Desværre var vejrforholdene ikke helt til en super præstation. Ikke desto mindre kørte Lars endnu en flot IM.
Du kan læse om alle detaljerne nedenfor, hvor jeg har gengivet Lars´egen beretning fra racet.
Stort tillykke til Lars Rønning – Next stop er Norseman.
Ironman Frankfurt / Ironman European Championship 2012 – 8 July 2012
After a spell of hot days, the water temperature was getting very close to 24.5C (the upper limit allowed for wetsuit swims), and it looked like it might end up being a non-wetsuit swim. Luckily, it cooled down a little before the race, and it started raining, so the temperature stayed below the limit. Many of us could now relax, especially less talented swimmers such as myself. With almost 3,000 swimmers in a fairly small lake, it’s nice to have the safety and buoyancy a wetsuit brings. Plus, it’s faster…
I went into the race reasonably well prepared (as some of you know, I have had a busy season already), and on a perfect day I believe I am able to break 10 hours. So that was my goal for the day. Well, as it turned out, it was not going to be the perfect day!
After only a couple of minutes swimming, I had my goggles kicked off by someone who might have thought he was a frog since he was breast stroking in the middle of the field (!). I always put my swim cap over the goggle strap – so I didn’t lose them, but they got flooded. I couldn’t see a thing and thought I had lost both contact lenses. Thank goodness, they were still there, and after a couple hundred meters I got my vision back. Only to have the goggles kicked in, but I had gotten used to that by now. I got out of the water after the first 2,100 meter loop in 40 minutes, and went into the 2nd 1,700 meter loop, keeping a reasonable distance to other swimmers. But then my right calf cramped twice (!) – and I usually never cramp. I exited the water in 1.5 which I was happy about. I was still on track to break 10 hours – great!
The bike started really well, and I clocked almost 42 km/h average the first hour. I overtook hundreds (I am sure they must have been thinking “bad swimmer” as I hammered through the field). There’s nothing better than the sound of a disc wheel… Then the torrential rain and winds started… With a disc on the rear and a 95 mm deep section front wheel, it was nerve wrecking at times. Like a ship in stormy weather. Especially going downhill wet roads at 73 km/h. I lost a lot of time against my plan, but kept overtaking hundreds of other athletes. In fact, I was only overtaken by 5 other athletes, I think. I had expected to finish the bike in around 4.50-4.55 requiring an average pace of 37+ km/h, but it didn’t quite go that way. My bike split was 5.14, which was still reasonably respectable considering the weather and that nobody in my agegroup (45-49) broke 5 hours! Usually I push some heavy gears @ 75 rpm or so, but my coach Ole Stougaard had subscribed a higher cadence and lower watts. I hope it will make him happy to know that I averaged 85-90 rpm and only 228 watts average, so I left T2 (and the rain stopped…) with fresh legs.
Anyhow, the sub-10 goal was no longer realistic, so I decided to embark on yet another slow(ish) “diesel engine run”, in order to save my legs for the rest of the season (Norseman, Challenge Copenhagen, maybe 1/2 Challenge Henley, and Wasdale Triathlon). After 4 fairly boring 10.5k loops, and a 4 hour marathon @ 135 heart rate, I crossed the finish line in 10.44 – exactly 1 minute off my PB from Challenge Copenhagen last year.
As they say, try to control what you can control. I think I did that. Despite not breaking 10 hours, I had a great day and really enjoyed the experience.
Last but not least, thanks to my wonderful wife Helene Rønning and my son Magnus for again cheering me on!