Superlatives and supermen

The Hamburg Triathlon bills itself as the world’s biggest triathlon. Which is why I feel rather proud to finish in place 186 (from about 3,000) in the world’s biggest triathlon, on what was arguably the worst day of summer so far. Rain and 15 degrees. Abysmal.

And dangerous too, especially on the bike, with the slick streets and other bikers taking absurd risks on corners and hills. The world’s biggest triathlon may in fact have the most idiots racing in it. I’m one of the idiots (pure to the bone, all athlete and no chemicals), out there playing in the rain, getting absolutely filthy, and that was just in the swim. Racing with the biggest smile on my face.

Still, from the bang of the starter’s gun, the race was all about survival and getting to the finish in one piece. It was great fun, satisfying to do well, and Hamburg remains the best race of the calendar.

This is what it looks like when you go as hard as you can (without any help). You hit the line and collapse.


I don’t have much time for the supermen who hit the line with unfathomable times, then walk towards the beer tent like they’ve just taken a light afternoon jog. I turn my head and look the other way.

Hamburg is pushing for the Olympics in 2024, and it would be great to see that happen. The city’s definitely got triathlon covered.



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