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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.




  1. prost josh. Well done.
    Don would be proud of you and your beer.

  2. You're a total frikkin' inspiration and so is your teammate!! That will likely be a day HE will never forget!!! Godspeed to you.