Long Distance debut: 8:03:39
On Friday morning, a day before the race, I drove to Almere. At 12 o’clock we had a meeting about tactics with the Dutch Long Distance selection. I also had to register and rank up the bike, this always happens one day before the race. After this I went to my hotel, ate some pasta, watched some Netflix with my feet’s up and then it was time to go bed.=
The alarm went off at 4:30 am, just under 3 hours before the start. My breakfast consisted of white bread with Nutella. After this I packed my latest race gear and went to the race location. Once I arrived, I first went to my bike to see if everything was still working. After all, it had rained all night. I then put my nutrition bottles with Nutrid in it on my, after that is was ready to go
At 7:10 the starting gun sounded for the 3.8 km swim. I was right where I want to be, I was in a good group. An athlete swam alone in the lead and behind that was a group of ten athletes, including me. During the first lap of 1.9 km I was able to stay in the group, but I noticed that it was going fast. In the second lap, the group broke up and some athletes had to let the front go, including me. In the end I came out of the water in 10th place with a swim time of 48:15, I am certainly satisfied with this. Soon after I leave the water, i heard that the gap to the lead was 1.5 minutes.
After a quick T1 I continued with the bike part. Once on the bike the rain came pouring down from heaven, the first 6 km from Almere city, towards the dike were quite technical and with the wet road surface it was very tricky. Because of my good biking skills I was soon able to join the group in front of me and I was soon in place 5/6. Once on the dike from Almere to Lelystad I started riding hard at the head of the group to close the gap to the leading group, I was told that this had already shrunk to 1 minute. In the meantime I had drop everyone in my the group and I drove alone towards the head. I saw that I slowly drove to the leading group, after about 90 minutes I joined the group. I felt super strong, and once connected I decided to hide in the group as much as possible and to save my legs as much as possible for the marathon.
After 90 km, the situation was as follows; 2 guys in the lead in the race with behind them the group of 6 I rode in. Up to 155 km, this went very well. After this, I noticed that my rear tire was softening, but luckily I was able to keep going even though it cost me more power. At 165 km, I unfortunately had to let the group go and the last 15 km I rode at my own pace, losing 1.5 minutes to the group. My bike time: 4:21.
I was extremely happy that I could get off the bike after 180 km, everything started to hurt a bit and then I had to run the marathon, six rounds of 7 km. I immediately noticed that I had good legs and I really had to restrain myself not to start too fast. The first four rounds went really well and I was able to keep the pace steady. Then came the last two rounds, the rounds that can really make the difference. It got tough and everything started to hurt, but where others really had to slow down, I was able to keep my pace and I ran from ninth to fifth in the European championship. I was able to achieve a good finish time of 8:03:39 and a 3rd run time of 2:48. THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE!
It was great to get so much encouragement while running, it really gets you through. Every time I was running through the stadium I got goosebumps and I couldn’t look at anyone because I knew I would get emotional. but the last few hundred meters of the marathon were really enjoyable. It was a fantastic debut and I never dreamed of doing this on my first full triathlon.
I want to thank everyone who has helped me in any way over the past few years / months.