I raced in Antwerp 70.3 this weekend – a beautiful city and although the bike course was not “scenic” as such as it went round and round their industrial dock yards x3… if you like industry and dock yards then this is the course for you. Personally I quite liked them but I understand that they are not everyone’s choice! It was strong winds in all directions (through and between stacks of shipping containers) but the course was pretty flat with the exception of the odd gear change for a road bridge.
Organisation was good, registration easy the day before or there was an option of registering on race morning. Racking was on race morning and we had a very sociable start time of 11.00. An eeeny weeny bug bear of mine is poor security going in and out of transitions before and after the race, but Antwerp was well thought through and I was pleased to have all of my kit thoroughly checked on exit… even though it meant emptying out two kit bags to find my race number and timing chip that I’d buried, I think it is worth it rather than find someone else has pinched my wheels!
Swim is in a lake, not exactly crystal clear, but I’ve swum in worse 🙂 and the run was 3 loops around the historic town with lots of local support. There are a few “challenges” on the route; tram lines everywhere – these have rubber matting on them for the bike route but they are worth a bit of concentration on the run to make sure that you don’t face plant in front of all those cheering spectators. Also, you finish the ride on cobble stones (just to shake you up and wake you up before the run I think) then you hot step it through T2 over cobbles – which is nice (not) in your socks / bare feet – watch your toes. Finally there are a few stretches on the run where the cobbles make a reappearance and encourage you to think about doing some more ankle stability exercises when you get back home…
It was great to meet Maryvonne, a Trigirl ambassador from the Nederland in T1 before the start of the race. And I saw her twice more on the run as well – looking ever so stylish in her Triumph Tankini! Running strong and it was fantastic to feel like a part of a Trigirl community. If I see you on the course, looking glamorous in your Trigirl threads, forgive me if you are hollered at (obviously in what I feel is an encouraging type of holler) by a complete stranger, but I feel an affinity to you because you are a Trigirl and therefore I want to cheer you on!
I finished 5th female pro, in 4.29.23.
Fuller breakdown of my times and race reflections on my website blog: www.corinneabraham.com/blog if you want to read some more!
Happy training all,