Last year, I never expected to be this happy after finishing a triathlon, shorter than a half distance. Short distance racing has never been my favourite. I always struggle with going all-out and I rather prefer the more comfortable zone. However, as all my long-distance triathlon are cancelled this year, I am more than happy with racing a shorter distance. The Corona crisis puts everything in perspective and makes us thankful for the things we can do. I still remember the first time going out for sushi after the lockdown. Things that used to be normal, can feel super special these days.
Last Saturday it finally happened, the first race of 2020: one eight Politietriathlon Spijkenisse. Must admit, at the start of the pandemic, I expected that racing would not be possible this year. Of course racing was different compared to last year. Seperate start waves every two minutes, more space in the transition zone, no supporters and several other measures to keep sure the race would be safe. The organization did a great job with all of this and everything worked out great.
Despite these preventive measures, the swim-bike-run feeling was still the same! It was great to feel the pre-race nervous while packing your stuff a few hours before the race. Normally you know what to pack for your race. As racing was such a long time ago, I was afraid I would forget something. And as I am a very chaotic person in nature, that would not be very surprising. Luckily that did not happen and I took everything I needed with me this time. After arriving at the transition zone, my nervous were still everywhere. My triathlon friends were very supportive and my nervous went away quickly during the swim.
From the start shot onwards, I was glad to be back racing. The swim felt great. But my speed was disappointing. After spending a lot of time in the pool, I was expecting a faster swim. Too bad that did not happen. Maybe it proves the fact that open water swimming is different compared to the pool? Anyway, next time hopefully a better swim which shows all the effort I did put in. Anyway, finishing in 9 minutes for a 500M could be worse right?
After the swim, it was finally time for the moment I dreamt of the last couple of months. Racing with my time trial bike. As I bought my bike in January, I had no chance to test it during a race. After spending a shit load of hours training with it, it was amazing to finally be out there on an empty road. The 20KM along the canal past by quick and the speed was way faster compared to last year. Averaging 37,3 km/h over 20KM was a new personal best! Next time I have to try to hit the 40,0 km/h goal a bit closer.
After the fast bike, I was ready for a fast run. Averaging 4,05 min/km over 5KM was also a new personal best in a triathlon race, which is a progression of 10 seconds per km compared to my triathlon's last year. Overall, finishing one eight triathlon in 1:05:16 brought me to a second place. Only 20 seconds behind the number one. I guess the different start waves caused by Corona are a disadvantage if you are close behind someone. For the competition it would have been more fun if you see your competition in front of you. However, I will stop complaining because I am more than happy to be out there racing and also super satisfied with a second place. Also very proud of my team members who had a great race as well.
Can' t with for a real race weekend in 1,5 weeks: Sprint Triathlon Bosbaan (26th of September) and 5150 Ironman Maastricht 27th of September). This will also be the end of the strange '2020' season.