The triathlon in Heiligenhafen is fast becoming my favourite race of the season. It’s called Fisherman, and it’s a sprint (750m/20km/5km) that takes place mostly in the centre of town. There are quite a few bemused onlookers watching the race, but they also clap and cheer.
The field is always strong, the pace frenetic, and the grimaces intense. I was all smiles as I finished 15th in 1:07 plus change. Sure, I was nearly eleven ten minutes behind the winner, and I was feeling rather young at the finish area, but so what? It’s such an enjoyable race, well-organised and well-located. Nothing could dampen my spirits.
Let’s start in the water: the swim takes place in the Heilgenhafen harbour. First glance at the water was not inviting, given all the jellyfish, but the emergency personal guaranteed these jellyfish were not dangerous (and it’s not easy to convince an Australian there is such a thing as harmless jellyfish). About 80 people started. I took it easy, swimming way out to the right to stay clear of elbows and feet. I probably lost some time doing this, but I’ve still got all my teeth and didn’t swallow any water (or a jellyfish). So, a good swim.
The bike was more challenging. A long hill to start, then some narrow lanes once we got out of the town. But 20km is pretty quickly over and I managed to be in 10th position after the bike. Quite amazing, and I was still grinning.
The run was great, because there were these people clapping and cheering as I went past. I’d say “flew past” but I’m not that fast. The other guys were flying. The winner ran the 5km in under 17 minutes. How do you do that? As much as I enjoyed the race, I did get to wondering, during the run, how these guys can run so fast. They don’t look to be that fit. The majority of them are over 40, with a couple of guys over 50. Maybe I should ask them for some training secrets. Could be that my running training (shoes on, run an hour at whatever pace I feel up to, stop) is not bringing any results.
Still, I got to the finish line and collapsed, smiling. Very happy with my result, and I’ll be back next year. Great race, great place.