Finally we are back home in the freezing cold after a long 3 months of living out of suitcases. Last stop was the Frankfurter Sparkasse European Ironman Championships in Frankfurt Germany on the 5th July. It was an amazing experience, the course was like nothing I have ever done before weaving in and out of small European towns on the bike course and a 4 lap run on the river banks and bridges with thousands of spectators lining the course.
Before I go into detail about the race I would like to bring your attention to a great initiative by The Stellar Trust, a trust formed to create awareness about the drug Methamphetamine also known as P. I am not asking you for a charitable donation, instead all I want to do is raise your attention to the Pure Indulgence Chocolate cook book where 100% of the proceeds go straight into the charity. I have seen this cook book and the quality is exceptional, the ideas are great and there are hundreds of great meals and desserts involving chocolate… and don’t fool anyone by saying “you are not a chocolate addict!!!” This would be a great birthday or Christmas present or a present for a loved one hoping they will try out some of the recipes on you.
The book can be purchased for $60 NZD plus postage by visiting The Stellar Trust website www.thestellartrust.co.nz or clicking on The Stellar Trust – Rise above P logo on my new website www.terenzo.com . Thank you.
So back to Germany. I was lucky to have one of my massage therapists from New Zealand, Ian McKellar make the trip over to look after my muscles before the race, and boy did I need it, my body was in bad shape from all the travelling, racing and training. Kelly’s sister and husband, Amanda and Karl, who are travelling through Europe also made it up to Frankfurt to help out which was great. The weather race week was rather hot which I enjoyed. We ate at a nice Italian restaurant across the road from our hotel every night which got a bit much but the routine was good and the cooking didn’t make me crook. I had 4 drug tests in 5 days, one urine sample at 9:30pm, and another one at 6:30am two days later, a blood test before briefing on Friday and finally a urine test after the race… luckily I hydrated well.
Every aspect of the event was put on at a top level, we had shuttles to take us anywhere, timing was down to an art, if something was meant to start at 11am it would start at 11am, not 11:02am which just shows how professional everything was run. Along with the professionalism of the event came the Athletes. The toughest Pro field outside of the World Championships in Kona, most of the big names were present and all of the European names were there.
The race kicked off at 6:45am on Sunday 5th July in a small lake just out of Frankfurt. Andreas Raelert who was 2nd behind me at the 70.3 World Championships last year pushed the pace and we managed to get a small break of 6 out of the water. The group worked hard on the bike and stayed together for the first lap where we grew our lead up to 3 minutes. Then a motor bike took half of us the wrong way, a mistake that was quickly fixed but with 2 guys getting a bit of a lead and now pushing it to make a break it was difficult to catch back up, something in hind sight I should not have tried to do. I pushed it for 20km to try and bridge back but soon I found myself with blown legs and 70km still to go. Not a position you want to be in for an Ironman. Soon the group that we had 3 minutes on which included MACCA (2007 world champ) and Timo Bracht (who went on the win this race today) caught up and I had nothing to stay with them. I ended up losing about 10minutes by the end of the bike but knew with a marathon still ahead of us anything could happen.
So I went off and tried to find my rhythm, I felt okay but was still struggling too much too early. I ran the 1st lap well, the 2nd lap a little worse, the 3rd lap… well I felt sorry for anyone watching me because I am sure I looked horrible and the 4th lap was much of the same. Now I understand why people walk through aid stations, they need to get more Oranges and Pretzels, when you are blown they taste so good.
I was at the end of the run in 8th place and the crowds were wild so I took my time and soaked in the atmosphere, high 5ing as many people as I could and loving every minute of it, then 20meters from the line someone sprinted past me, (I was sure there was no one there). I kicked back and passed him through the finish gantry – a photo finish. He was in front before the line, I was in front after the line but his correct foot with the timing chip put him on the mat in front of me. I had to settle for 9th. Woops.
What a great race to finish off a great trip and a lot more experience to add to my knowledge of Ironman.
Next stop the Ironman World Championships in Kona in October, should be an exciting day.
Thanks for all you support. Check out my new website www.terenzo.com and check out the Pure Indulgence cook book, you will thank me later