Sunday the 14th it was that time of the year again. My first triathlon of the season. As previous years, my opening race will be kept in Huizen. The evening before I gathered my gear, to be sure I didn’t miss anything. With packing done, it was time for race day. Despite knowing the course, having started several triathlons/distances, I was nervous.

This morning me and The Girl made our way to the race. First, it was registration or packet pickup. Like other years it contained the bib, swimcap, bib sticker for your bike, and a trash bag, also labelled with your bib number.

After I setup T2, I would head towards T1 on my bike, The Girl went by car, together with my dad and his girlfriend, which just arrived as well.T1 had a surprise. As there was virtually no wind, which is very rare in this area, the water didn’t even ripple. Great racing conditions!

A few minutes before the start everyone did their warm-up.

Until the announcer called us back to the beach. The race would be a dry start.

After Carmina Burana played it’s final notes, the horn sounded, and we were off!

The  swim went ok. I tried to stay out of trouble, but couldn’t, taking and giving some punches or kicks. After the first lap I noticed my watch stopped tracking my time/distance. As the turnaround is quite shallow, you can walk a bit. Enabling me to restart the timer. It took me around 27 minutes to complete the 1500 meter swim.

T1 went smooth. Goggles and swim cap stayed inside my wetsuits sleeve, quickly strip down and stash it in my trash bag.

Belt and helmet on and a dash towards the mounting line. In the process I overtook several that completed the swim before me. My shoes were on the bike already, and unlike last year, I had no issues to put them on, despite the slight uphill.

A few weeks before, me and my Physiotherapist / trainer decided that the focus would be on the bike leg, as this is my weakest part of the race. There was barely any wind, and I was loving it! The lack of wind meant you were able to stayer, without entering the passing zone of the one in front of you. I actually started overtaking some guys. I can tell you it feels great to pass guys wearing aero helmets or disc back wheels on my “budget” TT bike. A few gambled on stayering illegally, but got separated by the officials. Eventually I completed the 40K just over an hour.

However, as I pushed the bike, the run would be tough. I changed to my running shoes. As always lost a bit of time for my socks and pushed on. I took the energy gel I stored here right at the start of the run leg. The first lap went smooth, but as the field was spread out, I didn’t pass / get passed by alot of people.

Here I am a bit into the 2nd run lap.

From this point on things got harder. I kept on trucking, but had to drop my pace a little. As there was a big gap behind me, I could afford to do so without losing any places. I won’t be near any podium finishes, but it’s still a race. Due the lap setup The Girl and family could cheer for me several times. Which always is a nice boost.

Eventually I ended finishing in 2.27 hours. Shaved several minutes of my time from last year! The bike went better, but dropped a bit more on the run. Overall I am quite happy, as I always struggle on my first race of the season.

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