Balatonman Kenese special distance triathlon – 2017
This race was an important milestone while going on the bumpy road of training for the ironman, which was held on the 27th of May at Balatonkenese, at Hungary’s biggest lake, and consists of 2.2km swimming, 180km bike and just a meager 7km run. The race was in the back of my mind since the half ironman in Dubai, but at the end I only registered after the training camp in the beginning of May with my club, which went quite well. (By the way I registered only then at the ironman, although I’ve been training for it since winter). It’s a really good measure to see how you are faring on the bike so far, is there something to be changed, and also a good practice for the biking refreshment.
We drove down with my mom the day before the race, who I got into helping me at the ironman, and I didn’t want her to first face the challenges of being a helper in a long event like this there, because sometimes the aid position is tougher than actually doing it! 🙂 Of course we managed to be late and missed the club briefing and photo-shoot just by a few minutes, but I didn’t want to stress about it. The pasta party was still on, so the important stuff waited for us 😀 Although it wouldn’t be too hot the next day according to forecast, I bought a bottle of salt tablets just in case, which will also come handy during the ironman anyway. Towards the apartment we stopped at Tesco for some food cause I wanted to fry some oat pancakes for the race. It sill seemed we will be in bed in time, but the not too good quality bike rack got stuck and my Mali almost slept on the car. All in all we got to bed around midnight, still not that bad 😀
We got a free flat from a friend (thanks again Kati! 🙂 ) at Siófok, around 20 min by car from the race center, so we had to get up just a bit earlier to be sure we’re not late, but my eyes popped out almost by themselves, after having slept only 4 and a half hours. Although I guess I wasn’t on the top of my game yet, I left the helmet stickers there, but it got sorted out during arranging everything at the transition area, thanks to the organizers 🙂 After putting my bike and everything what’s needed in, I quickly pulled the freshly bought wetsuit on me, said hi to my mom who seemed a bit lost (luckily she figured out what to do during the race), and walked to the boat which took us a bit far away from the shore. We had to swim out from there and then do a full triangle afterwards.
The race started a bit before 9 and I immediately knew that the wetsuit won’t do, really pressed down my shoulders and the velcro was rubbing my neck (it took almost two weeks for the wound to heal, eventually..). After I stumbled out onto the bank I noted that my time won’t be nice, and only concentrated on swimming in continuous freestyle, and not to get lost too much which was a challenge in itself, since the buoys were fare apart, I would have appreciated an extra. At last I finished swimming with 2.4km, after 45 minutes, and was so happy that it was finally over that I really rushed through transition in no time.. well, compared to my other events.
The bike course was fantastic, because the organizers closed a motorway just for the racers for the whole day, so we biked in spotless conditions on that section, and the picture only got ruined by some hills, and especially the hill and headwind combination. There were two refreshment area on the whole course and we had to bike 4 rounds, so my plan was to eat a bar or a gel at every point, and take on a bottle of iso water. I also got a banana and my evening made oat pancakes, from which I picked a few piece from time to time, except towards the end. Of course I took salt tablets as well, if I remember correctly around 5 on the whole biking. I felt really good in the saddle throughout the whole course, and tried to keep my heart rate in the 140-145 zone, (sadly my cadence sensor broke off at the beginning, I really wanted to check that as well), although in the end it got down a little. During downhill I was singing of course, the racers on the other side sometimes made faces about that. 😀
Finally my time was 6:30, which was exactly what I planned so I was really satisfied, especially since when I got down from the saddle I didn’t feel tired at all and was able to switch to a considerably fast running pace, 5 min/km. Well my thighs couldn’t keep up on the last few kilometers, and it didn’t matter that my heart only started to creep up above 155 around that time, so I should have been able to push it a bit. My pace was 5:13 when I finished, so still I was really happy about it.
All in all it was a really good race which I enjoyed from the beginning to the end. My finish time was 8:09, and I got 4th place from 13 women, which, in the light of being at races for so long is not a great result maybe, but a big progress for me, compared to my previous shape. And anyway, this sport on the amateur level is mostly about the fun 😀
I think I’m ready for the ironman 🙂 (Only one and a half months letf!!!)