Thursday, September 4, 2014

Challenge Walchsee Race Report

Walchsee is an amazing race location - nestled between some steep mountains in a lush green valley scattered with cows wearing large bells around their neck.

Race morning dawned cloudy with threatening rain. I was really hoping the rain might hold off until I got off the bike.

Photo: Triathlete Europe
I had a great swim, as I came out of the water 4th pro female (27:47) with Yvonne Van Vlerken on my heels. She later thanked me for helping her win, as I pulled her around the swim and kept her within two minutes of the leaders. I momentarily thought about donning arm warmers, but honestly I wasn't cold and wanted to get on with the race.

I got onto the bike right behind Yvonne and began my chase. I made it through about 3/4 of the first loop of the bike before the skies unleashed a massive downpour. Inches of rain were instantly on the ground everywhere - not just in puddles - it was as if we were riding through a lake.

Sorry for the hijacked photo - but I have no others that show the awesome down-pouring rain. My race fairly quickly turned from all-out racing, to more of a survival of trying to stay both upright and warm as the temperature fell. I was excited for each climb as I could work extra hard and try to get my body to stop shivering. I came off the bike in 6th (2:42).

Photo: Triathlete Europe
The run was a mix of feeling good in the middle of the four loops around the lake, and feeling as if my legs hated me. It was probably a combination of being cold on the bike, and some of my Ironman training that was still fairly big up until six days prior to race day. Whatever the case, I did not have a spectacular run. On the final lap I was passed by another pro girl and I had absolutely nothing to try to fight and go with her. I ran a 1:29 and finished 7th pro female in 4:42.

I would definitely classify Challenge Walchsee as one of the most scenic races I have ever raced. The area is spectacular.

Dad – what a fun trip! Thank you for coming to Austria with me and running all over the course to give me splits and cheer.
Zoot - fast shoes, flexible wetsuits, awesome training and racing apparel.  
Microscope World - my other great job.
Profile Design - fast TwentyFour wheels, aero bars and hydration. I love the Aero HC system, especially when it's pouring rain!
Powerbar - gels, hydration and recovery for ultimate performance.
Nytro - my local (but they sell all over the world!) bike shop with all things racing/training.
Extreme Endurance - thanks for helping me race, recover and repeat!
Rudy Project - great helmets and sunglasses, awesome colors!
Bont - best cycling shoes around.
Kenda Tires - great tires for fast racing and less punctures.

I am now in the UK training a bit before Challenge Weymouth.