with bike-split and happy to have left the bike, finally. 


Then, I took my time to change shoes, and get prepared for the run-split. A good idea to take my own packegs of 1g salt each in the back of my race-suit as of salt wasn't served at the run-course. This had been a rather difficult one, a four loops course through the inner city not only. A lot of locals, tourists and fans had been there and altough as of heat it was fun to run. 


The first 10k I went 49:55 min sec, felt easy for to go the same pace the second loop, and thus at the 21k-mark my own clock showed a time of 1:45 h min. Now I started calculation: so if I could keep that pace, I would really make a good race like 10:15 h min at the end. That meant I could run for the podium in my age-group! However, as of experience, I decided to take out speed a little. And maybe that had been a fatal error! I still felt easy, so for the 3rd lap I decided to be a lillte slower then in round 1 and 2 in order to accelerate in lap 4 again, to save some power for that. To my surprise I became slower and slower! And also bad now, there hadn´t been cola at the aid-stations. On the other hand, if I had kept pacing clocking 5min/k, may be I would have burned out?  This is what is needed to be analysed. 

Anyway, it became hard, heat devastation, a lot of athletes started walking and some quitted the race. The 4th lap was pretty hard and finally, after eternities, the last 200 meters had been ahead, close to the Dome of Saint Peter. A lot of people had been in the little stadium there, and with the music I started to dance to the beat, before onto the last 30meters I spread arms to imitate a landing plane, waving with it´s wings, before I happily crossed the finish-line.

My marathon was 4:04 finally, I planned to be 20 min faster within the marathon. However, as of the heat, it seems ok. Finally the clock stopped at 10:53:01 h min sec, and I became 100th overall.

Race after was great. A lot of nice people gathered, there was a many twaddling and smiles among athletes from 32 nations, on Monday at winner´s ceremony as well.

Last but not least, ty to the organizers for everything, esp. thank you very much to race directors Tom and Sonja Tajsich for having born a perfect triathlon!!! Good luck to you for next year! (*)

-- *when this race is location for the Europian Championships along the 226k. 

splits, click image to enlarge 

!Ratisbon likes me and I like Ratisbon!

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