Triathlon – Finally Raceday again
Hello dear KickAss friends, Dani and Fia here. Today we’re going to tell you together about our first races of the season. We both were at the start line of a triathlon together twice in the last weeks. How we fared after a rather long break from competitions, you can read in our race report.
July 07, 2021
Start at the Challenge St. Pölten
St. Pölten, 06:30 a.m., 8 degrees outside temperature, 16 degrees water temperature. Nervousness, tension but also a lot of anticipation are in the air. The starting signal for the first triathlon of the new season is about to be given, under strict Corona conditions, but we both don’t really care. The main thing is that we can race again.
Swimming in before the start is not allowed, so we try to warm up with dry runs and easy jogging. To equalize the field of participants we jump into the lake with a rolling start. Dani and I position ourselves quite far in front to have to overtake as few participants as possible. The special thing about the swim course in St. Pölten is definitely the approx. 200 m long shore walk between the two lakes where the swim takes place. I come out of the ice cold water after 33:41 minutes, Dani follows me after 36:15 minutes into the transition area.
Fia © Niko Malleczek
In order not to cool down completely on the bike, we both decided to put on another layer over the one-piece suit. On the bike I couldn’t find my usual rhythm because of the cold and had to reduce the wattage that KickAss Sports Coach Flo had given me. Dani, on the other hand, was really pushing hard on the time trial bike and picked up one competitor after the other. Including yours truly. During the overtaking process she shouted an encouraging “Aufgeht’s Fia” to me and the small, fast Munich woman was gone. But that was not to be our last encounter in this race. On the last third of the bike course Dani had to serve a bitter five-minute time penalty and I passed her again. She quickly shook off the frustration about the time in the penalty tent and flew towards the transition area. After 2:38:53 she put her bike down. I am also satisfied with my time of 2:41:11 under these weather conditions, but I also know that there is actually more in me.
But first it goes on with the half marathon. The course is fast and the weather at meanwhile 18 degrees – just perfect for running. Dani started her run in 1st place and finished in a fabulous time of 01:18:29. With this performance it is not surprising that she wins her age group 18-24, becomes second fastest age grouper ever and also has a faster finishing time than some professional women. My final run also went much better than expected and I was able to improve my previous half marathon best time from 1:43 to 01:36. I can clearly attribute this huge jump in performance to training at Kickass Sports. Especially the work on running technique paid off. In the end I have a 7th place in AK 25-29 in the result list and a 14th place among all agegroup women.
What a great day in St. Pölten!
Next stop: Challenge Walchsee
Gripped by euphoria, we both registered for the next Challenge race without further ado. Exactly four weeks after St. Pölten, the Challenge Kaiserwinkl-Walchsee took place.
The conditions of the two races could hardly have been more different: 30 degrees outside temperature, 23 degrees water temperature. One lap of swimming in the crystal clear Walchsee, two laps of cycling on one of the most beautiful routes in triathlon with many narrow roads and peppered with a few meters of altitude. The run course is also very different from the course in St. Pölten: Four laps, frequently changing surface, two climbs per lap. Definitely not a fast course, but a damn nice one.
Since the ETU European Championships were also held at this middle distance, there were many different starting groups. It started with the professional field of men and women at 08:30, followed by the participants of the age group European Championships on the middle distance and the Aquabike competition. Only after that the participants of the open classification were allowed to enter the water. It was a bit questionable why all men were allowed to start first and only after a short break all women. In our opinion, the division according to performance would have made more sense. In the meantime the clock showed almost 10 o’clock and the sun burned more and more from the sky. Already after 10 meters of swimming the first breaststrokers had to be overtaken and the swim course developed into a slalom course. Dani and I both had a relatively good day in the water and could jump on our time trial bikes after 30:24 min (Fia) and 33:51 min (Dani). The technically demanding bike course with many small climbs suited both of us perfectly and we were able to catch up with many of the men who had started in front of us. Dani worked her way up to second place in her age group and I was still in a good third place.
Fia © Niko Malleczek
No mercy at the half marathon
160 meters of altitude had to be mastered on the final 21.1 km and in addition, the course gave hardly a spot of shade. But all this didn’t stop Dani to show again a top running performance and with her split of 01:23:23 she put all her competitors in their place. The final time of 04:22:31 meant.
- 1st place age group 18-24
- 1st place Agegroup Overall
For me the final half marathon developed into a real duel. After the bike race I was in 3rd place and started the run. There I was impressively overtaken by a female competitor in the third of four laps. I am proud that I didn’t bury my head in the sand and continued to try to keep my pace. I was rewarded for this 2 km before the finish. I could see from my bib number that the current third-place finisher was running in front of me. So I bundled all my strength and passed the Italian on the last climb of the day.
At the finish I was happy about a half marathon time of 01:40:11 hours and a 3rd place in the age group 25-29. The final time was 04:42:40 hrs.
With a good tailwind we start the preparations for the next races.
For Dani are on the plan:
- Challenge World Championship in Samorin in August
- Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Utah in September
For me it’s a small training camp in St. Moritz before I want to attack the podium at my home race, the Rothsee Triathlon.
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