On Saturday I raced half-Ironman distance race in Mureck, Austria. It was actually a little bit shorter than half-Ironman, approximately 1,7-86-20km.
I had a bad swim and got out of the water in 8th place. One minute down on a group with race favorites Patrcevic and Kis and 2,5min down on the swim leader, Slovenian Jaroslav Kovacic.
It looked like there were at least 15 people in front of me during the swim. Since I wasn’t passing anyone in the first part of the bike ride, I thought I was having a terrible race. After 20k a small group appeared on the horizon and after 33k I caught them. The group consisted of Kis and Molnar from Hungary and my countryman Patrcevic. It won’t be a fiasco after all, I thought. At the start of second loop we caught Kovacic and now we were the lead group. I knew I need a head start for the run if I want to win. First part of bike loop was into a headwind, then there was a hill and a tailwind section on the way back. It’s very hard to break away into the headwind, especially since the draft distance was only 5m. I decided to wait for the hill, attack there and see if I can get some time in tailwind section. The plan worked perfectly. I got a bit of a gap on the hill and there was no turning back any more. The next 20k were the most enjoyable part of any race in my short racing career. Alone in the lead with police motorcycle in front of me, camera car on my side and big numbers on my speedo. No wonder Chrissie smiles so much during races.
I got into T2 with 2 minute lead. Legs felt good on the start of the run and I settled into a solid pace. Patrcevic and Kis were chasing hard and 7k into the run my lead was down to 30s. I expected them to pass me soon, but they must have went out too hard as I was still in the lead at 15k mark. In the meantime Patrcevic fell off the pace but Kis got really close. It took him further 2k to pass me. I went with him for a while but he was too fast for me on this day, so I had to settle for second place.
Overall I’m satisfied with the race. I was second here last year as well, but I went 6 minutes faster this year (in very similar conditions). The swim was around 3min longer this year and if I take that into account I improved my time by 9min. Not a bad start of the season.
1. Gyula Kis HUN 3:42:00
2. Andrej Vistica CRO 3:42:39
3. Dejan Patrcevic CRO 3:44:59
4. Jaroslav Kovacic SLO 3:51:05
5. Fuchs Andreas AUT 3:53:59
photo from www.triaguide.at