Challenge Roth – Part 2, the run

So the ride wasn’t as good as expected, looked at my watch, just under 6hrs. I was thinking, for F sake I have to run a marathon now, how the heck will I do that? But now that I think about, not quite sure what my problem was, you don’t ride 180 k without it hurting, and while I was slow, I was feeling fine. Looking forward to getting my shoes off, my feet were killing me.

The ladies in the T2 were really helpful, they help take things off, and put things on. Though transitions tents were communal which was slightly weird, not that I get changed or anything… And quite frankly was in my own little world, so wasn’t paying any attention to what was around me.

So started on the run, and it was hard, after the 1k, there is a slight incline for over a k, I just thought, take it easy and keep going. After 3 k, you turn onto the Cannel track, which is a nice packed surface, and started to feel OK… Saying good would be a little far…. We then left the Cannel to run through a little village. It was slightly mad down there, there was also a lot of kiwi and Swiss flags lining the road. Then my knee started to hurt, exactly the same as Taupo, except 10k early.. Crap of F’ing crap… Never had it during training, so not sure how to get around that one.

I think the knee being sore along with just being tired just mentally did me in and the run-shuffle walk started. It was slow and painful going. We returned back to the Cannel. The run is a T shape with loop bits at either end. So you get to see people running the other way. Just before 30 k you get to the other village at the other side of the T, and it was completely bonkers. The crowd is everywhere and lots of music, smoke from BBQ and people lining the street with beer (ok this was a common occurrence across the course) There were lots of people walking by this stage, so made me feel a little better about myself.

So many of fellow competitors tried to be supportive, which was funny when speaking to me in German. I kinda got the gist though of what they were saying, some noticed the flag on my number and spoke in English. It was amazingly friendly the entires way. And so many people running along that Cannel, at some points you could just look along and see the number of people snaking their way through.

Finally got off the Cannel to make the final 6 odd k through the town. The “bier mile” is at about 2 k to go. You are running over cobbles… Not the easiest at this stage, and you have heaps of people lining the course, or sitting at the pubs etc. the last k, I swore to run the entire way, and I did… The finish line was unbelievable, so many people and noise. I had a stupid team just in front of me, considered running past them, but just decided to take it easy and get over the finish line and have some space.

Got a hug from Felix at the end 🙂

Wasn’t my best race, I knew before it I was carrying too much weight to make a really good go of it, but the experience was unbelievable, and while disappointed in my time, can’t really give a rats arse, it was amazing, highly recommend it to anyone. I don’t think my description of it could possibly do it justice.

Challenge Roth 2012- part 1

How am I going to explain his one? This is no ordinary Iron distance race, this is a whole new experience… The crowds are phenomal, the atmosphere unbelievable… But I shall start at the beginning.

We had to get up at a stupid early time of 3am and left at 4am… We were still relatively early, so there wasn’t that many people around, but that quickly changed. It was amazing in transition, the music was awesome, and you could see the crowds gathering on the bridge. But it wasn’t long before the pro cannon went off, and it was a cannon and gave me quite a fright. Then it was the fast Men to go in the yellow caps. All the females got to follow next in the pink… We were let through the pen and into the Cannel, the water was fairly warm at 22 degrees. I got myself to front and centre, where I wanted to start and we were off!

There wasn’t much argy Bargy and was quickly into a nice rhythm, but I couldn’t find any one to draft off, so I pretty much did it by myself for the entire way. A couple of times my calf started to cramp, I hardly never get cramp! So I just didn’t kick very much. About 2.5 k in, I looked up and there was just a swarm of yellow caps in front. I couldn’t believe I had caught so many, they were supposed to be the very fast guys… So the rest of the way, it was just about making my way through the yellow caps.

The swim is a T swim up and down the Cannel, so it isn’t very hard to keep straight and you don’t have site very often.

