Triathlon again !So, triathlon again ! Quarter Iron-Man, in Sieraków, near the city of Poznan in Western Poland. One of the most popular of the country with close to one thousand starters !
I decided to go from this year a bit deeper into this sport. Yeah, the previous ones were fun, even on the flat ! I have my own road bike since half a year, a real swimming suit that I still need to deserve, and I trained all winter. I've got some good fellows on a very similar level to mine I need to beat, plus lots of other folks I know more or less were also going to the event.
So with Julen, who also decided to go in this sport, and registered for his very first one, we reformed the Basco-Gasconian team. His Polish girlfriend went with us in the same car. There we met Lukasz and Maciej with who we shared the same bungalow, and spent a funny evening preparing the bikes and the night.
By some bad luck my throat was soar since a couple of days, my wife recommended me not to start, but oh well. I waited too long for this date.
The swimmingThe start was given at 9, but in 3 waves separated by 10mn. They split by numbers, and as the ones who registered the latest had the highest ones, we almost all of us started in the third one. Kind of pity, there was not the same "electricity" than at the start of the first wave, and we spent all event overtaking slow folks from wave 2 and even few times wave one.
This start was given from the shore and not directly into the water like some others. We all ran, walked while paddling with hands as long as the depth allowed, and finally swam.
This was my first swim ever with my new suit, which I eventually regreted. Despite of intensive swimming trainings all winter long, the first half felt strange, and I swam out of breath. Later, it went better, and I caught a good pace. My orientation went also better than the few catastrophic open water swims I did so far in other triathlons, only a minor issue reaching to widely the first turn.
I finished the 950m in some 19mn. Well, that's a real improvement compared to the previous times.
However, the transition took me ages. The only walk till the bikes, uphill to the bike park on couple of hundred meters, took forever, and removing the suit revealed to be unexpectedly difficult. Seven minutes...
The bikingThe biking of this Sieraków triathlon is really delicious. It is not a mountainous area, but the road is doing pleiny of undulations, some portions are bloody fast, some are invisible uphills that brake you down. The wind was blowing aside on both directions of this bean-shaped loop.
My bike was pumped with 8bars, I had the areo-bars on the handlebar, and the biking felt great. I overtook people all way long, without almost being overtaken, and at the end my average speed was over 35km/h.
My second transition, contrary to the first one, was quite fast and satisfying, parly due to the extensible boot laces I had bought. It took me some two minutes.
The runDue to the biking ending on some slight uphill, I could not really relax during the end like preconised in triathlons in order to start the run well. Another mistake was that I drank excessively during the transition. I felt heavy and sick at the start of the loop, and did not run very well the first few kilometers.
Eventually, it improved a bit and I caught a good pace. The run revealed itself more a cross than a flat run ! Lots of uphills and descents in the forest, on sandy ground. Ending on the shore of the lake where we swam, and going up again more or less the same kind of uphill we had before the first transition.
The loop was quite fun to do, and beautiful. The 1/4 folks had to do it twice for making the ten kilometers. My second loop went much better, I felt my tempo growing and growing. I really felt tiredness only in the last uphill. Then I tried to sprint, without really gain of time. Final result 2:36, and a great fun.
Quarter Ironmen are to repeat. On a flatter one with shorter transitions, the two hours and half are within reach. Next year perhaps !
In the meantime, I have two other triathlons planned this year: a mountainous half-ironman, and XTerra in Germany !