After Frankfurt the next goal was the European and Dutch championship long-distance triathlon in Almere. The plan was to start 2 more races in between these, but we eventually decided to completely focus on Almere.
After a good trainings period and 2 “small” races as a speed stimilus (3rd place in 2nd Bundesliga and 4th at national championship sprint distance) I was readly for my third full this season. I prepared myself that this race would be different from both P.E. and Frankfurt. There would be a smaller group of top athletes, which meant I would have to do a lot completely on my own on the bike.
Unfortunately it was not really my type of weather
Unfortunately it was not really the type of weather we Scheltinga’s like. Cold and rain, that is not wat we were made for. The entire morning it would rain. That doesn’t bother the swimming fortunately, so that went well. The first round I was in the lead, then someone took over and I continued in 2nd place. Eventually, I was able to turn quickly at the last buoy and exited the water first.
In transition I put on a thin jacket as I tri-suit alone would not have been sufficient. On the bike I took the lead and got into a pace that works well for me. That is how I got to the 1st place from kilometer 1 on and it became a lonely and long ride. The constant rain and wind made it nearly impossible to feel strong. I tried to keep the pace up and not think of the cold, that was the only option. After 100 kilometers a Danish guy passed me, I had to let him go immediately. I knew I didn’t have the legs to keep up with him. In strong comparison to Frankfurt and South-Africa, where the cycling went well, here I had zero strength. I started to fear the marathon.
Despite the weather my bike time of 4:25 was not so bad.
There was not much left to do than just continue, and that is what I did. Eventually I was happy to get off my bike and change the position I was in. Despite the weather my bike time of 4:25 was not so bad. On the run I could catch a nice pace and it felt relatively strong. I started to hope that the guy in front of me gave too much on the bike and that I could catch him on the run. I also knew behind me there were some strong runners, so I tried to keep the focus on my own race and pace.
It became rougher and started to feel like surviving at last.
For my doing I was on schedule, the first half marathon I ran in 1:24. Nevertheless, 3 fast guys caught me. The run became rougher and started to feel like surviving at last. The last loop my strength was nearly gone, but I created a big gap on the number 6 so was save and finished 5th overall. I was really happy to become Dutch national champion long distance in a time of 8:12:37 and a marathon of 2:55:37. Especially given the conditions, it is nice to know that appearently it is not necesarily going to be a fail whent he weather is like this.
That was it, my 3rd full; completely different than the other 2, but definitely a reassurance that this is my thing. Really happy with my marathon after suffering on the bike. Maybe this is actually the biggest “win” this season! Because I definitely won from myself.
Thanks a lot for all the cheering and the nice messages after the race! Who was there in Almere: you have definitely screamed me through the rain across the finish! 🙂