Then I was out of the water, they had guys in the water pulling you up, I just let them pull me to I could touch the ground… Through transition and onto the bike, and off we go. Felt good to start with. The first aid station was a “ration point” manned by the army. It had guys saluting you before you got there, it was massively long as well, totally blew me away. The wind was blowing, not the horrible strong winds you get at home, but more wind than I have experienced in Germany the last 2 weeks. And it was tiring, apparently pros think it was 10min slower bike course than last year.

I just felt flat for most of the first lap, I couldn’t get up to a speed that I wanted. The climbs were a struggle, the course had more hills than I expected. Every little village we went through had crowds of people, and there are a lot of villages on the course, it actually makes the course fairly technical, lots of corners to navigate. At about 35 k’s was the biggest of the climbs, there was drums and crowds everywhere, you can’t really think with the noise. There were a few more climbs before we hit the solarberg… OMG I had seen the pictures, knew what to expect, but it was unbelievable, you had crawl your way up through the throng on spectators, and you just hoped they moved out of the way. Others talk about the noise, I didn’t really pay much attention to the noise just worried about getting though and to the top.

Than another 10k before we did the same lap again, almost landed in one of the army guys lap through the ration point… Not very coordinated at the best off times, and having to grab bottles with my right hand is difficult. I finally started to feel stronger on this lap, though just before the big climb, a bee got stuck in my helmet and stung me. It really hurt for the next 20min, even debated if needed to stop at next aid station to get it looked at, but kept going and pain went away.

The Solarberg the 2nd time had a few less people but was still massive, it truly a experience of a life time, to go up there. At least after that the course is mainly downhill for the 20k’s into Roth.

Run to come….

Imagine this

…..Going for a ride in approx 28 degrees, with no nor’easter blowing at you.Actually no wind
……Having a car stop behind you as you are going up a hill and around a corner, with no impatience given.
…..truck drivers giving you space on the road
…..coming across a 18 percent climb, in ironman week… I decided to not continue that climb
…..bike paths in the middle of no where, that take you to the middle of nowhere…. And take you past a field of solar panels.
…. Swimming in a thunderstorm

A brief summary of Nuremburg

So I have been here in Nuremburg, Germany for a few days now, finally over the jet lag… Here’s just a few observations…

  • It’s hot! The legs actually feel spritely running of the bike, well compared to home when the legs are just frozen… So feel good for approx 5 min, before the heat hits and I feel like going to melt
  • Pedestrian crossing don’t make a sound when green, so have been known to stand there for a couple of light changes because I am not paying attention
  • Traffic lights are only on one side of the intersection, so if you go to far (as I normally do on the bike) you can’t see the lights
  • The bike lanes are fairly awesome, but even without a bike lane the drivers give you space. Today, I was on fairly narrow road and not once, did I get the “F$&@ that was close” feeling
  • Passport control was redicously easy, and no forms to fill in… Couldn’t believe I was actually officially in the country, I’m sure NZ will make up for that when I come home
  • the pool is pretty awesome, outdoor 50m pool, which is chilly compared to home. Automatic entry system, so don’t have to talk to anyone
  • My first run here, I decided to just run up and down the river, couldn’t possibly get lost doing that right? So left the phone at the hotel. Bad idea, got super lost, and the “return to start” function on the Garmin is crap.
  • The roads are super smooth mainly, but there are cobbles scattered around Nuremburg, which makes you loose half the drink from your aero bottle
  • There is a lot of noise to be made when the Germans loose a soccer game, wonder what it is like when they win?
  • the bakeries are yummy
  • the cheese is yummy
  • lots of things are yummy, pitty I am not supposed to indulge to my last couple of days here
  • I know a few friends who would love the shopping, the entires section of the old city is a shopping district
  • There is so much Christchurch could learn from this city, the bike ways, the public transport, the shopping district… Approx same size, though not the population outside or the history. This is why a lot of us don’t really care that much about the history…. It’s so young compared to this city.
  • Christmas in Nuremburg would be amazing!