Report for the Antwerp Triathlon, June 23th, 2013
Since Antwerp is my home town I did not want to miss this opportunity to race on a flat course and at temperatures below the hot Lanzarote climate.
When I arrived on Wednesday it was 32 degrees and super humid. So much for well planned races. But the next three days saw a decline in temperature and rain was falling.
To add insult to injury a nice 35 mph wind was predicted for Sunday at race time.
The website for the race: http://www.antwerptriatlon.be/ is very simple but with all the needed maps and information.
The expo and race headquarters are a bit of a trip to make when you are not a local with a car. On the plus side, busses and trams are very cheap and go every few minutes.
The expo itself was a disappointment with only 2 boots offering information and Tri gear.
On the other hand, the pasta, included in the price was excellent and after a few chats with other contestants I went back home.
Sunday morning, I cycled 10 km with the borrowed bicycle and could feel it was at least 1 if not 2 sizes to small, but perfect gears and full carbon.
At the start, at 12:00 noon it was only 13 degrees and the water temperature was 20 degrees, so once we were let into the lake (it is a result of massive building of highways and tunnels) I felt at ease and relaxed. A wave start systems meant I was starting 20 minutes after the elites and they already were finishing by the time our swim started. It was only 1 km swim so I followed another slow swimmer until halfway and I have to say, it does make a difference drafting in the swimming. Pity he was not faster. At half way I passed him and made it to the end of the swim in 27 minutes, a bit slower than the expected 25 minutes but totally relax and not the least bit tired.
A long run, on mats. Did bring me to my bicycle. Took my time to eat and drink plenty and of I went. First mile flat with wind in the back, then a very long and deep tunnel before I surfaced in the centre of Antwerp, turning North. On the way out the wind was most of the time in the back so my average was 2m11 at the turning point, but then the wind and the rain started to work against me. Pushing as hard as I dared, and still trying to conserve energy I finished the cycling in 1h42 (and my Garmin showed actually 41km250) By then I was the very last to start the run and got company from 2 police men on bicycles, staying with me during the two laps around the center of the town. Well stocked and capable drink stations with water, AA energy drink and fruit did refresh me and I finished the run in 1h03.
My overall time being 3h27 which is a PB with 25 minutes. Over the moon and also a big compliment to the organization.
Count me in for next year’s race, and then without gale force wind please.
contribution by Lucas Verbist