My triathlon career began at this race. You can read all about my first ever triathlon attempt here: http://www.dennismijer.com/?p=99 Two years later, I am back at the same beach. But first things first, preparation!
As this is my first triathlon of the season, I started gathering my stuff the evening before, to be sure I had everything. This saved me the searching for my championchip on race day.
Just before 10 AM my dad and his GF arrived. With the four of us we would head down to the starting area, which is a 30 minute drive from here. Packet pick-up was smooth as a whistle. Even though it was crowded, there was no line. I simply had to tell my bib and show my NTB license (Dutch Triathlon Association). With that I received my packet, containing a swim cap, stickers with my bib to label my bike, of course my bib, and some flyers to promote clothing and gadgets.
I sorted out my stuff, and set up my T2 area. Just like two years ago, T2 would be on the 400mtr track. T1 and the race start was a 3km walk/bike ride to the beach. I was short on time, so I quickly racked my bike, and put on my wetsuit. Even though the water was around 19-20 degrees according to the sign, I, together with around 95% of the competitors in the OD race, opted to put it on. Just as I entered the water for a warm-up swim, the announcer kindly requested everyone to leave the water, and prepare for the start, as we had less then 5 minutes before we were released.
In traditional fashion at this triathlon they played Carmina Burana, to get everyone pumped up. You could literally see everyone getting into their zone, mentally preparing for the 2-3 hours of agony they were going to put themselves through. As the last notes played, the horn sounded, (no cannon this year, as you can be seen here: Huizen 2012
Talking about motivational music!
They say the swim leg of a triathlon is a contact sport. If you doubt this, you should’ve been here. Arms and legs where flying everywhere, tapping your feet, hitting your legs or back, or even kicking your arms and face. No damage was done to me, although I did spot someone’s timing chip flow around within 50 meters of the swim. Besides this there was the occasional weed bush to wrestle through. All together this gave me a hard time on the first lap. The second lap went a bit better, but my time said everything. Around 31 minutes to complete the 1500 meter swim.
Onto the bike it was. In T1 I probably had the best spot you can be in. Here are my paint skills to proof it. The green line represents my bike.
This was my first race where I practiced with my shoes on my bike, to put them on while cycling. The first shoe went very well, the second…didn’t. As straight out of T1 we started on a slight incline of the bridge, it made things a bit worst, but eventually I got my shoe on, and was off.
In the bike leg things were going well, I felt really good and my pacing was better then ever (as cycling isn’t exactly my best leg).
Below is a short video impression of the bike leg. (Hint, I am in the video as well, you see me getting passed within the first 6 seconds). I would be cycling a few 100 meters behind him for the remainder of the bike leg).
An hour and 13 minutes later I arrived at the dismount line. However, this line was earlier then a few years ago, surprising me. As I already took my shoes of I was braking hard and tried to swing my right leg over my bike (mistake #1: I never practiced dismounting like this) to dismount. Now things went quickly, my leg got stuck behind my water bottles (mistake #2), knowing this wasn’t going well, I firmly grabbed my steering wheel, (mistake #3) as I was still breaking, the tightening of my grip == harder breaking. My front wheel decided to lock, launching me in a summersault straight into the bushes. My second official crash in three years. (The first one being in training: Lost & Crashed) A guy behind me rated me a 6 for my first ever summersault, let alone one performed from my bike! I quickly got up, gathered my bike. One of the water bottles got handed to me by the crowd. I picked up my shoe, and off I was. The only proof of this is me running into T2, with a shoe in my hand. As you can see below.
T2 went well. Racked my bike and helmet. Socks and shoes on, and go!
Right from the point I started running, I felt this would be a though run. My legs were burning. In the first K I had the time to assess the damage of my crash. My left elbow had minor skin damage, barely worth mentioning. My right shoulder took a blow, but seemed muscle related, no collarbone issues. The biggest problem was my left thigh. No skin damage, but it was cramping. They changed the course compared to the previous time, but the main part was the same, it was basically a massive figure of 8, so the brick of the run was a straight few k’s.
Below you can see I wasn’t in a happy place.
Things were hurting and my heart rate was off the charts. In the second lap I took a few seconds to let my heart rate drop. Then things went better.
Eventually I finished in 2.33.00. A mere 25 minutes faster then two years ago!
Bike: 01:13:46 (01:45:40)
AG: 23 / 30,
Then, it was time for the best part! Feeding Frenzy! They had all sorts of things: Currant buns, bananas, oranges, various types of energy drinks. So I grabbed a couple of each and went to collect my reward. Here I am with part of my loot
With races in The Netherlands it is common to get a finisher t-shirt afterwards. Your bib gets checked when they give it to you, so you can retrieve only one. Here you can see what the finisher shirt looks like:
Thanks for reading, and see you at the next race!