lørdag 28. august 2004

HP Norseman Xtreme Triathlon Crew Race 2004

After an extraordinary cold and wet Norwegian summer, we had no hope for pleasant conditions under the crew race in the last weekend of August. We got what we deserved, Bjarne Boge from Eidfjord, Fredrik Mandt (HP Norseman handyman) and me.

It was very wet and windy, and the darkness was complete. The water was measured at "below 14 degrees Celsius". We jumped off the small boat at 4.40 am. Swimming in the darkness was cool for us, but not for the people in the boats, as they could not see us. The waves didn’t make it easier.

Bjarne will spend the winter learning to swim. He gave up the swimming after 45 minutes. His lungs don’t appreciate cold water.

Fredrik is my niece’s boyfriend. I would loose my honour in the family with another defeat of him. My plan was to beat Fredrik by about 20 minutes on the swim. Things went ok in the start. The cold water didn't worry me because I knew it would be worse for Fredrik, as he would stay in the water longer than me. After a while, I seemed to loose my direction. The wetsuit was borrowed from a friend of mine and it didn’t fit me. The cold water circulated freely. The swim never seemed to end.

I arrived in 1,52 and I was 40 minutes slower than last year. Fredrik was almost ready to leave on the bike. I was totally helpless, rather confused and extremely cold. My caring wife kicked me on the bike towards the mountains. She was not worried, as DNF is not an option to her.

You don’t stop a man from Eidfjord very easily, so Bjarne decided to use the day on a duathlon, same distance except the swim.

Fredrik has an excellent athletic potential, but he doesn’t connect his brain to the rest of his body. So, as usual, he pushed it to the max up the first mountain. He got me with 40 minutes on the first 40 km’s. I was 1,10 behind my schedule from last year. The race was kind of done. I only concentrated on eating and drinking. Half way through the bike leg, at Geilo, I got the message that I kept the same speed as Fredrik.

The bike leg gave us very strong headwind and heavy rain most of the way. It was not very pleasant and it was obvious that this would become a long day. My wife Hege pushed me to eat and drink a lot all the time. It was a bit much, but she can be rather cruel. So I ate.

At the transition zone in Austbygde, my father was ready to tape my left ankle completely stiff, as I have not been able to run since May. Thanks go out to my mother, who let daddy tape her ankle every day the last week in order to learn the technique.

I left Austbygde 50 minutes after Fredrik. I don’t know how it happened, but I was actually able to run. Not fast, but I could run. My ankle was kind of ok and I felt kind of strong. After 90 minutes I got the message that Fredrik was partly walking and I was only 30 minutes behind. I took the start number out of my pocket for the first time this day. I had been too ashamed of my poor speed, but now things started to look like a race. Then I was 20, 15, 10 and 7 minutes behind when we reached the mountain in Rjukan. The report was that Fredrik was looking very ugly. Unfortunately someone then informed him that I was closely behind him.

Up the mountain I attacked and Fredrik pushed. 10 minutes, then 15, then 8 again. I was partly running, but I could never catch him. Bastard. He got to the mountain check point, after 37 km , 15 minutes before me and I was lost. Fredrik’s guide and support up the mountain was my brother in law. He has spent his life in the mountains. My guide and support was my friend Vidar. He is good at so many things, but he smokes heavily and he got both his knees operated this spring. Of course I had to carry his things, wait for him when he hyperventilated and find the route myself. I am totally lost in that terrible mountain. It was completely dark now, cold and a very strong wind. It was a long march up to the cabin, but rather funny if you have a strange sense of humor.

No surprise that Bjarne and Fredrik was waiting for us at the top. Fredrik was annoyingly happy with his own performance. His 16 hours 39 was far from impressive, but he was there 45 minutes before me. After one hour at the cabin we did the 2 hours walk down the mountain. There is no lift for the crew race.

The best part of the race race was the opportunity to share the experience with my family. And I got my beautiful black t-shirt. Next year I am going to beat Fredrik so badly.

mandag 23. august 2004

Nok tomsnakk, Moss - Horten...

Nå er det nok tomsnakk. Til neste år skal det skje. Jeg har skremt opp gode venner hjemme i Skien. En slik utfordring kan få dem til å begynne å trene. Saken har ruget i hodet lenge nok. Jeg bare må ha Moss - Horten på CV'n. Det spiller ingen rolle hvor lang tid det tar. Det handler bare om å fullføre distansen. Om å svømme ruta til Bastøy-ferga. Det er en klassisk distanse.

Hvem vet noe om forholdene i den fjorden? Hvordan plukker man riktig tidspunkt mhp tidevann og strøm? Hva er viktig å kjenne til? Sjøtemperatur, strøm, bølger, brennmaneter og skipstrafikk. Hva annet må man tenke på?

Jeg kan nesten ikke vente.