1st place in Schliersee
July 4th, 2011 by Will
Hello everyone. I’m currently sitting on the EZ 145 flight from Munich to London Stansted, I was on the exact same flight two weeks ago returning from Kitzbuhel excitedly writing my blog after one of my best ever races. Here I am again sitting in same inhumane position they like to put us in writing another one about my race here in Schliersee. This flight is providing me with some happy memories (I still hate budget airlines though 😉
When Rainer (team manager) told me that Schliersee was on the Bundesliga circuit this year I jumped at the chance to race this and have been really excited to race it ever since! It’s a famously hard course with a chilly lake swim, a very hard mountainous bike ride and a off road very sapping run course. I know this is perfect for me, I really wanted to win it and if I can break the course record. 4 guys have been under 2hrs and the fastest is Michael Raelert with 1hr 59.30.
I spoke to a lot of my friends about Schliersee but most of them warned me away from the idea because it’s so hard that it can make you too smashed to achieve your bigger goals. I’ve been racing quite a lot recently and the timing is not perfect but thankfully I managed to get to the start line feeling strong enough to put in a good performance even with a decent 32hr week under my belt after Kitzbuhel. We’ll have to see how I pull up from the race in the next few days but I don’t feel too smashed so I hope I can get back to my hard training routine very soon.
Thankfully the weather cleared up nicely after a lot of rain in the days before so we could enjoy nice dry conditions and even sunshine after the race! The swim went ok, I knew that for once it wouldn’t be too much of a factor so I was semi stress free. Most people more of less got on the bike together and we rolled round for the first 7k, I wasn’t feeling great actually, I think mainly because I still had some fatigue from Kitzbuhel. We got to the first hill and I put a bit of pressure down but I had it in my head that the hill at 15k would be a good time to make a move. I managed to split it up quite a lot, we dropped maybe half of the group but I wanted to make it smaller so we could all work hard together (it’s better for the course record) after this effort the pace eased off a bit as everyone started to think about the last 5k which is an average of 10%! I attacked as soon as the climb started and only Laurent Vidal and Patrick Lange could keep with me. I felt quite tired at this point and after 2k of the climb I realised that Lange had the best legs and he put 25 seconds into Laurent and I. This part of the race was really hard, my legs were full of lactic acid and I was really looking forward to getting off to start running!
I got onto the run feeling strong, Michelle sets Stu Hayes and I a lot of hard running off maximum effort bikes so I’m well used to the feeling! After the first of 3 hilly loops I managed to dodge the random cows on the course and caught Lange and by this point I was running on my own. I pushed the pace quite hard and after every lap glanced at the clock trying to work out if I am close to the course record but I had no idea as the hills were so muddy it really slowed down my rhythm! I crossed the line in 1hr 59.45 just missing the course record but delighted to get my first win of the season and also a win for Team Buschutten!
I have to say this though…there was a war within a war in this race as top Ironmen Timo Bracht and Faris Al Sultan were racing and I am happy to say on a course which is designed for a strong athlete the ITU boys smashed them! Wahoo! Turns out we can ride our bikes…
Finally I have to say a huge thanks to Team EJOT Buschutten. Rainer and Sabine Jung and the WHOLE team. You all put so much effort into the organisation and made it a really enjoyable experience, it’s an honour to be part of the team!