Tri Frauenfeld 2018

Usually the day before such a short and impulsive race, I recall some memories and try to analyse what went well and what went not so well the last time. I was competing at this event in 2015, so three years ago. It was a fast and furious race at that time. During the swimming I collided with the competitor who was overtaking in the opposite direction. On the uphill bike section, I pushed very hard. I could still hear my excessive, deep and fast breathing, while overtaking on the hill.

This year the same intention was present, but the day before the race I felt miserable and sick. I went to bed earlier with hope to recover till morning. Though I moved like in slow motion through the race morning, I felt much better. I was in Frauenfeld early enough to avoid any traffic jams, to park, to register and to check-in the bike. Inside the pool area, where the swim starts, I met a younger fellow with whom I swam some time ago on Fridays. He was very excited, so I became as well. I could feel the initial flurry of enthusiasm, but decided to quiet my mind. Certainly it was not very clever to start the sprint triathlon at high heart rate and over excited. As soon as my young friend was off, I had some time to warm up and get ready. The swimming was easy, though I was overtaking constantly. This time I took attention and looked if someone was coming from the opposite direction. As soon as I stepped out of the pool, the speaker announced my time loudly. I knew that the time was good and that I am on the right way. The transition was definitely not fast, so I lost a lot of time there. The ride along the first uphill was also not as well as I could do. My average speed was low. The downhills were fast and scary as I was accelerating very quickly. Therefore I decided to push a bit on the final, flat part, where I averaged about 45 kmph and managed to catch some competitors. Riding at this speed felt really good, but it was questionable for how long I could hold. Finally, the run. We had to do 3 loops, in total 5.4 km. The first one was hard, but I felt more confident on the second and third while speeding up and overtaking. At run at my top according to the pace, but I was feeling good. In the end, my finish was strong and happy.

Even though nowadays triathlons gain on popularity, they become very competitive and technical. For me this kind of racing is still about exploring my own limits followed by desire to do better, faster and without breaking-in. It is like balancing on the tiny edge until reaching the other end.

Tri Frauenfeld Tri Frauenfeld
2015 2018
Total time 1:11:11.5 1:13:18.6
—– —–
Abstand 08:31:00 12:49:00
Rank overall short 45-54 37 37
Str number 216 290
Swim 10:31:01 09:02:09
2 4
Bike 12:38:07 13:23:03
8 16
Run 24.01,7 24.33,0
5 11
Rank man short 45-54 4 13
Number total man short 45-54 16 25
Number overall short 45-54 106 99
Zytturm Tri Zytturm Tri
2015 2017
Total time 1:44.01,0 1:43.05,2
—– —–
abstand 11.06,0 8.35,1
rank overall short 45-54 48 66
str nummer 1290 1135
swim 8.16,5 8.50,6
1 7
bike 1:09.13,6 1:06.59,0
13 15
run 26.30,9 27.15,6
18 26
rank man short 45-54 11 17
number total man short 45-54 18 26
number overall short 45-54 58 58
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Belgrade Marathon 2018

It is a great pleasure to recall my feelings and sensational atmosphere of the Belgrade Marathon Race, held on April, 21st 2018, which I have finished just a few minutes after 4 hours. After 3 attempts, 2 in Zürich and 1 in Lausanne, finally negative split, proper pacing and joy during the race. The race morning was calm and blue, filled with silence. Belgrade streets were exceptionally empty.  After so many years, I had time to have a glimpse at famous streets, buildings, squares and traffic. Everything looked different but familiar. It seemed that I transferred myself into another space, back in the past. A good sign, for someone who is just going to do a marathon under the sun for several hours.

The Belgrade city centre was already filled with competitors. Good music, colourful crowd, smiles all around and clear blue sky have aroused positive feelings. For me the time, like in movies stopped-another good sign. Suddenly, I realised that start will follow soon, so I moved slowly and entered the last slot. I saw the pacer, but the time on the flag that was adjusted to his back looked a bit strange to me, 5:00 h or similar. The starting line was further down, for me invisible. I was there ready to start, but in my mind I was somewhere at the same place but in the past. The race was just about to start. I did not think and did not remind myself about final stages of the last marathons I did. Happy about this fact. What I saw was the flow of people with different outfits, flags, smiles and the chats that I have heard possessed kind of humour that made me laugh. After several minutes of slow moving and walking, the race started for me as well. Surrounded by other competitors, I moved at slow pace for the next 3 km till the bridge. A nice feeling to be the part of the flow, though it was almost impossible to overtake. That was exactly what I needed. To slow down. It seemed effortless till the new bridge, where Belgrade Symphonic Orchestra played Vivaldi. Extraordinary. Not long afterwards, the river of people moved back over the Branko’s Bridge to the centre, and all marathoners had to turn left. The start of the new, long loop  brought the feeling that the marathon was going to start. At that point two fellow runners asked me to join, as my pace seemed reasonable for 4 h marathon time. Soon 21.2 km mark appeared. We entered Zemun, chatting about what was to be expected in the next hours. I tried to keep the rhythm all the time, and unfortunately had to dispatch at about 27 km. This was the distance where the previous  3 times I had barely moved my legs, asking constantly and quietly why I did such a long race. But this time I was feeling strong and was overtaking constantly like in a movie. I carried, believe it or not, two bottles, one with iso and one with water that I used to cool myself down. There was one thing that one could enjoy in Belgrade and use for shifting the thoughts. Graffiti. Written mostly in Serbian. Basically, I ran and smiled. I remembered 34 km mark, the legs became sorrow. Still overtaking, I saw a familiar older lady, who was faster around 25 km. Now my time to cheer here up as she did half an hour ago. She was obviously racing and struggling with herself, as I did with myself. It seemed that this time I was well prepared. My mind was clear, but my legs were heavy. Having started to look around with hope to find something to shift my thoughts, I could not dream of incredible scenery that looked like the small group of people on the bridge. Many half-marathon runners created several cheering corridors where marathoners had to go through. It was the first experience of such cheering corridors. The energy was so positive that it propelled me forward at extra power. Unbelievable for the last stage of the marathon, but I was speeding up, overtaking on the uphill. The final part was flat. The family and friends were there for the last push and big smiles. In the end, my best marathon till today. A big smile. Big thanks to organizers. Hope to be back.