Last Sunday the Ironman Austria in Klagenfurt or my declared season highlight was on the schedule.
On Saturday morning before the race I had a moment of shock: during the last bike ride before the race I got a flat about six kilometer away from my accommodation. As I did not have any fixing tools with me and I definitely did not want to change the tire, I had to walk the whole way back without shoes. It was not funny at all but I kept thinking: Good that this happens today and hopefully not tomorrow during the race. Another lucky coincident was that it was not that hot and walking on the asphalt did not hurt too much.
Hopefully I was not even a little bit nervous the days before the Ironman. This did not really change on Sunday. I was just happy that finally the great event was near and all the hard work pays off.
At 6:40 in the morning the pros started their race and at 6:50 the age group race was started with a rolling start (for the first time in Klagenfurt). At about 7:00 I went into the water and my first long distance triathlon was on.
Already at the beginning I had a very good feeling in the water. It was easy to swim and it felt pretty fast (for myself). There were almost no fights in the water. Sometimes in between and of course at the first turning buoy but this was because of the rolling start and the fact that some athletes did not place themselves at the correct spot (which time they are able to swim).
The way back to the Lendkanal was pretty though because you hardly could see anything. If you concentrate it was possible to see silhouettes of the buildings and th trees but not much more – just like the coach, Markus Ressler, told us.
Even with this circumstances I was able to find my way to the entry into the Lend Kanal without huge indirections. After 1h and 3 minutes I came out of the water and into the transition zone.
Things worked great for me in the transition zone and I had no problems. So I started into the first of two 90 kilometer bike laps nearby the Wörthersee. At the side of the road there were a lot of people who made a fantastic atmosphere and pushed every athlete forward. At the Ruperti Berg a Trialize delegation pushed every athletes upwards that difficult part of the course.
Shortly at the beginning I missed my special need bag because I wasn’t really prepared for it. After that my chain felt off the chain ring and I had to stop to put it back on.
Now everything went good again, beside the rain that started and held on until I was in the transition zone again. The rain and another break on the Ruperti Berg (for personal need) was the cause why the second lap was a bit slower than the first one (2 hours and 38 minutes).
During kilometer 12 a recognised that my plan might not work out as expected, at least my marathon plan. I still tried to believe that sub 10 is possible and also tried not to think too much about it. But the last 20 kilometers were horrible I walked through the nutrition zones and ate a gel everywhere. In between the stations I tried to run but still with a slower pace than 5:00.
Thanks for everyone who pushed me forward on the bike and on the run. Congratulation to all the finisher I think it was not easy for anybody.
Many thanks to Laura and also Pascal for the great pictures. Now it is time for regeneration and getting focused onto the next events and goals.
Further results can be found here.