Race report: Brugge

22 06 2008

Sunshine, bike porn, world-class triathletes, a fine DJ set by Zohra (!), great atmosphere and nothing but shiny, happy people. The 5th annual Triatlon door Brugge once again lived up to its top billing. I love this race.

Here are my splits:

  • swim: 975m in 16:23 (132nd pos.)

I figured I’d be at least a minute faster, but oh well. I immediately found a comfortable pair of feet to draft in although I did make some minor navigation errors. Water temperature was fine and my degenerating wetsuit held up.

  • T1: 2:21 (71st pos.)

The race organizers had made few changes this year, including the swim exit: I must have ran about 300m to my bike rack but managed to get my newly cut wetsuit off in no time.

  • bike: 45.7km in 1:11:46 (53rd pos.)

What a feeling! The first 15km were a bit a nervous, but I felt confident and strong on the bike throughout. With the wind on my tail, my speedometer never dipped below 42km/h during the final 20km. Thank you Gerard Bullen for the improved position and thank you Jef Vermeiren for the new cassette and chain.

  • T2: 1:25 (121st pos. )

I messed up here. Lost one of my bike shoes while getting off the bike and got lost in the transition area. Got on my running shoes and picked up a High 5 energy gel – the only brand I can stomach.

  • run: 10.6km in 51:02 (275th pos.) – ouch

A humbling and painful experience once again. I ran the first 4 to 5km in hunchback mode: discomfort, cramps, could not breathe properly. Shit. Luckily, I started feeling better and kicked up the pace. By that time, the damage had already been done. Just for the record: I stormed out of T2 in 52nd position overall and crossed the finish line in 2:23:00 in 111th position overall (658 finishers; 23rd position in the U35 agegroup).

Despite a lousy run once again, I’m happy. I had fun, managed a new PB on the bike (2:42 faster than in 2007) – heck, I outperformed about half of the PRO athletes (.pdf) – and, for the first time in my tri career, I felt like I knew what I was doing. If only I can improve my swimming and running economy. I’ll give it another go next week in Eeklo. Last but not least, a big thank you to Johan Van Den Broeck for his advice, support and assistance before and during the race. He would make a great coach.

Race results (agegroups) can be found here (.pdf).

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