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Pre 1997

Triathlon Eupen, 2.5-84-20

This is a beautiful race, the surroundings are real nice. The swim took place in a barrage. The swim went well, even though I was slightly confused about the directions in the beginning. I exitted the water in third position, passing the guy in second place during the transition. Things were looking good :-)

Once on the bike, I tried to have a good ride. The bike race was through the national parc "Hohes Venn". The ride was challenging, I was actually wondering whether I was doing well, until I came to the end, the last 10km were downhill. That explained why I had to push so hard before. Well, they claim a 300m altitude difference on each lap... And there are three laps. On the second lap, I was still going strong and as I had passed the guy in the lead after about 10km, I was were I wanted to be. My chain did fall of my bike at some point, so I had to make a quick repair stop, ah well, these things happen. Somewhat more discomforting was the sting I got in my lip at the beginning of the third lap. And it was hurting and swelling. Not nice, but I am not going to quit right! Anyway, the swelling went down during the run.

I got back for the final transition and raced through the bike park. Still feeling real strong. I had no clues about my lead, and nobody gave me any clues. Afterwards I learned that I had 8'30" on my chasers. This should be "in the pocket".

No this time though. Unfortunately, I was the victim of some serious bad luck. The cyclist who accompanied me made a mistake, and I just followed him... When he realised he was no longer on the run course, I had to run back to continue... I was still in the lead, but not for much longer. At the end of the first lap, my lead was entirely gone. I was passed by a couple of guys and lost another four minutes in the remaining two laps. Now if you consider that I probably lost about six minutes... Anyway, I still finished fourth (actually regained a place in the last few hundred meters, agains a pretty reputable runner).

In general, I am very disappointed that I didn't have the chance to properly defend my lead, but still, I am pretty happy about the way I felt during the race. After all, I didn't expect to be back on the right track just yet. And it is a race I can recommend, though you are advised to properly study the course!

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