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Ironman Copenhagen - Part II - the bike

My raw, chafed neck only hurt for a little bit more time on the bike. For the outside temperature was under 15 degrees (I think), and for rain was in the air, I wore a wind vest and some sleeves. I had thought putting on the sleeve-bolero would be easier than single sleeves, but this was not the case. They stuck on my wet skin as anything and it took as much time.

getting onto my bike

Well, bike shoes on. Helmet on, race bib on (I wouldn't have had to, but decided to) took much too long for it, and off I went.Actually, the temperatures were perfect. 

The course in Copenhagen is flat, with the highest elevation being 70 meters. I had interpreted this information, the course elevation map, and the course video (all in six minutes at ) to mean, that there are no hills at all, maybe a bridge or two, kind of like in Kalmar.

Once one had passed the city, passed the campground in Charlottenlund we were camping at, and went somewhat further North - these roads all being wide and smooth - eventually came a left turn away from the seaside, and then it got a bit more technical (turns) and even a bit hilly. I really love that course because while it is flat, there are a few downhill passages included where I could stretch out my legs. No such thing in Kalmar. It was not a lot, but enough to make a difference.

Right at the beginning I noticed that my beautifully working  (and reset) speedometer from the previous day had decided not to work. My suspicion was that the magnet was disaligned due to collisions with neighboring bikes, but I did not want to stop and went by feel. For me it always is a risk because later in the race I tend to slack down and keep my speed only by checking end re-checking on the speedometer. Also I use the clock on there for my nutrition, So what I had left, was my timex watch. Which I used the same way.

 For nutrition I had two waterbottles - one with isotonic drink, one with water. Also a couple of gu packages, an oat king bar (including raisins), a cliff bar (white chocolate macademia), a package of peanut butter/honey mix, and a couple of small things. Plus my secret weapoin - a PB-jelly sandwich.  On course I deleted the sandwich in two gos, two gu, half the oat king bar, most of my drink, half of a second drink bottle I grabbed on course, and several bananas (they gave out whole ones at one aid station - the peels really taste icky, but I got it open. Without littering - which, btw, is a DQ there - as well as in German Ironman races)  The only thing missing was salt. I really did not figure that with low temperatures one needs it too - or I thought one needs what is in the isotonic drink and no more. I was all fine on the bike, though, did not get nauseous like in some previous races,

There was one place with enormous crowd support - they were all lining up along an incline and we rode through a path between the spectators. Pure tour-de-france feeling, just without the drafting.

At Charlottenlund the boys were waiting for me, greeting and cheering. They had slept in somewhat and just had to walk out of the campground. 3636 riding

When I came by the campground for a second time, Martin had made his way there, too, and waved together with the boys. I had been looking forwards to seeing them. Just before Charlottenlund there is a cobblestone area and I was shaken thoroughly.

One potty break at about half time and then start to the second round. They provide special needs service in Copenhagen - not all IM races do this anymore. Yet, I did not find S.N.-bags in my gear, but I found out later, that they only had them on demand. Well, I didn't demand any anyway - but it's a service good to have. 

The wind had picked up a bit at the up-North part of the course, and it actually came from the front for quite sime time. Gratefully not on the passage back into the city - there it was coming somewhere from the side. Wind had slowed me down quite a bit in Kalmar last year, when the last 30km back to T2 were all against a headwind - The Swedes seemingly designed their race that way. Yet, this doesn't mean, Copenhagen is easier...

The second time at the hill with the Tour-de-France-feeling,  I painfully noticed that I am in the back of the pack. People had gone home. But some, few kids made up for a lot of it and cheered us up the hill.

The second time, just before I hit the cobblestones, quite a lot of rain started to pour in. We had followed the predictions for a couple of days and the expected rain was why I wore wind protection. I just was a bit more careful on the uneven ground, but pushed on until I was in T2, curious how my backbone would reacto to the cycling. I had been in aero position almost all of the 180km, just sat up on the upwards slopes, and for eating and drinking. So, after I encountered some pain in the beginning of the run part in the Challenge Kraichgau I wasn't so sure with the double distance.

Ending up in T2, downtown Copenhagen, I removed the vest and replaced it with a jacket. Due to the air temperatures I had packed the jacket from the Chicago Hot Chocolate race, with the stitched cup of hot chocolate in the back. Motivation for me. And motivation for those running behind me.

Again, I took much too long in Transition. Putting on socks, shoes, jacket - much too slowly. As in T1 there were no helpers with this, but I could throw everything at the floor and pack back up - for me that's still the fastest way.  Shoes on. And on I went, out of transition into the Run. Only a Marathon to go...