Louis ‘Survives’ his 1st M Triathlon

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Surviv’Orne Triathlon – M distance – 3 July 2016


By Louis Leclerc


3 people represented the club at Surviv’Orne (La Ferté-Macé, Normandy) this Sunday! -> Hilary, Philippe and myself.

It was the first M distance ever for Hilary and me, and we all did great considering the heavy rain and the autumn-like cold: about 16 degrees, the open waters were actually warmer than the outsides for once 😉
The M consisted of two laps in a lake, large enough to not have to fight with other swimmers, one long bike lap (rather hilly with 600D+, about 20km on a strait « departementale » road – Tour de France-like – then a very nice way-back to the city through a beautiful forest, on small anIMG_1791 (1)d tricky roads, but without any vehicle), and last, 4 laps running around the lake, which was not boring at all as it’s a rather nice place.
It was my third triathlon ever; second in open water after Versailles.
The swimming part was way better than Versailles. 1st because the people were less aggressive (people who did Versailles will agree to say the swimming was awful due to lots of kicks and stress among the swimmers); 2nd because I had the chance to do one training session at Cergy with Sylvain, and it was SO helpfull!!!
One lesson already helped a lot, to have advice on how to manage swimming in a crowd, and to orientate yourself in open waters. I have to say that although swimming gets my preference; my experience in Versailles had left a big worry on the swimming in open waters… at Surviv’Orne all went great, more training in open waters is needed of course, but I could give what I had to give (meaning no breaststroke this time).
The cycling race was rather technical, hilly and curvy in the woods. I didn’t send my bike « dans le décor », for me that already an achievement 😛
It’s a lovely countryside to discover, it’s rather cheap and close enough to Paris (2:30 by car or train). And the prize is a traditionally made Camembert! Special congratulations to Hilary and Philippe who did a great race after traveling 2 hours and a half from Paris, and made it right on time to La Ferté-Macé.
 Lastly, I have to thank our coaches once again, as I could manage the run for once, thanks to their advice. Running is not my strong point, and usually I have a lot of cramps after biking. I applied what I had been told: start slowly, give your legs some time to get used to the running movement. And it worked quite well, especially thank to the 4 laps format. The first lap was slow and easy, the second slightly faster, and surprisingly I could accelerate on the third, and even sprint on the fourth.
The only point that wasn’t clear was the « retrait de dossards », we almost lost two competitors because it was not clearly indicated. Otherwise, we highly recommend the Surviv’Orne (I think I speak for everyone who did the race). This year was the forth edition, the staff -really nice and glad to promote the region- organized several races over the week end, going from XS to L. Everything was perfectly organized. I hope we will be more expats to represent the club next year 🙂
Great experience definitely, now it’s gonna be two months of training to achieve an L in September 🙂

PS: as the headline picture might suggest otherwise, I confirm I did do the race – it was freaking cold, so I had to get out of the tri-function…..