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Pre 1997

Middelkerke (1.5-40-10) SP, Belgian Championship


Thanks to Jef Cleemput for the photo.

I can summarize my race as "a good training". As a race, it was a lot less brilliant. I knew that it was a bit of a guess doing a race only two weeks after Lanzarote, but I thought I could recuperate enough. Until saturday before the race, I was feeling quite confident, but I didn't quite get all the sleep I need since returning from the sunny island wednesday night (or thursday morning, it was a bit early) (actually had to work un thursday - I know it is not ideal, but one has to earn some money once in a while). Anyway, I was feeling like a wreck on tuesday before the race.

So I had a louzy swim. Once on the bike, things should be better, but that only lasted for about 4km. From then on, it wasn't as much fun as it normally is. My legs were hurting, and on the second half, I started to get cramps. As I haven't quit a race in years (except because of bike problems), I wasn't going to give up too easily (though I was thinking about it). I expected to have major problems to get into my running shoes (with the cramps coming up), but that went surprisingly smoothly. In fact, I had pretty good sensations at the start of the run (though still unsure about finishing the race). Ok, I wasn't running that fast, as some guys passed me, but I tried to hang on...

Unfortunatley, after about 2km into the run, just before the turning point, my legs started to hurt again (couldn't quite expect these cramps to just disappear could I). Considering that I was in a pretty bad position at that point, and that I have more important races coming up, I jogged on until I saw my parents and quit the race. I don't like quitting (hate it really), but I have to say I made the right decision. It is pointless to ruin my legs on a bad result, especially as I haven't recuperated from my last effort. But being an optimist, I just consider this a good training.

So the Belgian championship was won by Marc Herremans. He gave away a one man show. He came out of the water a little behind the leaders (long way before me), and quickly went to the lead on the bike, building up quite a gap behind him. On the run, he widened the gap even more to win with 1'46" advance. A great win for a great guy.

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