Saturday, August 24, 2013

Ironman Copenhagen

So this past weekend I was on the start line for Ironman #4 for the year in Copenhagen. I have a strong attraction to this race as I had a real breakthrough performance there a few years back when I went 8hr12min.
Race week went well with no dramas like in Brasil! Tamsyn had multiple flats in her tubular race wheels that we needed to fix, but it was good practise for her, as she learnt things were not straight forward changing them. Add to the fact she got lost 2k from home and a 90min ride turned into a 3.5hr mission you take for granted when you are training in familiar locations. I think Denmark must be one of the most puncture prone countries I have been in, a few days back on a 2hr ride I passed 4 people with punctures.

Back to the race, we were all on the start line for the 7am start along with the Prince of Denmark. Last year I made the mistake of not keeping my head down when diving in and off come the goggles, well I did the same thing again this year! I need some more practise there...
Two guys, Andreas and Henrix where straight off the front and I settled into a group with 3 others including Lucie Reed my ex team mate from TeamTBB towing us around. I knew Henrix was the Kerin Doe of Danish triathlon so to hear the split of only 2.5min down was quite encouraging out of the water.

Onto the bike and the legs felt pretty good, the plan was to take it pretty easy to start with as I was expecting a big group to come up early in the ride. The group came up at about the 40k mark with maybe 8 guys in it. The ride was really start-stop and no one wanted to ride consistently at the front, I am sure we could have rode another 5min+ faster easy if we had worked legally together. I had to laugh to myself as on the 2nd lap we had age group men who we had lapped which where riding past us! Then with 40k to go one of the Danish guys Frandsen put in a big effort and split the group. I was too far back to follow but led the chase once I got to the front for maybe 15k and kept the gap quite close, but then the elastic snapped and it was back to the group.

Rolling into transition I was really looking forward to the run. I was super pleased when Jens and Esben took off like rabbits at 3.30 per k pace as I was hoping that would come back to bite them :)
I got moving at 4min ks and started clicking them off, Nick Baldwin came up to me and we ran together until about the 25k mark. I felt totally under control and was thinking I can have a big second half marathon, but then reality hit. I went from running along fine to really struggling, after a little pitstop I started to feel better at about the 35k mark, but the damage had been done and all I could do was get to the finish line in one piece for 5th place. The Danish guys up front Jens, Henrix and Esben all had super runs to complete the podium.

During the run I heard some Kiwi voices telling me to hurry up, and I was wondering who it was. So it was great to see some friends John and Kerry who have been travelling around Europe and just so happened to be in Copenhagen for the week. I also have to say a big thanks to Uffe and family for letting me move in for 5 weeks. Its a really good setup here, with a pool close by, forests to run in on the door step and some nice roads to ride on.

Tamsyn who I coach had a great race for 5th place. Some more consistency over the next year and she still has plenty of improvement to come.

Post race I have bounced back really quick. I have Challenge Almere-Amsterdam coming up in 3 weeks which should be fun. I have never raced in the Netherlands, and the last time I was there was on a Contiki trip with 30 other drunk Kiwi's and Aussies :)

Finsh Line Action

Big Screen at finish line