Having declared in my race recap post Lanza 2015 how glad I was to have finished because that meant I wouldn’t have to do it again…well here I was toeing the start line one more time 2 years later. DNF in 2013, 9th in 2015, what would 2017 bring? A hard race that is a certainty, but what else, and why the change of mind? + more
As much as going to Malta was a very last minute (and well misjudged) decision, xterra Greece was very much part of the ‘plan’ set at the beginning of the season. A brand new location following 3 years in Lake Plastira in central Greece (where I raced in 2013), this was the perfect excuse for a fun sunny race followed by a week of holiday with my babe, a month before IM Nice. In fact I was so excited for the road trip across the Peloponnese following the race that I recorded a 10 hour + mix to ensure a perfectly adequate soundtrack!
Silvia and I rented a nice apartment overlooking the Aegean Sea in Vouliagméni, just south of Athens. In fact the location is barely 45min from the Acropolis, a kind of of rich neighbourhood featuring quiet residential streets, a nice beach (site of the Olympic triathlon race in 2004), a whole bunch of restaurants and (last but not least) a very fine bakery, but also a few hills and mtb friendly trails. And a beautiful lake with natural hot springs!
After weeks of procrastinating, hoping to go racing in Vietnam but failing to find affordable flight tickets (I missed them while i was recovering from the paratyphoid and unsure whether I could race again so soon), I did decide for Mallorca at the last minute. 4th year in a row, not going into the unknown here. And yet…
Travelling with the usual suspects, Virginie, Lars and Vincent, and staying in the majestic bay of Bonaire, minutes away from the tackiness of Alcudia. + more
As I toed the start line for the 3rd year in a row amongst names like Raelert, Llanos, Aernouts, Drietz and even the ‘revenant’ super fish Sanson, I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing here. Like really not. Not only had I spent the whole winter partying and hence not trained much, but yet again (as with the 2 previous editions) I wasn’t 100% fit – while it is necessary to be out of your comfort zone, but this time I felt I was probably a bit too far out..
Less than 3 weeks prior to the race I got knocked unconscious by a car while commuting to work. This left me with 2 broken fingers, stitches on my face, and road rashes all over. Worse my body felt really tense and not quite right following the crash. I swam like I forgot how to after that, all my power was gone. On top of that, as I was starting to itch for exercise, I went for a run 5 days after the accident and proceeded to flare up my old friend Achilles – who had been unusually silent for the last few months. Running pain free was a bliss, but it didn’t last long (about 3 months)…
Mallorca: a fiasco of a (70.3) race on a personal level, but a lovely week-end nonetheless with great friends on an island ever so majestic. Biking legs were totally missing, and I knew it as soon as I got on the bike…the same course where I had a ball last year and was dancing up the col turned into a march of hell this year – 12min slower ! At least I could run almost normally, achilles was ok, 1h18′ on the 1/2 marathon is just about decent.