6 july 2017
By Peter Vanderkeilen - Sales manager Umbrosa
As some of you might have seen on the Facebook page of Umbrosa, I participated in the Austrian Ironman 2017 in Klagenfurt : a true physical and mental test, specially this year since I had not been able to run for the last 4 weeks, because of a calf injury.
The conditions on race day were perfect, a nice temperature but not too hot. We also had some light rain during the race, which was very welcome to cool us down a little bit. For the professionals, the race started at 6.40 am, I started at 6.55 am for a 3,8 km swim in the beautiful Wörthersee. The swim itself is one of the most spectacular on the Ironman circuit since the last kilometer you swim in a canal. A unique experience ! After 1 hour and 5 minutes I reached the transition zone. A very pleasant surprise !
The Klagenfurt bike course is a 2-loop course of 180 km with steep climbs, long and fast descents, and a nice flat part along the banks of the Wörthersee with spectacular views. Since biking is my favourite part of the triathlon, I truly enjoyed the 5 hours and 20 minutes I spend on my bike. I also had the pleasure of crossing my girlfriend Tjarda, during the biking and she was still looking great.
And then the marathon … which I started full of doubts. Would my calf injury come back ? Is it possible to run a marathon, if you have not run for 4 weeks ? Kilometer by kilometer passed … and my legs did their job, a good job. But after 24 km I was not able to run anymore, not a big surprise of course? But I could still walk, and even walk a very good pace. Quickly I figured out that even if I still had to walk for 18 km, I would be able to finish under 12 hours which had always been my goal, in every of the 6 Ironman races I started. And I succeeded ! I finished after 11 hours and 24 minutes !
To make it a perfect day, my girlfriend Tjarda, reached a personal best of 12 hours and 40 minutes in her 3th Ironman finish.
All the hours of training, even during my work trips to Austria, France, Switzerland, … payed off. Also, the support my colleagues at Umbrosa gave me, is a big motivation. If during this special day, there was a negative point that is worth mentioning, that is that on my 42 km run/walk I had not seen one Umbrosa parasol in Klagenfurt but it also gives me a new goal for 2018.
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