Gauthier returns to Alpe d’Huez 2016

Alpe d’Huez L distance Triathlon – 28 July 2016
Gauthier Bonnot Alpe d'Huez
By Gauthier Bonnot
It was the second time I ran this race.
Gauthier run
I did it last year and felt disappointed regarding my performance; very bad swimming and completely out of energy for the running part.
So this year I decided I would train and improve myself to do it again, that’s why I joined the Expatriés ! 😉
Even if I did not perform as well as I would have hoped, the whole race felt a lot easier than last year. I was able to manage my efforts and could save a little extra energy for the running.
I am really thankful to the club and to Sylvain whose advice and insights definitely helped me get better. The brick sessions I took part in were definitely of great help as well.
Regarding the race, the swimming part was pretty nice, beautiful blue lake, very clean. The water felt a little cool, around 16°C.
 gauthier bike last try
The bike part was tough, the sunshine made it even harder, considering lots of bike segments, especially the climbs, are exposed with very little shade.
Three climbs; Alpe du Grand Serre, Col d’Ornon and Alpe d’Huez at the end. For me, the hardest part is being able to manage your effort and not giving it all during the first half; so you still have some leg strength for the last climb. Another difficulty this year was a last minute change of itinerary because of construction resulting in 5 more kilometers and one more little climb.
The second transition felt very rough, there was very little space between the last climb and the bike park, so not much time to slow down on the bike to get ready for running. Otherwise the running part, which consists of three laps, is not especially hard, mostly trails but not much difficulty except one nasty uphill on which I had to fight hard to not  start walking..!
Overall I had lots of fun, I had my family for support as well as friends who were running the M distance the next day.
I would definitely recommend it, even if a little pricey, the organization is very good. Everything felt really safe.
And this is not only one event, the « triathlon festival » spans over almost a week, you have a duathlon, a mini triathlon for the kids and lots of other activities.