This report for two races on successive Sundays was always going to have me cast as the donkey. But, after I received my first ever time penalty in well over a hundred triathlons, the donkey is the referee who had the temerity to show me a card.
Truth be told, I very nearly pushed him off the motorbike.
I got the card, on the bike leg at the Qtri in Bornhöved, on August 21. This is a very nice race in a very nice small town about an hour north of Hamburg. Getting the card hasn’t changed my opinion: I still like the race and will do it again. But the referee is a donkey.
The 20 km ride was in pouring rain on very wet streets. A rider passed me, couldn’t keep the pace, was all over the road, and I got a card for being within ten metres of him. I was shocked they even gave out cards at this level of racing (it was a “Volkstriathlon” after all, with the super-fast sprinters already having raced earlier in the day, though that didn’t stop this “People’s triathlon” from being fast). Of course, that’s a whole other rant: because the usual middle-aged supermen, who push 50 (or are older), can somehow post extraordinary times.
I still enjoyed the race, despite the rain, despite the time penalty, and despite the grumpy old supermen.
A week earlier, at the low-key, and enjoyable, Bardowick Triathlon, near Lüneburg, I had the fascinating experience of receiving a bag of carrots when I crossed the finish line. After all the finisher shirts and medals, I thought this was a creative touch. Though I don’t think they’ll be renaming it “Carrot-tri” for next year’s race.