Merten, Monday, September 8. 2008
...in a time of 1:47:58h, that's what I ended up with in this weekend's "Hamburg Cyclassics" cycling event. Which is about in the middle of the results, 4900 men finished in the same distance. End average was 31.67 km per hour, which is what I can also skate over a marathon, but I have to admit it was a lot easier on the bike.
Mareike and I had both signed up for the shortest (55km) distance, since we did not really know what to expect and I only fielded my "normal" street crossbike, no racing material. From the start I was really amazed of the surge that such big groups of cyclists can generate. Shouldn't be really, since I know the benefits of drafting from skating, but still cruising along at 30 km/h with little effort is a great feeling and comparable to what I get from speedskating in pacelines. But this is even easier, the skating pacelines tend to shift speeds much more.
Just after the start of the race, rolling up to the line.
I'm wearing the white jersey in the middle of the picture.
I stayed with Mareike for the full distance and allowed her to draft, also waited a little in the uphill section around km 35. A faster time would definitely have been possible, but it was really enjoyable to just cruise. Since we started a good bit back in block F, we overtook a lot of people, but also were overtaken frequently. Sometimes in very rough manner that indicates that certain people take this event maybe a little too serious. One more reason to stay in the comfort zone Guess the "lead packs" of such a big race will be no fun.
For me, it is certain that I'll not convert to cycling now. I mean - I've always enjoyed cycling and will continue to use it as cross training, but "my" sport remains speedskating. Which allows me to enter the Cyclassics again next year, maybe the 100k this time, and just cycle it - for fun.
Merten, Friday, September 5. 2008
Returned from London on Monday evening - once again we had a very nice trip, with the usual mixture of meeting friends, sight-seeing, shopping and skating. The official event - London Inline Marathon, our "other club" race - took place on Sunday, with full and half marathon being run. Since walking around all day and many beers in the pub is not proper race preparation we all opted for the half, also to show the club colors in this race, when most British skaters skated the full marathon championship race.
After last weekend, it was another "rain race", although we were very lucky. The track dried almost completely while we were skating, and the tropical storm that was forecast hit us two hours into the race when most people had finished. Which was good, since it was a real downpour that left the track flooded! Still that made two of our group not start.
I am happy with a 3rd spot in the half marathon again. It is nice to have the occasional race where you are part of the lead pack, which makes the rules of the game a lot different, and where you can learn a lot. In the end I initiated a breakaway, but then was not able to follow the later winner. The attack left the first three skaters each on their own, trying to maintain their position with four laps to go. At least I caught up with 2nd on the last lap and in the end lost the sprint with only 0.025 seconds gap. Could have been better, but also a lot worse because the people were dropped had jumped on the marathon pack that was just getting in to lap us, 4th guy sprinted from this pack and finished 0.2 seconds behind me.
Michi was not so lucky and stopped before the finish. And the two of us caught us a "nice" cold Anyway, as I am writing this the next weekend is already here, and will see two events, first we are finishing the Northern League with a team time trial in Flensburg tomorrow, then I am participating in my first ever cycle race *ooooooh* on Sunday. That is going to be interesting.
Some London pictures are in my gallery, many more in the LSST website gallery (check out the rain pictures there!).
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