Sunday, May 19th was the true date of my comeback. ETU European Championships on 1/2 Ironman distance in Calella, Barcelona. I did race a few weeks back in Challenge Fuerteventura, but mentally and physically that wasn’t a race to me but more of a break/test in the middle of a 6 week training camp in Club La Santa. In Fuerteventura I was 4th, but I didn’t really care much for my overall position as much as testing the things we had been working with in the camp. In Fuerteventura some things went well and somethings didn’t, my fitness wasn’t as good as I had hoped but my foot held up nicely on the run, albeit I ran a very slow pace for the 21km.
After the race in Fuerteventura I ramped up my training and logged some big weeks which immediately resulted in both weightloss and fitness gain. After a total of 6 weeks in Club La Santa I was feeling fit and ready to race. I went back to Denmark for a week and then headed on a long roadtrip to Calella with a stop over in France to test the bike course for World Champs.
I arrived in Calella a week before the race with plenty of time to test the new bike course. It was challenging indeed with long climbs and a very steep and technical descent. It was propably the toughest 1/2 Ironman bike course I have ever ridden. At least it was the slowest 🙂
The race it self was not too interesting. I had a bad swim in very choppy water, and lost about 30 sec to Toft and Gomez. Then I lost another 20 sec in transition due to bad luck. I caught Toft in 2nd place around 70-75km, and almost caught Javier Gomez just before transition.
Starting the run 20 seconds behind Gomez and just under a minute ahead of Jens Toft, I knew where I had to focus my energy. I ran really well on the first loop (11,5 km), and could see that I had increased the gap to Toft. I kept the pressure on in the tail wind on the last outbound leg of the run course, but at the last turn around I slowed down 20-30 sec/km as I was way too far behind Gomez to run for 1st place and 3rd place was no longer an issue.
Overall it was a good day for the Vikings in Calella, as each of us came away with a medal from the race. National Team Coach Krüger in the middle of the picture above had done a good job preparing us to race day.