IRONMAN Switzerland 06/24/2007

Race Impression:
After 1 year off long distance races I decided to discover a new experience on ironman races. I choose the Switzerland race because other races was really quick fully booked. The races consist of 2 loops swim, 3 loops bike ride and 4 loops of running. I wasn't so well prepared and a time of 10hours maybe below would be more than satisfying. On race day I felt good and thought that a swim time of 1h could be possible. For the bike part I never was so confident and expected a split time of 5.10h or 5.15h in order to do a good marathon in a time of one of my last IM race in about 3.24h. Surprisingly the weather changed in the night before from cloudy mood and rain into summer like behavoir. On race morning the sun rise direct in front of the swim start where the competitors awaiting for the starting signal. The swim course was very crowded and after 500m it was clear to me that a good swim time might not possible. Therefor you have to rush forward in front of the pack. Only on the last half of the second lap I was able to swim in a good manner. I was happy that I got a time of 1.03h for the swim part.
Jump on the bike and with controlled speed I checked everything works as exspected. After around 22km (ca. 13,5 miles) the course left the see area to face the first hill Uetliberg. A well know place in Zürich.
The run course was much better than the parts before. Good structured and a lot of aid stations to keep the body going. The crazy station was as named. Many people, music and the smell of all the tasty things you missed during your preparation. The run course let you forget the mental weakeness you in and keep you running. I finally finshed the race in 9.48h on a real hot summer afternoon and was really happy to reach my goal.
My suggestion for the Ironman Switzerland is to do some hill riding in your workouts. Then you prepared for a triathlon in the Alpes.
A long constant climb with a strong downhill part of 15,5% where no aero position is allowed. Unique in an Ironman race. You get a speed of around 85km/h or nearly 53miles/h. You've been too quick down back to the see to compensate the lost time of the upward. However each round has 480HM in total 1440HM. So it was clear to reach the target I had to push on the bike. Some bad happening was that cars crossed the course. It was not good prepared for an ironman race more like some other local event. In more than 10 years they where not able to present a bike course which is totally closed for the regular traffic. I finished a littly angry about this bike part and thought to myself "Ok let's do these damned 4 loops and you are done".
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