I’m not one that usually writes race reports. Why? I figure there is always so much pre race, race, post race talk that there isn’t really much need to go over all of the details again and again.
But this was Roth. My first Roth. And my first sub-9 performance. So I feel I should write a short story:)
Challenge Roth (and my next 2 races as well) was not on my race Calendar until May after Atlantic City and Penticton announced changes to their prize structure. These were 2 key races for me in 2016. Naturally I was disappointed and stressed about having to reschedule the rest of my year, however, the excitement of racing Roth for the first time quickly took over and I renewed my focus.
The training build up was ideal. The last 2 weeks were a bit crazy with travel, but we (Scott and I) kept it together as best we could. I have to thank Scott for doing a great job coaching me (which can be very tough at times!). He really has figured out how to train me, and continues to learn more and more as we go.
We arrived in Roth on the Wednesday before the race. We stayed with a great family in Hipoltstein who served us bier, German sausage and cheese as soon as we walked in the door. Scott was in heaven with the amount of bier on offer at any time of the day and especially one of his favourites – Hefe Weissbier. Any family that we have stayed with around the world has been so fun and welcoming, and the Freunds were no exception.
Race day came about and I felt like I was ready to put down a fast time. My training had given me signs I was capable of a 52min swim, 4:45 bike and 3:05 run. They were the perfect day numbers.
Without boring you with details –
Swim – 52min. Spot on. It was amazing to swim through the canal and see spectators following along on the canal walking or riding their bikes. And passing under the bridges that were lined with spectators.
Bike – 4:47. Only just shy of what I expected to ride – and I put that down to a bad patch at about the 3hr mark that was due to some technical issues (pretty funny in hindsight..but not really). The bike course in Roth is unbelievable – spectator hot spots throughout the whole course, fast roads, beautiful scenery and of course Solar hill. Everything you hear about the course is true. Everything you hear about the spectators and the hotspots is true. You can only experience it by doing it!
Run – 3:09 Hmmm. Where did that 3:05 go??? Being my first ironman in almost 12 months, and now looking back over the few days before the race and what I consumed on the bike, I made mistakes. I underestimated what I needed before race day, and was not aggressive enough in my nutrition on the bike. And I paid the price on the run. I know better, and now my job is to correct that.
Course wise – I was warned pre race how running along the canal will feel endless…and it certainly was. Especially feeling the way I did. Running through the little towns and past the bier mile was awesome and uplifting..even though I rather unresponsive! And getting back into town and running though the crowds at the finish line made all the pain go away. And WOW what a finish line it was!! To make it sweeter I had my homestay in clear sight to give me a high 5 as I ran down the finish chute. An almost perfect day!
Then of course you have all of the post race festivities. Felix wins the table run again – but he has a close competitor. Will Stef Hanson (Witsup) knock him off his winning streak next year???
Roth you win…I’m addicted to you. And I will be back next year!!