Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spangdahlem Duathlon

8 May 2010- Spangdahlem AB Germany-

On the return trip home from the states I had planned on stopping in Germany for a Volleyball tournament but it had got canceled 2 weeks before I went on leave, so I made an adjustment to the trip. One of my friends that I was stationed with in Korea is now out in Germany at Spangdahlem and said I was welcome anytime. Why not pick a weekend to go visit when we could get a race in. I had got an email from him previously with all that they had going on there, and sure enough there was a Duathlon (5k Run/30K Bike/5K Run) lined up for the weekend I would be in town.

I figured it was a great opportunity to go see what the area was like since that is where I am headed in October 2011. I also figured I would get a feel for how they ran things there and what the competition will be like. I was excited to be racing on a bigger base, in hopes of more people showing up then the normal 25-30 athletes we get showing up here in Turkey. Well I was quite disappointed that only 10 people showed up, 5 of which were on Mountain Bikes. I believe there were more volunteers than athletes. It was a sad affair considering they put on a great event and not to mention it was free. They even had post race snacks and prizes to give out.

Myself and Mark showed up with both of our bikes on top of his car. Quite a funny scene to have two bikes on top of a car and our bikes combined are worth more than the car, shows where our priorities are at. Actually I think his bike alone was more than the car, but when you are riding a Pinarello that is expected. He hadn't raced a local race since he had been there because he had been so busy with work and moving into his house. We were both going into the race blind not knowing who the competition was or what it would be like, until a German guy showed up and Mark goes "O well have fun getting your legs torn off by him". The guy had beat Mark up pretty good on a ride 2 weekends before, and knowing how strong the Germans are on the bike I figured I would just have to out run the guy.

With the race being short in comparison to other events it means fast and hard the whole time. The run course had one good climb on it right after the turn around which put a damper on my calf's after only having a week of recovery from Wildflower. The bike course was a 3 loop course and had some decent rolling hills on it. Then the last 5k run was on the same as the first course so just that one hill after the turn around.

I went out hard on the first run to see if anyone wanted to go with me but I ran it pretty much solo the whole time and put a good gap into the group. On the bike I just pushed hard from the get go in hopes to keep the gap opened up and not let the German guy (Martin) catch me. I would occasionally look back and could never see him so I just kept pushing hard. Had a good transition off the bike and onto the last 5K and I had opened up a good lead on everyone that was on a road bike, the MTB guys only had to do 20K bike and I had one of them out in front of me on the run. My goal was to eventually catch him, so I just ran hard but my legs were really getting sore and fatigue was setting in. I finally caught the MTB guy at the turn around and just tried to maintain a decent pace to the finish. I felt pretty crappy after the race, my legs got tight and were really sore. Note to self do not race 1 week after Wildflower!

Run 1- 19:22 (5K) 6:15min/mil
Bike- 51:25 (30K) 21.8 mph/avg
Run 2- 19:39 (5K) 6:23min/mil
Finish Time: 1:32:45

Overall Germany was a good time and I can't wait to get out there and have a good group of people to train with. Spangdahlem FSS put on a GREAT EVENT; just sad that people didn't take advantage of it.

SPECIAL THANKS to MARK and his FAMILY for letting me stay with them and showing me around the local area and for the transportation to and from the airport!

Below are some pics from the trip:
Mark's bike and my bike on top of the VW

Accepting my awards which included a Towel, Sweatshirt, and Medal!

Mark, Myself, The German (Martin) were Top 3
The coolest thing I saw while there was this tube machine outside the bicycle shop!

I ate enough Gellato while I was in Germany to hold me over for quite sometime I would normally get 8 small scoops of different flavors and then a Banana Split, I think I spent all of my Euro there. Probably close to 40Euro, it was some good stuff!

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