Last year I participated in the swim-run as a team. It went way better then expected, as you can all read here. This year would be different. My teammate from last year indicated he couldn’t make it. So I opted to participate solo. Just like last year there were two distancens:
– Short (500 mtr swim, 4K run)
– Long (1K swim, 8K run).
The long distance was my choice. I left work a tad early, to beat the traffic. When home I had a tiny dinner and got ready for the race. The strange thing with a swim-run duathlon is the fact that you barely need any gear.
– swimcap (supplied by organization)
– running shoes
– number belt
And you are all good to go! It gave me the feeling I forgot something though, but I didn’t thankfully.
The setup was the same as last year. Number pickup in the bar of the swimming pool, and transition just outside. There would be 5 lanes, with 4-6 people in each of them. This had a little surprise for me. With number pickup, they didn’t ask everyone’s expected swim times. Thus there was no organization in matching people’s speed in the same lane.
The overall message was: pick a lane you like, but keep in mind, the faster, the further towards the outside of the pool, as they would be leaving the pool first. Then, it was a divide and conquer between lanes. Everyone would wear a different coloured swim cap to make counting easier.
I opted for lane 4, as I knew there were faster swimmers then me. But to my surprise, lane 1-4 would be PACKED. Everyone seemed to (over)estimate the others, and opted for a slower lane. so I switched to lane 5. Indeed, 1 of 2 fastest lanes. I got joined by 3 others. 2 of which I know really well, as I swim with them twice a week, and both swimming my pace. This proved to be good.
Then it was time to start the race. The only other guy in my lane always swims away from me, so I took 2nd place in our “train” to slipstream of him. This went rather well and I could maintain this up until around 800 meters. The final set, the lady from my club passed me to push the pace a bit, so I could draft on her. She would only do the swim portion, so she could afford to push hard. The last lady in my lane turned out to be a bit slower, we passed her twice, but it gave no issues in the rotation.
Swimming went well, I completed the 1K in just around 17 minutes. The exit towards transition was near lane 1, so I had to run a tad more then most, but it was mere seconds.
For running I chose to put socks on, as without them I start sliding and run blisters. Normally no issue, but then I have the entire bikeride to dry. Trying to put socks on with wet feet is a struggle, but I took the few extra seconds to put them properly. Then I was off to run, my favorite part!
My position in the race seemed ok. I could see only one or two guys ahead of me. I kept running my own pace, which sadly wasn’t as fast as last year, but still ok. I passed the faster swimmer from my lane, but got passed by three others.
The 8K was divided over 4 laps, with a nice turnaround point to see what is going on behind you.
I loved the run, even though not alot happened. The temperature was good (even though the wind was a bit chilly) and I finished the race in around 52 minutes. Not to bad! When done my watch gave me some information.
– Fastest 1K
– Fastest 1M
– Fastest 5K
Pretty happy with that as my training intensity was increased from January onwards.
Here are the full results for the long distance:
This weekend I will be heading towards Barcelona, so till soon!