Upcoming Races



Sunday, May 30, 2010

T.I.A (This Is Africa)

I have been in Morocco now for 24 hours. To me, a guy from a Western 1st world country, being in Morocco is like being in another planet. This is the town of Larache, where I am racing tomorrow.

The scenery is beautiful, but it is spoiled by rubbish and half finished structures.

There are bins around, but their use is unknown to the people who live here. There is wonderful architecture, but it seems people the buildings have been forgotten, and everything is decaying.

The roads and streets are filthy and in ruins, and there doesn't seem to be anyone willing to fix them.

There seems to be no employment here what so ever (apart from merchants and fisherman), and everyone just hangs out with nothing to do. People sit in cafes with no food or drink in front of them, but yet, there are ATM's around everywhere.

Even all the animals are cruising the streets, dead and alive.

I have heard great things about the Moroccan cuisine, but I haven't seen much evidence of that. All there seems to be is bread, and the fish markets. The fish markets credibility is questionable, I was told this Shark has been for sale for 2 days now.

There is seldom any police, it seems things just go by the order of chaos. I'm sure in a place like this, it's survival of the fittest. Even windshields are surviving by any means possible.

In my opinion, bliss and void are inseparable in this place. It has not been my intention to show the worst of Morocco, but to suggest that if an ITU triathlon can be held in a place like this, its evidence of how global our sport is, and that there are no limitations as to how far our wonderful sport can go.

Viva la Morocco.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Witten Wunderbar

We had our home Bundesliga race on Sunday here in Witten. With a bumper div.1 team I raced down in division two. The intensity was a bit lower than division one last weekend in Gladbeck, but I faced a whole new set of challenges this time around, perhaps even tougher than Gladbeck!

The Format:
  • 9:30AM relay start, 200m/3.8km(?)/1.6km. The 200m swim was in a temporary pool, akin to a backyard blowup pool, but scaled up a fair bit. The bike was a 3 lap technical course with a hill in it, which naturally turned out to be pretty punishing. The run was a 2 lap course which was really fast, and included 4 different surfaces; rough pavers, asphalt, lumpy grass and gravel. There were 5 starters in every team, with every athlete passing onto the next. The winner of the relay would go into the afternoon race ranked no.1.
  • 3:30PM team start. Same course, longer race. 300m/9.(?)km/3.2km.

The Outcome:

I started first in the morning relay and swam/rode/ran off the front by myself. I don't think I got a chance to look back to see where anyone else was, these are the kind of races where you have to just go for it without thinking, which I can normally do well :) I managed to get the quickest time overall of all the div.2 athletes, and our team went into the afternoon 22 seconds behind the leaders.

The afternoon race however was something very very different. I was the slowest team member going into the team race in Gladbeck, but this time I was the strongest. Consequently, the nerves were down which gave me a chance to relax and enjoy myself. We had a mixed team which athletes of different abilities, so it was always going to have to be paced to precision. I led the swim quite comfortably, and really pushed the first 800m or so of the bike. By this stage we had already dropped our weakest guy and were looking good to catch the leaders on the first few laps. I hit the bottom corner of the course hard, which goes straight into a hill. My Aussie team mate Kane Simpson had some bad luck and snapped his derailleur out of the corner, which meant we were minus our 3rd quickest guy and had to sit up and wait for Dominik, our dropped athlete. This was quite a frustration as we had to use our hands as well as our legs to get this guy around the 8 laps of the bike (see pics). We were overtaken by Potsdam and sat on them until we hit the 2nd transition. At the start of the run I turned around to have a look at the condition of my team, and Dominik seemed to have layers upon layers of caked spit on his face, which suggested he wasn't all that fit. My premonition had unfortunately already become reality, and we spent the entire run pushing him (I'm guessing 90kg frame) around. I have pictures of this below! We managed to hold down our 3rd place. I would consider this a lucky placing, considering Dominik was constantly telling us he couldn't keep going.

So another week in the Bundesliga was marred by a few mishaps, but in the end it didn't really matter, and we still finished 3rd with my win in the morning. We all had a laugh about it at the end over a beer, which was given to us literally as we crossed the line...ahh I love Germany. It was one of those days where you can put results aside, have a laugh and just really enjoy the sport.

Thanks to Jurgen Koers @ Ruhr Nachrichten for the pics!

In other news, I'm off to Morocco tomorrow morning for a sprint distance race, followed by Madrid a week later.



Sunday, May 23, 2010

Postcard from Witten

I'm still waiting on some photos from yesterdays race, so here's a teaser in the meantime :)

The view from my (toilet) window at sunset.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gladbeck Disputations

So my first Bundesliga experience went down last Sunday (for those unaware, the English translation for Bundesliga means maniacal speeds and intensity of gigantic proportions). The format was over two races, the first being an individual of 250/5/2.5, and the second being a team sprint distance race. The first race consisted of 5 heats, with a member from each team lining up for one of every heat. I was in the fourth heat. The only guy I knew in my heat was Ivan Vasiliev, almost the prettiest guy in town. I had no idea what was about to happen. I blame part of this on well, the fact everyone around me was speaking German, and the other part to my ignorance of the Bundesliga and my unawareness of the speed I was being forced to go.

