Ever the low key crusader, Klaus quietly went about a sneaky Ironman last month! He generously raised money for O2e as usual then rolled up to the start line in Wales and got it done.
Here’s Klaus’ take on his long distance triathlon in the Welsh hills…
In the spirit of O2e I took on the Dragon – aka Ironman Wales – together with nearly 2400 fellow competitors (over 1100 of whom were virgins of the distance).
So in more way than one, I wasn’t alone. I don’t know many triathletes that loves the swimming section and for me, it’s certainly not my element. During race briefing it became apparent that wearing my signature armbands would lead to an immediate dsq so I entered the 15 degree sea water last on the basis that it would make me feel better when I was the last to exit.
It went better than feared and the plan had the added benefit that finding your bike in transition (only 1k uphill run in your wetsuit from swim finish) is so much easier when the 2399 other competitors have all removed theirs.
Bike went well despite Wales seemingly have been built before flat was invented but what the wind did to slow us down the locals countered with great support. Unique in triathlon to compete side by side (sort of) with the pro’s but somewhat disconcerting to hear the announcement of the woman’s champion as you are tying your shoelaces for the final discipline. 4 loops of 10.4 k each starting with a 3 mile uphill stretch. Just what you need.
It was a long day – and much longer than hoped/expected but a fantastic experience. The support was just incredible, scenery beautiful – not easy to find 180k traffic free roads on the British isles.
Not sure I beat the Dragon but it felt a little bit like that when I finally crossed the line well after sunset.
But it didn’t beat me either so might just be necessary with a rematch.