Mid-season break

Because of schedules and commitments, I’ve found myself with quite a long break in the middle of this triathlon season. I haven’t raced since July 19 in Munster, that sweltering day when I took refuge under a tap at the finish line, and won’t race again until August 24. But I have been following some of the results of nearby races.

Muritz: this is 2/80/20, and a tough race. I’ve done it a couple of times, normally running out of gas at about km 12 of the run and somehow staggering the rest of the way. This year, the first 8 men finished in under four hours, and I recall it being pretty hot that weekend. Incredible! And they all had bike splits of under two hours, meaning they were all able to hold a 40 km/hour average, or better, over the 80 km bike course. Can someone explain to me how that can be? Ebikes perhaps? Plus, in places 12, 13 and 14 were men from the 45-49 age group. No more Muritz for me.

Kiel: Olympic distance, and one of my black-listed races (which is a shame because it’s nice to swim in salt water). This is also a tough race, especially in the heat. The men’s winner: age 42. And with the time he posted, he probably would’ve been good enough to finish in the middle of the field in the men’s final at the Commonwealth Games!!! That ain’t weird at all. And in place 13 (out of 150+ competitors) was a man aged 50. So, Kiel remains black-listed.

Bremen: Olympic distance. I did this race last year in the pouring rain. This year, it was blistering hot. The first two did under two hours, again, and third did two hours flat. And like Superdad in Kiel, they would have more than held their own in the men’s final at the Commonwealth Games. There was 18 minutes between first and tenth. Ludicrous. Bye-bye Bremen.

Güstrow: Olympic distance. I haven’t done this race for a few years, but enjoyed it the few times I made the trip east. Because it normally has a more relaxed atmosphere; just a bunch of idiots doing three sports in one day, and not really taking it that seriously. Looking at the results, it appears the race has changed. In very fast times, the men’s and women’s races were both won by athletes over 40. Goodnight Güstrow.

This would normally be the paragraph where I complain about the state of triathlon, about dubious athletes and very dubious times, about grey hair and expensive bikes, about pharmaceuticals and vanity. But I won’t. I really should just accept that if guys want to perform better and they take a little something to get them there, that’s their prerogative, and I shouldn’t abuse them or cry foul. Maybe I should give these guys a hug instead. If they need a fast time in a triathlon (with help!) to feel good about themselves, what does this say about their insecurity? Perhaps they need my sympathy more than anything else. Maybe we should set up a support group.

Hi. My name’s _______. I’m an amateur triathlete and a PED addict.  

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