Race Host Ross is at Challenge Roth this weekend where, as well as trying to go sub 9:30 hrs himself, he will be on hand to take Race Force athletes through the swim, cycle and run routes as well as being on-hand to give any last minute reassurance that they are going to kick-ass!
My grand plan of going sub-nine hours at Challenge Roth has been scuppered a bit by a few injuries over the past couple of months. To add to the Achilles tendinosis I have been having trouble with, I now have mild patella tendonitis. These are overuse injuries caused by doing too many miles of running as I tried to build up to Ironman distance racing again. Despite the injuries, I have had some great results recently. This included winning the prestigious Man versus Horse race and coming second in the Breca Swimrun event in the Lake District.
I have had some good form this year and these events, as well as the Always Aim High Slateman Savage win, gives me confidence going into my A Race of 2016. If my injuries hold up okay, then I would be disappointed not to break 9 hours and 30 minutes.
In 2013 I raced at Ironman Zurich and finished in 9 hours and 54 minutes. I had a good swim, a great bike and a fantastic first 10km on the run. However, the last 32km of running was a horrible experience as I struggled in the heat and failed to keep to my nutrition strategy.
My time at Challenge Roth will no doubt come down to how fast I can run a marathon in after a 3.8km swim and 180km cycle. I should complete the swim in under an hour and a cycle of around five hours (averaging 22.37 mph) will give me a fighting chance of getting a low nine. I have to be realistic though and accept that my training has not been what it should have been over the past six months.
Plan A is to stick to the above plan and to concentrate on getting my nutrition right throughout the cycle. However, I normally revert to the much more fun plan B at a relatively early stage. This involves trying to stay with the awesome, normally German, cyclists and coming off the bike with the professionals. I’ll then run the first 10 km in sub 40 minutes and will forget to take a few gels because I’m enjoying it all too much. I’ll then blow-up, walk or crawl the last 30 km and hopefully just make the 10-hour cut-off again.
Challenge Roth has been on my bucket-list for a number of years and I am really excited to be heading out to Germany with Kate, Mike, Steve and the rest of the team from Race Force. Whatever my own result, I know that it is an absolutely incredible atmosphere and that I am going to have a lot of fun both pre and post-race. There are iconic images of the Challenge Roth bike course where the route narrows into a Tour De France looking mountain stage, with the crowd ten-deep all around. This will be fantastic.
As well as racing at Roth I will be getting to know the swim and cycle routes really well early in the week so that I can pass information onto other participants. Seeing as I am normally fairly relaxed in the build-up to races (that’s how I look on the exterior anyway) I will be there trying to get others to also feel nice and calm ahead of the big day. I’ll be saving the beers for post-race at this one though.
Good Luck Ross!!!
KitBrix Luggage Partner for 2017
February 24, 2017
Three great ways to take on the Tour De France with Team Race Force