Garmin Paris Triathlon – Olympic Distance – 29 May 2016
My 1st Triathlon
I am glad that Garmin Triathlon de Paris was moved from 3rd July to 29th May because of Euro Football Cup.
Why? Because that meant that I could take part in that race and also another Garmin Triathlon which I planned to do in Poland!
I decided to try triathlon last year when I start to run regularly. My first choice was Garmin Triathlon organize on 3rd July in Poland. Later I started to check also races in France (when I knew that I would move to France), and the first which I found was Garmin Triathlon de Paris, but also 3rd of July!! I was wondering what to do and which one I would like to do…and later great news arrived that the date moved and I could do both!!! I was a bit afraid that 29th May is quite early in the season and I will not be ready according my training schedule, so I’ve decided to use this race as opportunity to have great fun, enjoying beautiful view around and have chance to gather a lot of experience. And it was exactly how I plan it!
But let’s start from the beginning!!
Garmin Triathlon de Paris race is point to point race. It means we start in the southern east edge outside Paris and we finish at Eiffel Tower. Here was also Expo and packet pickup area. Friday before the race I went to pick up my packet with different bags and number stickers. The whole process was nice and fast. I left my orange bag with my running shoes to be able to pick it during the race from transition T2 . Unfortunately on Friday the zone T2 wasn’t ready yet so I could not see where will be my place. But I was able to make a small shopping at Expo area…new helmet for better motivation 🙂 … and rest a bit enjoying the nice weather.
Race start and transition 1 zone was in Choisy-le-Roi. I arrived at 7:30, time to enter T1 zone after bike checking by referee, found my place, set everything up, memorized the way from lake to end of T1 zone, make a short warm-up and put on my wet suit. At 8:30 everyone went to the start zone by foot. I was a bit exited and a bit stressed, especially because of the weather. On my way I met Louise and Cesar who gave me some tips for race.
The first wave – set off with a gunshot – was for those with a blue swim cap. Then all other color caps got in the water from a bank with their start time noted by the chip. I have to say it was nice and safe, no one was in hurry to be in front, no washing machine effect. As I have trained swimming for many years when I was a kid until University and worked during summer break as a Lifeguard, I wasn’t afraid of that part. 1.5km with just straight swimming was quite nice, even if the water was a bit cold for me at the first moment. I went with my own pace as I planned, not too fast to not be tired on bike. I was expecting less than 30 min; I did in 26min and I wasn’t too tired so I was happy at the end of that swim.
Unfortunately I lost some time in transition zone 1, mostly because I could not decide if I should wear a jacket or not. Weather prediction was saying rain all day, but until that moment there was no rain and it was even quite hot. I looked around at how people were dressed and finally I decided to leave a jacket with all my swimming stuff in the blue bag, which later I give to young volunteers at the end of zone T1.
And I didn’t regret it…weather was better than I expected…the ground was wet but no rain…hopefully. I am not a good biker, with little experience so I was a bit afraid to fall over or get a flat tire (which I saw many during the race). The race was draft legal, so it means the best option is to catch a group and save energy for running. For me was a bit difficult to catch a group because at the beginning of ride everyone overtook me. I decided to just kept my speed to still have energy for running. Later at times I rode with groups and we even tried to work out together which was nice. I have to admit that it’s a really nice experience to go through Paris, enjoy the view and catch energy from people who were cheering for us on the streets. But the best moment was when I arrived at Eiffel Tower and could get off the bike… I hoped to do bike part below 1:30h and I did it with 1:19h, so again result better than expected which made me feel good for the run J
As I mentioned before I hadn’t seen my spot on Friday in T2 zone, but it was very easy to find. Numbers were written at the beginning of each rack, so I just ran straight to find mine. This time I didn’t lose too much time, just put on my running shoes and go!
The running part was two loops around Trocadero and a few kms close to river. I have to admit that I didn’t check too carefully the profile of the run part, and on the bridge from Eiffel Tower to Trocadero I realized that it will be a hill…but I didn’t worry too much. Just take some water at the refill point and start to “climb” to having in mind that soon I will gain during running down from hill. First loop I was trying to not go to high with my heart rate. But I have to admit I felt good after bike, no pain in my legs, just a higher heart rate than normal. After 5 km I decide to slowly increase my speed, because I still felt that I had energy. After hill in second loop I was just enjoying the beautiful view of Eiffel Tower from Tocadero, thinking how happy I was to take part in the race, listening the people shouting “Aller les filles !”. It was really great moment! Then I started to really race with others until the finish point at Stade Emile Anthoine with a time 2:48h where my expectation was below 3h!! I finished feeling good, having beautiful view in my head, and had a lot of FUN!! Thank you for cheering at Transition 2 zone Wippy and Karen!!
It was a really great moment to receive a nice medal with the shape of the Eiffel Tower, a finisher T-shirt and to enjoy nice food with fruits, sweets, cheese and more.