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Challenge Kraichgau Half Iron Distance tri

Race report from the Challenge

The Challenge Kraichgau is the first local race I actually trained on the course. The Chicago Triathlon - yeah, it was local but riding on the Lake Shore Drive by bike for training might not be such a good idea.

So, on Friday I did the package pick-up, strolled over the race exhibit, got me a nose clip. Saturday Martin picked up his relay package, I delivered the Challenge Cake to the DLRG (visitors need cake, too, and different than last year my car did not get destroyed in the process) I also tried to have my private chip checked but they didn't have a reader so I just trusted it wasn't broken (it wasn't) After that I checked in the run gear, bike and helmet, to my Bavarian Official colleagues.

Pasta Dinner at home (although they supposedly had good Pasta at theirs, but going there with three boys...

Off to bed only to sleep badly, wake up at 6:00, leave house with the rest of our stuff by 7:00, and arriving at the parlking lot at 7:15-ish. I set up transition and right when I was done, and was on a porta-potty, a major downpour started and I considered staying in the porta-potty. I didn't, though, but went to look for Martin who had rescued my stuff from the water. He was like a sardine in a can with lots of other athletes in the changing tent, and when I spotted him I went there, too - just another sardine - wait - sardines are fish and don't mind...

Around 8:30 transition should close but they announced the start would be moved by half an hour. It was thunder and lighning - almost right over us and I had a nervous young lady athlete next to me scanning her iphone and reading from every weather forecast she could find. Almost everybody's optimism started to fade by the news. Another push - the start was now supposed to happen at 10:00 sharp - this time with a 10 (instead of 15)-minute increment between waves. And - voila! - the skies opened (somewhat) and the weather was now grey but lighntning-free. We could start. By then many athletes had heard or read weather forecasts for the day and jumped off the boat/race. I went to the start, together with all the other yellow-swim-cap-cladded athletes. Ours was the second wave. Hell's Bells music playes and a real cannon announced the start of the pros and first athletes. Then we all got the same treatment. The water was luke warm - nothing of last week's panic about temps in the low 50es. One almost could have done without a wetsuit. 46min later I was out of there again - almost no navigation challenge - and went to get my bike stuff and then my bee bike.

My, this course is hilly (as I already knew) but there were quite some areas where one could let it run. I took about half an hour more than in Racine 70.3, but that's the steeper and longer hills on the course. And it's only almost 2 years that I moved from flat-as-a-pancake Chicagoland to here.

3.5hours and then it was running time. Quickly through transition, off to run - eh - walk at first. My legs really were crazy, although I had not totally exhausted myself while cycling. I could have saved some time but had the run in mind - tha also is super hilly (no big ones but six times over the same one.) With the second round (and after a potty break) it went easier and with the third I was super-glad that the finish was in sight. And - yeah - there was the red tent I had passed twice before - and this time I could go into the finish chute, get a medal and a shirt and bi a proud first-time finisher of this amazing race! Yeah!