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Ironman Copenhagen - Part Zero - getting there

Race report and how is RVing different in Europe

This is a first. Not my first Iron Distance race, but the first time we were able to combine vacation and race so we had some time before the race and some time after at exactly the race location.Also  a first renting an RV in Europe. We'd done this 2011 in the US for Ironman CdA, but since then not.

Monday the 18th in the evening we could pick up our rental RV, pack everything but the kitchen sink (it had one - but essentially nothing non-fixed like plates, cutlery, pots and pans, bed sheets etc. We raided our house and packed the stuff into the RV. Not like the nice one we had three years ago in the US, where we got everything inclusive. That's how it's done around here.

So, house empty, RV full, off to the long drive North. We had decided that we won't make the whole thing in one go, for it's about nine hours to Copenhagen, so we drove as far as we wanted to, and then stopped on some parking space along the highway and went to sleep. First surprise - not enough current in the outlet to make tea in the morning. OK, I could have used the gas stove but why then had I brought the water cooker. Or in short - no generator in the RV. They don't do this around here.

Next day, after a hot drink for the five of us picked up at the gas station, we made it all the way to Danmark, used the Scandlines Ferry, had some food on the top deck, enjoyed the few, and made it almost to Copenhagen. Almost, just because I had booked the lot only for a day later. We slept at another camp ground in Faxe, which really was nice.

The next day we only had a couple of miles to Copenhagen. So we took it easy, checked in, enjoyed that camp lot which is located in a defense bunker area from WWII. People were sightseeing all around the site, and we got a nice large lot (I had picked the largest available one online) They provided everyting, hot showers, washing facilities and more (like the camp ground in Faxe did as well), only here the water was charged on a cart - we maxed this one out with our washing endeavors, just because we were there for a longer than usual time, I guess.

We had a couple of days until the race so we took it easy, visited Copenhagen's aquatic exhibit (blaa planet - fish and other maritime critters), went downtown for packet pickup, went to the swim start area, explored the public transport system of the city which btw consists of  excellently coordinated trains supporting bike traffic. There are huge train compartments for transporting bikes. They even have bike stands in the trains. And seats right next to then - I really want this for German city trains...

On Saturday I rode my bike to the swim start for the checkin.R., a man who also had an RV at our campground rode with me - we both had the same plan.  Martin took the train  and the Ironman Checkin-Blue/Red bags and we met there. My cleat decided to lose the rubber-surface (LOOK makes them like that so it's softer to walk but they don't click if it is lose) For they didn't have a replacement at the bike service and for I managed to get it clicking in by removing the rubber part completely, I decided to use it as is.

Like I was supposed to, I also checked in the bags - interestingly one was allowed to wear the bib either at bike and run or only at the run. Just like in US-races. Saturday evening. Pasta time. Like always just before a long distance race. Me somewhat nervous - for me it comes and goes - some of the time I'm calmer than anyone, some of the time my stomach cramps and flutters. But the good thing is - you have signed up so there is no way out. Or at least no rational way out. OK, off to bed and getting ready for the big day.

R., R's wife, and P, all wanted to get to the swim start in the morning so the options were to take the train and start by 4:00h or to collect book a taxi and start by 5:00. We decided the latter, and the lady at the reception needed to call three taxi companies until she found one able to supply a minivan. And said minivan arrived absolutely punctually at 5am in the morning.

Arrived, we all took care of the bike set-up, of the nutrition fixed at the bike or in the bento box, and then just waited around for the start. For me this Ironman race is the one with the shortest cut-off time I ever signed up to - by using a wave start I had exactly 15h45min to finish. Everytihing else I did, has 16 or 17 hours. And there had been three of the 6 completed Ironman races when I was over 15:45.  (No wonder I started to do those races in the US)

Well. Close to the swim start, the pros got their "go" signal, then the guys over 50 years and then it was to us ladies. The atmosphere was charged and ...   ...   finally there was the signal. Off we went.