I swam pretty hard, and exited the water with my mate Vasiliev. By the time we got on the bike, no one else was in sight, and I began what I thought was a solid turn, until Vasiliev came past at almost double my speed. The whole 5km of the bike I spent sucking his wheel, with occasional glances to my SRM coming in at 450watts. He would give me a few nice little pushes (like friends do) when I would try to roll past him. The run was one lap through a nice forest trail, and I think I spent more time enjoying the scenery than doing what I should have been doing. A few guys ran me down and I came 5th in my heat, which I was ok with. Later the results came back from the individual race, and I had place 29th overall, which I was not so happy with. All the other 4 guys in my team were in the top 10. As I said, I really didn't know what was about the happen, and I kind of wished I could have raced it over again once I had seen my result. Anyway, there were bigger problems manifesting.

It turns out Thomas Springer in my team had been DQ'd for an almost nonexistent rule, and our team had received a 5 minute time penalty, which meant we were out of contention for the major placings. When he was getting on the bike, someone knocked him and his bike shoe came off, which he never went back to get. Thus riding without a bike shoe = 5 minute penalty. Don't try this when your in Germany! Our team staff and the athletes were going crazy . Our team manager actually had a minor heart attack this week before heading to the lawyer to prepare a case against the DTU. It looks like we would have been 1st or 2nd if it didn't happen, so our team is hoping they can overturn the penalty! To be honest, I'm just glad it wasn't me this happened to. You can read about the indecent in broken English here http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://www.asics-team-witten.com&langpair=de|en&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=/language_tools

So in the team sprint race, we started in 13th place with our time penalty. In the team race, you are aloud to drop one member to finish with 4 team members. We swam well and rode even better. We were picking up teams all over the course. As the slowest team member of the morning, I had the duties of pulling large scale turns on the bike. This was cool though, as I need to earn my stripes. The run was by far the most intense and fast thing I have ever done in my life, and the forest didn't look half as nice this time around. I ran second in the pace line for 4km, until I faded and ultimately fell to the stigma of the dropped team man. With 500m to go I was cactus, and started to slip away. I was sitting 5m off the back of the team when we came into the finishing chute and they wouldn't let me finish the race. I was a bit disappointed with this, and would have given anything to finish with my mates! I didn't even know I could go that quick though, and it turns out our team was the quickest of the afternoon by over a minute, and even ran 40 seconds quicker than the team of Kahlefeldt, Vasiliev, Mola, Belaubre and Jaskolka. It was a great experience and I think the Bundesliga is something that will be good for me.

The next Bundesliga is tomorrow in our home town of Witten...bring it on!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Visual Expressions

Some pictures from my run this morning in Witten.

I might add that this is MY forest!

Into the nothingness....

Race report from Gladbeck will be up soon.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Positive Displacement

New home, new team.

The humble German town of Witten has some new residents for the next few months.

First Bundesliga race this Sunday at Gladbeck.

Team Witten at Gladbeck- Sebastian Rank, Nils Frommhold, Christain Prochnow, Mathias Zoll and myself! Time for some fun :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Extra Curricular 1.1

My Mum spends her days as a primary school teacher, and she loves her profession so much that she teachers the adorable little rat bags in grade 1. She is a always a little overzealous, and has a collection of magnets and other tangible items that can harbor witty slogans (these are actually given to her by the even more enthused parents). One that has been around for a while says;

     2 teach is
   +2 touch a life
   =4 a lifetime

I may not have taught her kids much today, but let's hope I have given a few kids the fire that will hopefully develop into a lifelong passion for Triathlon. The lucky kids below got to play with my bike, but only after they answered a question each, those being 6+4, and 3+7 :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Stuff

I just acquired some pre-departure essentials. Cordial salutations to the suppliers*

*Nutritional supplements supplied by Mum

Monday, May 3, 2010

Smelling The Roses

An eventful weekend has just been immortalised. I spent both days with family and friends supposedly celebrating my departure to Europe in 6 days time. They're claiming the festivities were organised because they want to wish me luck, but skepticism also has me believing they are celebrating my imminent absence. Well maybe not, but I know for a fact this is true in Fisher's case :)

Training began on Saturday morning with a ritual heart rate swim, followed by 3hr ride including 45 minTT/15 min run off the bike. Breakfast at 12PM(!) followed, and then it was time to migrate down to the Gold Coast to spend time with Ash. Another run was then added to the tally closely followed by dinner at a Teppanyaki restaurant :) Sunday mornings session was almost identical to last weeks build run, except I did it along the iconic Gold Coast coastline, crossing paths with a few other triathletes like Snowy, strong man Strong and old mate Dane Robinson. With the old chestnut build run out of the way, it was picnic time, with the Currumbin Valley rock pools locale of choice...

Look for the eels!

Upon return to Bristanbul, friends and family alike congregated, feasted and laughed with exclusive accompaniments of naans, curries and cake till late into evening (in athlete terms).Thanks all who attended, and good luck to Jimmy who leaves on Wednesday for Seoul. My departure for Europe will follow this Sunday.

Cheers, Josh