Khalid opens the team’s outdoor season in Arcachon

Triathlon d’Arcachon / Olympic distance / 22 Aprill 2017

by Khalid


Expats participated: Khalid and Alexandra (for the swim)

Here we go for the first triathlon of the year (well, actually it was the second one after the XS distance organised by the club). I headed to Arcachon for this M distance; following the good advertisement done by Alex (who only did the swim part due to an injury L) for the event, and also, because my brother is living in Bordeaux.

Friday 21: I headed to Gare Montparnasse packed with the bike and a heavy backpack avoiding people surprised by such a weird traveller struggling to find a place to put all his luggage. Midnight I’m finally done with the travel, in my brother’s place, bike is ready and all the necessary stuff (A lot) for a triathlon are checked and prepared for the competition day.

Saturday 22 (or the D Day): Getting up at 8 AM, happy and excited to finally race the first outdoor event of the year. The weather forecast was just perfect; 26 degree expected during the race which actually start at 2:30 PM. I was a bit surprised by this start time, as normally we start much earlier. Then I understood (maybe) the reason behind this late start after touching the Arcachon Bassin water. Grrr, let’s only say that it was 12 degree (so that anyone can comment depending on her/his ability to support the cold J).

After the briefing (where the speaker told us that we will swim against a “light” current, yuppyyyy for the “fish-skilled” swimmer I amJ), we headed to the start line which is 1.5Km away from the transition area in a straight line. I remember when I was walking; hell 1500m is a long way to swim. Arriving to the start line we had 5min to touch and feel the water which is still freezing despite the late start. I stayed outside of it my legs were hurting when touching it. BOUM the start is given by the speaker and 350 penguins jumped in the arctic sea (my feeling!!). 2 min in the water and I’m already thinking on giving up due to the cold as all my body parts outside of the swimsuit were hurting (legs, hands, neck, head). Hopefully after 5/10min and because of the fight with the other swimmers, I felt ok, then started to remember Sylvain’s advice during the only swim session of the week I’m attending, move your shoulder like that, hands should move that way… (sorry Sylvain, didn’t manage to honour all the tricks given during the trainings. I definitely need a lot of swim training).

The swim part, as usual for me, was long, really long (46min) and finally here we go with the last buoy and then the transition area with Alex already out of the water and encouraging me for the remaining disciplines. It took 2min30 to be of out the transition area on the bike. The triathlon starts for me at this point, as after all, the swim in triathlon is only here to flatter the ego of the cyclists J. Then I started to catch up better swimmers (80 at the end of the bike part) after 600m d+ over 44kms, two stops in order to avoid a car then a bus and some other breaks to slow down due to heavy traffic during 1h27. Finally the T2 and the run part (two 5kms laps) with some elevation gain (with 70 stairs to climb for each lap) in spite of the fact that the race was held in the Arcachon cornice. After a 50min jogging I finally fnished this first outdoor event.

To sum up this long race report, the location is just perfect for a triathlon, weather was perfect and organisation is nice for such a low price (29 euros). The only problem is the heavy traffic, as all the surroundings were heading to Arcachon because of the nice weather. Definitely a race to recommend!!