This weekend I raced in ITU World Series event in Belgian city of Brasschaat. I arrived in Belgium two days before the race. Race officials were great as they came to pick me up at the Brusseles airport. Also, they arranged home stay accommodation for me and drove me back to Brusseles when it was time to leave. I was pleasantly surprised with all of that.
The family that hosted me was great. I would like to thank them for everything once again (if they ever read this).
There was two lap, neoprene allowed, swim in the beautiful lake near Brasschaat. I had a good start, but I lost contact to the group ahead a couple of hundred meters into the race. I tried to close the gap but with no success. I was leading the group during the first lap. In the second lap Rasmus Ahlfors from Denmark went in front of me which was good because I was able to conserve a bit of energy swimming on his feet.
Once on the bike Rasmus kept the pace high. I went with him for about 5-7 km, but my heart rate was going wild at the time so I backed off a bit. Ten kilometers into the ride Esben Hogvaard and Laurent Martinou came by and I stayed with them for the rest of the ride. At the beginning of the second lap we caught an Italian trio. Esben pushed the pace and at the times I was really struggling not to get dropped. Course was flat, but it had some technical turns that made it a bit slower. Also road surface was quite rough at some parts. Considering all of this I’m pretty satisfied with an average speed of a bit above 40 km/h.
The run course was also beautiful. We were running 4 laps trough the Brasschaat city park. Almost entire course was in shades so it made the run a bit easier. My plan was to run steady pace for the first two laps and then pick it up if possible. Although I had a very hard ride I felt quite good. I was holding 12th position (I didn’t know that at the time) for the first two laps but then two Italians came back and I finished 14th. My goal was top 15 finish so I was happy with the result, but I was even more happy with the fact that I gave everything I had on the race course. I’ve never felt so exhausted after the race. For half an hour after the race I was just lying down and looking at one spot. I almost finished at the medical tent.
Later on I checked my race heart rate and I was shocked to see an average heart rate for the entire race of 170 bpm. My run LT is 173 bpm, bike and swim LT are at least 5-10 beats lower. If you take that literally it would mean that I held 1h intensity for almost 4 hours. No wonder I felt so exhausted at the end.
I’m happy with the final result but I’m even happier with the fact that I was only 3 minutes away from the 6th place guy. The time is on my side, who knows what can happen in a couple of years…
My host, Jan took a large amount of pictures during the race and you can check them here: Pictures.