ITU LD Worlds, Immenstadt
This past weekend small Bavarian town called Immenstadt, hosted ITU World Long Distance Championship. The race was held over O3 distance with an extra 10k on the bike (4-130-30 km). Immenstadt hosted the first triathlon in Germany in 1983. so this was 28th edition of the race. There were two races over the weekend. Classic race on Saturday (2-80-20km) and World Championship the day after.
The swim part of the race was held in a chilly alpine lake called Alpsee. I had a solid swim and reached the shore in a big chase group. We had 5 minute deficit on the lead group, but I was pleased to see some fast guys around me (Tissink, Johnsen, Zymetsev, Chabaud…).
Bike course profile ensured there would be no drafting with around 2000m of vertical ascent over 130km. Hills were even steeper than I expected, especially in the first part of the course. I decided to let the main players go and setteled in a smaller group with 3 other guys (Gomes, Danielsson and Paoli). On one of the hills my chain dropped and I lost maybe 20s to readjust it. It took me more than 30k to catch them again. But now the group got reduced to Gomes and Soukup, other two guys were gone. Second loop lead us to steep hill one more time. This time it looked a couple of degrees steeper but it was filled with spectators which made the ascent a lot easier (or shall I say possible). At this point I wasn’t feeling good. I was feeling some pain in lower back from the start of the ride and my kvads started cramping a bit.
Once on T2 I was happy to get off the bike, but I wasn’t looking forward to 30k run that was in front of me. We had 3 loop course. First part of the loop was trough the town filled with spectators and the second part was on a trail along the river. Cramping continued on the run but after a couple of kilometers it got better and I started running properly. It was still more of a survival than race pace. Last 10k were especially tough and I was relieved to see the finish line after 6.56h of hard work. I was 20th across the line.
I’m not completely satisfied with race outcome but I still think there were more good than bad things. It’s hard to expect that everything will go according to plan in a 7h race.