The 2012 season has officially been kicked off. The first race of the season will be used as motivation for the upcoming months. Last year’s first race, the Tobacco Road Marathon, was sort of the peak and best race of my season, which for a triathlete, it being a marathon, is an interesting result. Since we moved back to Germany in December, my training hasn’t been a priority since a busy life and work schedule are making it hard to train.
My friend Andi had suggested this race, because of it’s long history, this year was the 41st year of the race, and it’s challenging profile. The race is still organized by the same race director, he actually ran in the first race himself.
The race is a point to point race, starting at the Hermanns Denkmal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermannsdenkmal). The monument was built in honor for the Hermann or Varus Battle going back to the year 9, where Germanic tribes decisively destroyed three 3 Roman legions. The battle is also called the battle of the Teutoburger Forest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Teutoburg_Forest). The Teutoburger Forest is a low mountain range that is densely wooded and reaches over 60 miles in the north western part of Germany. Jennifer and I live directly on the Teutoburger Forest in Bad Iburg.
There were over 5,600 racers this year, who were brought to the start by over 100 buses from the finish area in Bielefeld. Compliments here to the race organizers, the race was very well organized from the beginning to the end.
The days leading up to the race were not ideal, I started having a sore throat and wasn’t feeling too well, but nothing serious enough to not to the race. I had at least gotten some good sleep and a monster nap the day before. Since I had submitted a race time from my marathon last year, I was allowed to start in Group A, and practically 2nd row. It was go time!!
Here is the course profile, everything started with a steep decent and continued rolling from here on.
The objective for the day was to keep a steady effort from the beginning and see what is left in the tank at the end. The lack of consistent training showed early on in the race and I decided to pretty much walk the steeper parts of the uphills to not burn too many matches. I must not have brought those anyways. It was yet another event in Germany that was filled with spectators along the entire course, at times 3 to 4 people deep. I got to experience this in Challenge Roth last year and it just seems to be a normal thing here. People were everywhere. We ran through a small town named Oehrlingshausen, which was at roughly km 19 after the biggest climb and descent of the day. Thousands of people had come out and we could pretty much run only one wide at certain points due to all the spectators. The atmosphere was fantastic and it certainly eased the pain from going down the steep hills on cobble stones. After I had struggled through some difficulties relatively early on, I got into a groove and could maintain a consistent effort. My legs are “thanking” me today! The course was a mix of ~60% soft surface such as gravel, sand and packed dirt the rest was cobble stones, concrete and pavement. I almost forgot to mention the stairs and steep uphill sections, sprinkled over the last hill, which was more of a series of steep ups and downs. The toughest part was probably the downhills before and after Oehrlingshausen, which were really steep. Just brutal! Here is the GPS information: http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=ssmphxejqteypkxa
I have to say, there were some incredibly fit people running this event in all age groups. Congrats to everyone finishing and competing in a fun filled event in the beautiful Teuto!
Stats: 30.5 km, ~700m up and ~900 m down (depending on where I upload the data the elevation gains change). Finishing time: 2:46:16