For the 9th time, I trod the road to the North to ostensibly everyone’s favourite stop on the ITU circus – Hamburg. Home of fanatical fans, frenetic racing and pretzels. Mmmm, pretzels. The trip from Aix was relatively straightforward, save for the elderly Swiss lady inexplicably gifting me a banana whilst I was minding my own business in wait at Geneva airport. It came adorned with a bouquet of napkins and a torrent of uninterpretable French, presented reverently with two hands and a smile. I figured she was either a benevolent Swiss with a full stomach, or an organ thief with a well practiced routine. Weighing up both my options and my hunger, I ate the banana. Thankfully, my future did not involve waking up in an ice bath minus a kidney.
Arriving in Hamburg and rooming with long-time collaborator Ryan Fisher meant the banter was flowing faster than the lager during Octoberfest. On to the race, and in typical Hamburg fashion, it was over in a flash of lactic, speed and rabid crowds. The rain belted down, yet the crowd was still as abundant and vociferous as ever, emphasizing the Germans love for triathlon, which I’m yet to find an equal to around the world. My swim was a little lacklustre, and I found myself in the chase pack on the bike. Around 10km into the bike, and the rain started to come down, and the roads turned as slippery as a jelly-wrestling eel. Consequently, the carnage started, with riders dropping like a teenager’s pants when the “Eagle Rock” starts playing at a partly. I navigated to T2 without tasting bitumen, and donned the running shoes. With another 2 weeks of running under my belt since Stockholm, I got around the run in an improved fashion, with a marked enrichment of my aesthetics, and both qualitative and quantitative appraisals. Still a bit of work to do, but it’s starting to feel like running again, rather than surviving, as the previous races have been. Finished up in 43rd, but trending quicker on the run...
From here, Project Run continues. Next major race is Edmonton WTS, before which I’ve given myself roving commission to find some training races to keep me interested until then. Stay tuned for what those are – it’s somewhat of a floating calendar at the moment!
Take care friends,