"The land of 1000 Hills"
I felt my lead up to the race had been great. I had settled into a good routine arriving in Luxembourg on Monday afternoon 6 days out from racing. A few easy days of training and a few small solid sessions just to keep the body sharp. I made the 3 Hour trip down to Kraichgau Germany with Matty Lewis on Friday which we were greeted with terrible weather.
Race day arrived and i felt very relaxed maybe to relaxed as i tried to mentally amp myself up for the day ahead
Swim - 1.9km Lake 1 lap clockwise
Bike - 90km Hilly Technical 1 lap
Run - 21km Hilly Technical 3 laps
With a sold out race and the 6th wave to depart it was going to be a busy day ahead.
I positioned myself to the slight right for the swim start and was surprised with the 290 other athletes in our wave i didn't touch a single body finding clean water from the start. With the front group of 5 athletes forming to the left of me i slowly angled across just missing the bunch but as i turned the first buoy i had made a good gap over the chase bunch. I felt like i was moving well through the water and had loss only 20 sec or so from the front bunch on the last turn buoy before the last long stretch home. Here is where my first stuff up for the day occurred as i pinned it for the swim exit i realized you had to turn one last buoy not knowing we had that extra turn cost me some time . By now there were at times you felt you were on land with the stragglers from previous waves breast stroking to the finish. I exited the water in 6th place ( not knowing this at the time ).
I grabbed my bike and swerved my way through to the mount line. I quickly mounted my bike and went to start my bike computer which flung off my bike which i somehow caught on the fly ( Ricky Ponting like). I rode the first 2 km with it in my mouth until it was safe enough to mount on the fly. All sorted and it was time to get moving, the first 10 Km is pancake flat which i negotiated the masses of bikes from the earlier waves but had a few moments where i thought maybe i was riding to hard as i thought know one else was really pushing the pace. I stayed within myself and hit the first climb and just stayed at a good tempo pace knowing that the next 80 Km was going to be hilly and tough. After the first climb it was a long steady decent, which to be honest after driving the course the day before i was quiet anxious about all the down hills. I knew the descents was going to be my biggest hurdle for the day as i am still gaining confidence going quick down hills after my famous stack a bit over a year ago. In saying that there is only one way to get over it and that was to hit it aggressively and with no fear. For the next 20 km or so i rode strong with not one person over taking me even the down hills, i thought i have my mojo back until i was firmly put back in my place from a lady in the 25-29 Age group that dropped me like i was 3 years old learning how to ride a bike again down one of the hills. At 30km i passed a German fellow from my category who said to me that 1st and 2nd in our category were only 30 sec up the road. I caught both the lads at around 45km and i went straight to the front as they seemed to be struggling and i felt well within control. I slipped away a little over the next climb but by the time we got half way down the next descend the 2 German rockets went flying past which i just thought fuck it "you gotta want it". I rode with the group holding on for dear life on the descends and the technical parts through the villages (European lesson number #2) up until the 80 km mark where we were caught by 2 other guys from our category. I sat on right at the back as there as some hard core drafting going on which i didn't want a bar of.
We enter T2 all together which i was happy with as i was really confident and looking forward to the run. After a terrible T2 and needing 2 volunteers to find my run bag i got my shit together but by this stage had lost sight of all the guys a i had come in with. Out onto the run course and i started to pave the pavement literally my legs felt like concrete. I was confused i felt like the ride had been a little to easy so thinking my run legs would be sweet. I stayed strong in the head as my guts were also paying up. At around halfway my stomach had come good and i found a semi rhythm in the legs.
All in all it was not a disaster but far from anything special. Time for some R & R before Luxembourg 70.3 in 2 weeks
Special thanks to our hosts in Luxembourg Wllli and Corinne for making our transition from Australia to Luxembourg so easy having to put up me for the next month .Also thank you to Mark from ASPORT for the new Trisuit and getting all my biking needs met.
Highlight of the day was not just getting dropped by a lady on the decent but also getting dropped on the autobahn on the trip home by a 80 year old man when i was going 170 km/h
Nathan Miller 4:22:40 7th in cat
Matt Lewis 4:25:12 2nd in cat