A lot of cycling, a bit of running and a tiny bit of swimming!

Triathlon de Belfort – 26th May 2018 (L)

Race Reporter: Chmouel

Last week-end myself and Benji went to the eastern part of France to do the Belfort triathlon.

We chose the last week-end of May since we are doing the Ironman Nice a month later and this race was a good preparation for it.

Getting there was a bit long, we took a packed with Korean tourists (never thought Belfort was as popular with Asian tourist) intercités train on Friday, to take another train to get near the Malsaucy Lake, it took us almost six hours to get there but thanks to Benji who booked the Airbnb it was a 5mn walk from the start.

After a easy spin around the course and a large pasta meal we went to sleep since the L distance was just the day after on Saturday.

By the morning it was the usual routine of picking up the bibs, putting the stickers on, checking the tyre pressure, attaching the gels, filling up the bottles, wetsuits on, body glide on the necks etc…. The race was going to be a hot one with announced temperature of 28℃

9:00 on the dot, we started to swim. As usual my swim is not great, I am definitively not a swimmer. I fought most of the time in the washing machine hitting or getting hit by legs and hands everywhere. After two laps with an Australian exit, I came out in 43′ which is a usual time for my level of Swimming.

After a long T1 I got onto the bike, my target this time was not to hammer down the pedal like I usually do but to keep the same intensity I was planning to have for the bike in Nice. So there I was watching my powermeter for most of the race controlling my surges staying in my extension bar on rolling hills at easy pace for most of the first part of the race.

The main difficulty of the bike course is this 11km climb the Ballon D’alsace. Most of the climb is somewhat gentle until you reach the last 3km, going up with an average of 8%.

With my large cassette of 11×32 on the bike and a Compact in the front I was strolling and passing dozens of cyclists in Danseuse struggling up. I think I passed over 150 people during my bike (the curse and the advantage of being a bad swimming) and that’s keeping it around 80% of my FTP.

When I arrived at the run I had fresh legs and I could see myself running a marathon if I had to the month after. I watched my HR to keep it below 150bpm and was around the 5’10 pace. When I saw Anthony on the course doing his last lap I started to run with him for a bit pushing him around 3’45 4’00 pace until I was getting too exhausted and let him finished it down. The course had a steep hilly part on gravel and it was quite hot by that time so I had to slow down to get a lot of water on the second lap and hammer things for the last three kilometers to the finish line.

My finish time was around 5h50 which was anecdotal since my goal was really to control my race. Benji had a great time on the Swim and Bike.

I didn’t get a medal but only an oversized polo that I will be wearing with pride when repairing my bike 😛.

This triathlon was great and well organised, I really liked the area which I have never cycled there before. The whole week-end was full of triathlons races for kids and other distances.

We came back by TGV on Sunday, to get to the TGV station was a bit of a pain and we cycled the 17km there with our large backpacks on our backs, now rest a bit for the day and train again for the A Race next month in Nice.