Youth rules

There was plenty of young blood at the Waltriathlon in Brunsb├╝ttel on May 23. Looking through the top 30 finishers, more than half were under 19 years old, and a couple more were 20 years old. They were possibly using the race as training, warming up for the bigger races to come, when the clubs compete against each other.

Not such a good thing, having all these exuberant and fit young people around, as this was my first race in the 40-44 age group. But I wasn’t alone. In this mixed up race of young and old, I finished fourth in my age group.

Triathlons that have the swim leg in pools are always a bit strange. But as the weather has been unseasonably cold in recent weeks (and months), it’s not yet possible to have a race in open water. I was thankful to be in the heated pool. Nice location, right on the Elbe River.

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(photos from http://www.waltriathlon.de)

It was eight to a lane, with special coloured caps so the officials could keep track. I was glad just to get through it unscathed, without swallowing half the pool. An ordinary swim was followed by a fantastic bike leg, despite having trained so little. I recently bought a second-hand Zipp disc wheel and this seemed to make things a lot easier (perhaps it was psychological). Still, I was fast on the bike and I felt fresh when I started the run.

The run was short, maybe a scratch over 4km, but I wasn’t complaining. It was great just to finish. Youth ruled on this day, with the 17 year-old winner clocking a tad over 53 minutes for the 750/20/5 race (short run included). 10 out of the first 15 finishers were under 20 years old. I had place 21, in 1:02. Not bad for the first race.

Cold start

The first race of the year is in two days. The temperature is 12┬░. Thankfully, this first race has the swim leg in a pool, though there’s a good chance we will all be in wetsuits, because of the cold water.

What happened to spring? It’s like it never even happened. I haven’t had a swim in an outdoor pool yet.

I’m starting to wonder if the triathlon boom in Germany is actually on the way down. It will be interesting to see how the races are this season, how many people are involved and what kinds of times the people do at the front of the pack.

As I’ve been training very little, I’ll be racing very much for fun this year, maybe even racing to get fit. Race reports will follow.

Growth spurts

I was very interested to see that the NBA will start testing players for human growth hormone (HGH) next season.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/apr/16/nba-players-to-be-tested-for-human-growth-hormone-starting-next-season

What’s known as the anti-ageing drug (the likes of which most probably keep Hollywood stars and celebrities looking youthful) has a host of benefits for athletes, especially for training and recovery. Easy to get too, as there a host of vanity products (hair restorers, anti-ageing products, etc) that include HGH.

HGH use might explain why triathletes in their mid-to-late 40s win so many amateur races. Vanity strikes again.