The grey wave

This is how a normal race goes: I have a decent swim (managing not to get kicked, elbowed or to swallow half a litre of lake/river/sea water), I’m solid on the bike (but still get passed by guys who make me feel like I’m on a stationary bike), then I ran as fast as I can (only to be overwhelmed by a wave of grey).

By grey, I mean hair. Despite running at a decent clip, each race sees me get passed by a selection of grey-haired supermen, who are somehow able to run 4-minute kilometres, and do so with ease. And once I hit the finish line, the next grey wave rolls in, with all the other super seniors I just manage to out-pace.

At the sprint in Bornhöved, the grey wave was near tidal. In fact, there was something nightmarish about it; trying to outrun something that just keeps getting closer, something that’s relentless, grimacing and scary.

Nightmares aside, the race was very enjoyable. A 500/22/5 jaunt in hot weather. The swim seemed short, and the run long, but in all, it was great fun. The race was won by a 43 year old, a 51 year-old was 6th, then came a brace of whippet-thin teenagers, a grey wave, me and another grey wave.

The race had a great run course and, best of all, a spacious transition area on grass. It’s rare in triathlon these days to have room in the transition area. You normally have barely enough space to rack your bike and put your running shoes on the ground. But in Bornhöved, you could spread out and get comfortable. Nice.

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