Newsletter September 2020
In August, I went on an altitude training camp in Italy. After that, I had planned a race in Davos, Switzerland. After 4 weeks of training, I traveled to Davos, it was an 1,5 hour drive from Livigno, Italy.
In Davos, the day before the race, it started to rain and not just rain: it was pouring down from heaven. According to the prediction, it would also rain on the day of the race. My coach, Eric van der Linden, had come over from the Netherlands to attend the race and to coach me. As a surprise, my parents had also come all the way from the Netherlands to Davos. It soon became clear to me that it was going to be a tough race due to the extreme weather conditions. The cycle course consisted of 55 km of bicycles with 1800 vertical meters. Two times an Alpine climb of 13 km had to be cycled, starting in the valley, from 1500 m to 2300 m altitude, then descending and back up again. I decided to put on a raincoat and gloves after swimming to stay warm during the triathlon. The day before the race, the rain was still pouring down and it did not look like the weather would improve. The temperature was also very disappointing; it was only 10 degrees in the valley and on the top of the mountain it was only 3 degrees.
In the morning, all participants were informed that the race would continue, but that the descents would be neutralized due to the extreme weather. At the start of the race, I felt like I was ready for it. Despite the circumstances, I was very excited to be able to compete again after a long time. Before the swim start, it started to thunder: I hoped everything would be okay. The swim of 1.9 km went very well and I came out of the water as 7th, just behind the leading group, Unfortunately, I lost some time in the switch, because I put on extra clothes to stay warm. After the swim, the bicycle part came. Unfortunately after 2 km of cycling, the organization had decided to cancel the race. At the top of the pass, the thunderstorm was too violent and it started to snow. Obviously, this was very disappointing, but it was also very understandable. It was too cold and too dangerous to continue the race.
Dutch Championship Roermond
After Davos, I had 2 other half Ironmans planned, Aix-en-Provence and Luxembourg. Unfortunately, both races have been cancelled due to the corona virus. In the Netherlands, there were 2 races planned that seemed to continue. The first of these races, was the NK sprint in Roermond, this was a short distance triathlon. The distances were: 750 m of swimming, 20 km of cycling (drafting) and 5 km of running. My goal for this race was to get a podium place. Unfortunately, the swimming was not what I had hoped for, because I came as 15th out of the water; so there was a lot to be made up for. After a fast switch, I drove the first few km on the bike full throttle to join the leading group. This worked out, the leading group consisted of +/- 7 athletes. I soon realized that it was not my day, I did not have good legs where I had hoped for. After 20 km of cycling, I quickly changed and it was all or nothing during the las t 5 km running. This resulted in a 4th place at the Dutch Championship in Roermond. Generally, I am not dissatisfied; I am better on the longer distances.
Ironman 5150 Maastricht
Ironman 5150 Maastricht, the last race of my season. Normally, the triathlon season is until the end of October, but because many races have been canceled, I have decided to schedule my 2-week rest period earlier. This allows me to start earlier with building up for the triathlon season of 2021.
When I heard that my planned race in Aix-en-Provence was not going to take place, I registered myself for Ironman 5150 Maastricht. The 5150 represents the distance of an Olympic triathlon: 1500 m of swimming, 40 km of cycling (non-stayer and time trial bike) and 10 km of running. There was a competitive field at the start, because there were almost no races this season. In the week before the race, I felt very strong. I was ready to show myself and finish the season with a good result. The goal of this competition: win! In the morning of the race there was a great atmosphere, as befits a big race like Ironman.
The starting show was at 10 am. I was well of with swimming and could immediately swim in some free space. The first few 100 m, I swam in the back of a group of +/- 6 athletes, after that I went along and swam at my own pace. The swimming part went very well. I came out of the water as 4th and went ahead for a quick change. The bike course was comparable to the course of the Amstel Gold race, narrow roads with a few short climbs. The road surface was wet and dirty. On the bike, I immediately got into a large group of +/- 5 athletes. After a few kilometers, we caught up with the 2 athletes in front. With a group of +/- 7 athletes we were in the lead. This all had to be 10 m apart, because it was not allowed to stayer. My plan was to join the group while cycling and to make a difference with the running part of the triathlon. Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to do this, because after 20 km I had a flat tire and this promising race was over.
My new website will be online this week: www.tristanolij.nl
The past year has been an eventful year. It has been a year in which I learned a lot, made a lot of progress and got to know many people. It is also a year that I will not forget. Due to the corona virus, many matches have been canceled. This allowed me to achieve few results. I am really fed up with this. Moreover, I am really grateful to be able to do this sport, which has been made possible by the wonderful group of people I have around me. I would like to thank you for stimulating and supporting my great sport.
In the coming period I am going to slow down, things will be put into perspective and new plans will be made for 2021. Form mid-October I will start building up again for the season of 2021.