"IronMan - Hamburg"
29th August '21 - Germany
After two epic achievements, "From The Roots In The Right Direction" a coast-to-coast tour with a bicycle and a guitar across Canada in 2017 of 6.034 km, and "Not Only A Currency" tour solo with a bicycle and a guitar across 16 European countries in 2020 of 6.125 km playing concerts along the way, TOZ felt ready for a new challenge, this time the classic full IronMan competition.
There was a long and hard training period of 9 months.. a long winter between the cold, the snow, and then a spring and summer much colder than expected, between wind and rain in Northern Germany.
The race was tough, but luckily there were no unexpected events (no punctures and yes cramps during the marathon, but manageable). After 13 hours, 34 minutes and 26 seconds the dream has come true ! I can say it: "I am an IronMan"
(You can see the pictures at the top of the page, they start from the beginning of the training until crossing the finish line, for more details about the training and the racing day, just check the diary link below)
This venture was just a challenge with myself..
with everything I have achieved in my life, all the challenges & adventures I have experienced.. above all I never ever gave up.. I wanted this medal as a personal reward.. I felt it was coherent with everything, so far, I have done & given.. It was a huge sacrifice and a tough test, fortunately I/we made it real.. in this journey my wife was always beside me and we lived it together..
Date: August 29th 2021 (former on June 6th, then moved for pandemic restrictions) - Location: Hamburg - Germany
Finish Time: 13 hours 34 minutes 25 seconds - BIB: 1284
Swim: accomplished in 1 h 24 m
The one-loop 3.8 km (2.4 mile) ROKA swim course offers a first glimpse of this stunning race in Hamburg, which many consider Germany's "Gate to the World". The course leads from the Jungfernstieg jetty through the Binnenalster and the Außenalster lakes.. - (check the detailed pdf map)
I checked myself in at 5:20 am and already the "race atmosphere" was on.
the atmospheric temperature was 14 degrees and the water temperature was 17.5 degrees (so it was a wet suit race).
I ate some energy bars, I checked the pressure of the tires of my bike and I started to change myself.. around 6:10 I started to walk forward the swimming starting point. The atmosphere was nice, there was the dawn and you could feel the tension of the race, also in the face of the other athletes. My group started after the women "pro" and the "physically challenged" (PC) triathlete. I started my swimming portion around 6:50 am. The water was warmer than the one in the lake where I'm used to train.. but while I was swimming I found out that the Garmin watch with which had always gave me wrong data regarding the distance of the race.. so basically when I was thinking to cover the distance in reality I was just covering 2 km.. in fact for the real 3.8 km the watch was declaring 6 km.. I found out this at the half of the portion.. however, above this hassle I kept on until the end and I accomplished it in 1 hour and 24 minutes.
Bike: accomplished in 6 h 15 m 7 s
The three-loop 180.2 km (112 mile) Ventum bike course is fast and flat - perfect conditions for a new personal best! It leads athletes out of the city and towards the idyllic Vier- und Marschlande region. - (check the detailed pdf map)
the T1 (transition from swim to bike) took me too long, 21 minutes because a contact lent didn't want to stay attached to the left eye. The bicycle portion was cool, I tried to make up for the time lost during the first change (swim->bike).. it was a mix of wind and rain. I was wearing a new jacket, knee-highs and tubular covers and I often had a feeling that there was no air.. I pushed 182 km, but managing, after that a marathon was waiting for me.. I accomplished the 180.2 km in 6 hours 15 minutes and 7 seconds
Run: accomplished in 5 h 12 m 23 s
The four-loop 42.2 km (26.2 mile) HOKA One One run course was made for fast run times as it takes athletes through the heart of the city of Hamburg and along the world famous Alster Lake. Athletes will pass the finish line at the Rathausmarkt a total of three times for extra motivation. - (check the detailed pdf map)
again the T2 (transition from bike to run) was quite long.
During the last portion of the race, the marathon I had a cramp at the very first km which forced me to a slower pace than my usual. I ran the first 21 km and then I slow down walking for a couple of km. Then I started again following this plan, 100 meters walked and 400 run. At the end of the 3rd lap (4 to cover the distance) I was very tired, we can say quite gone. So when I was around 7 km to the end I started to run again until the end.
at the 40th km I finally wore the last colored red bracelet (green first lap, yellow second lap, blue third lap) and I ran for the last 2 km with all the people around me cheering me up.
It was really cool and strong emotion to face the finish line, the last 200 meters, knowing you were going through that dreamed finish line. After a great effort 3.8 km of swimming, 180.2 km of cycling and 42.2 km of running, a dream has come true, that fateful "you are an IronMan !"
I accomplished the marathon in 5 hours 12 minutes and 23 seconds