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Ironman Kraichgau 70.3

race report

Another day, another race - for this is my home race around here I could see the preparations in the neighboring village - everyday the number of tri related items increased, village . workers all over the place depositing fences, electricity, traffic signs, etc. Also triathletes in the lake Hardtsee - I almost collided with one - both of us crawl stroking along without frontal vision.  The roads crowded with bicyclists with the sports typical headset and disgruntled car drivers lining up behind them for passing doesn't work at every part of the roads.

Well. There it was - race weekend. First time the Kraichgau Triathlon was under the label of the Ironman company. Last year they'd already organized the race but it still was a Challenge family titled triathlon. Meaning, last year we got backpacks made by Ironman brand with the logo of Challenge printed on.

All together - no difference. The orga team probably was the same experienced crew who'd always done the race.

Friday we went to the package pickup. And shortly over the race exhibit, and then straight back home. Saturday I baked a cake for my Life Guards' group to sell. After checking in my bike I went to deliver it and for I got the empty container back by now I take it it's eaten.

And then Sunday. Race day. Start at 9am, our wave at 9:05, like any race fixing the transition area, waiting for a port-a-potty, having Martin take pics, making my way to the start, watching pro male and pro female start (with ACDC Hell's Bells and a really loud canon blast) and then - well, then it was our turn.

The swim went super smoothly. The Ironman Buoys were a bit smaller then last year's, so I followed the bulk of the swimmers until each time I could see the next. Navigation was super easy this time - no currents, no wind, just straight lines. After 46:30 minutes I was out of there ready to bike. I had been fighting with a weird tendon on my knee the time leading up to the race - and this always acted up while cycling but everything went nicely. On the first straight (and flat) road some guy passed me and then completely missed a traffic circle. He went flying over the center area up the step with a big salto without even trying to evade. Almost like sleeping on the bike. Well, I rode around this circle, went on, enjoyed the flatness of the first 10km, until  Wagnerstrasse. First hill. One of the kind which starts out harmlessly but gains incline. It's short, though, so - not too bad. Then Schindelberg. The notorious landmark of the race. This way round it's quite manageable. On the way back one starts noticing one's legs. 

Off to Odenheim, and into the land of 1000 hills as they call the Kraichgau. OK, not 1000 but between 900m and 1000m of incline. All the hills in a steady, easy gear, keeping my legs for the hills to come.  Gochsheim with the Tour-de-France feel. This whole village must have been out and cheering. The next nasty incline - nobody there. But mking it up there anyway. Turining around now wasn't in my plan. 

It grew hot, my odometer told me between 27 and 30C. Well, almost done, only two short nasty inclines plus Schindelberg backwards. I think I gained a lot of time since last year by having trained downhills. Well. one cannot train too much of this for there's always some traffic and I don't intend to run into cars, cows, and cats with 40kph, but I tried as much as was safe.

Yeah, off to run. And now I noticed that I had not done enough brick training. Well, I had done some but due to my knee issues not as much as I should have.  After half a round I took a potty break, after one round and the calf muscles still blocking I stretched out my legs (took me three minutes or so) and then everything went much easier.  Sometimes one needs to put in time to gain time and this was such a case.

Three rounds of 7km each, each twice passing the Ohrenberg (up and down...) and then finally the finish was in sight. Yeah!

Martin was there already - he'd been in a relay and his runner just had finished a bit before me. So I stuck around for a bit, enjoyed and complimented the little kids serving cake and water melon (nothing beats water melon after a race) picked up our gear and our car from the Hardtsee and headed to recovery.