The Hamburg Triathlon is my favourite race of the year. I’ve done the Olympic distance every year since the event began in 2002.
It’s a massive event, held over two days, with around 10,000 competitors and a very large crowd. The swim is in the murky waters of the Alster (your favourite triathlon suit will be lined with green-brown sludge by the end of the race) while the bike and run take in the best parts of Hamburg. The only downside is that for many of the competitors, this is the one triathlon they do in the year, and thus they are not very educated about the rules and etiquette of racing; namely, keeping to the right during the bike, or glancing over one’s left shoulder before overtaking another rider.
Fortunately, I got through the bike unscathed (a couple of hairy moments) and started the run second in my start time. I lasted 6 kilometres, then tanked. At 28°, it was just too hot for me. And it looked like everyone was labouring in the heat. I finished with 2:24 for place 50 from 1200. A very good result, considering the heat, and considering I had the worst possible start block, right at the beginning of the transition area, which meant I had to run about 600 metres with my bike, twice.
No matter. I really enjoyed the race. And I learned something. While checking in my bike, I asked the mechanic for some oil and he looked at my chain and said I had way too much oil. “Less is better,” he said, and he wiped all the oil off. I had a pretty fast bike leg as a result, so thanks to the mechanic.
And thanks to Hamburg for once again putting on a fabulous race.