Trapaniman 113 – Urban Adventure Racing
First race of the season is completed and it was a fantastic experience – quite different to what you would consider a well-organized race, rather a magical experience to survive and tell stories about.
Trapaniman113 half ironman was arranged for the 5th year. Since the start it has been moved from Trapani to the north west peninsula of Sicily and the town San Vito Lo Capo. A dream beach resort with cristal clear water and a beautiful beach.
Pietro – the organizer – looking out over the race start beach.
Training leading up to the race:
I had signed up for the race already in January as a few of my friends at SPIF had heard about it and had booked travel and accommodation. My training had kind of stagnated after Christmas even if I was putting in between 15-20 hours per week.
My good friend and former coach Jean Moureau has retired from coaching and as our club SPIF have signed a partnership agreement with Uperfrom I thought – ”It’s time to try something new!” and did what every coach hates, told them that I was racing in a few weeks and that they need to get me in shape and get me fast – in a hurry.
The program I received from Teresa was quite low in volume compared to my normal weeks but when I started to read the intervals (and they were many) I realized that this is either going to kill me or make me fast.
Basically I only had one week of testing and a couple of training weeks leading up to the race and I was very unsure how it would turn out given the fact that I was still doing really hard intervals just 3 days before the race.
As you would expect the pre-race was all in Italian. When they realized that there were a few international athletes in the audience, they quickly made an adjustment to the program, found someone in the restaurant where the pre-race meeting was held that could speak English and carried on. Unfortunately the Pizza Chef that spoke English had no experience of triathlons – but did his best and translated the most important information.
Fortunately there was a really nice Dutch guy who helped us get the main points, I later realized that it was Chris Brands a professional triathlete who later finished third overall in the race.
The wind was really hard and half the transition area almost flew off the beach.
Gun went off 30-40min later than scheduled and we were all happy for that as most of us where freezing really bad after the long wait. I kept to myself on the left in the field for the full lap and did not have too much problems and got out of the water in top 10.
Great to swim in cristal clear water
Bike was quite hilly course with heavy wind and many parts of bad asphalt and the occasional dogs running out and chasing you to make sure that you did not go slow .
Total chaos with cars everywhere as the roads where open and slow bikers doing the sprint at the same time as the half. Not too bad as it were not so many participants (200-300).
Run was through town, along the beach walk that was not closed and full of people walking their dogs, kids and eating ice-cream – completely surprised every time one of those crazy people in superman suite ran passed and jumped over their dog. After the first 1,5 km on the run we got out of town and had a turning point at the lighthouse.
Wind basically blew out the transition area
The water, gels, and bars that we were supposed to get twice on the bike loop and run loop – well, logistics is not really the thing in Italy. At least we got water every loop.
I was really happy that I had decided to carry my own energy and didn’t have problem with dehydration. During the past 3 months I have been trying out Isostar products as I often have stomach problems in races and this was the first time that I could race only on liquids (sports drink and gels) and no bars and feel 100% the whole way.
”Small esspresso to go please”
No drop in energy or heart rate and no pain in stomach. I used their Powertabs the day before the race to load up on electrolytes and the Long Distance Energy drink in the strongest mix – which gives you 79g of carbohydrates in 500ml.
This race was more of a test race and I didnt pay attention to my overall place or time so I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that I won my age group (50-55 this year) and that I placed 13th overall with a time of around 4:32. With some more training and a proper taper the goal to get down to a low 9 hr Ironman might be achievable.
Really surprised that there were so many current and former professional triathletes in start field even if there was no pro-class or price money. In many ways the relaxed atmosphere is the beauty of this event and this is what brought many of the international athletes and pros to the race. Everyone I spoke to said that they loved the event for its family feeling, crazy organization and complete absence of corporate greed and profit focus.
Pietro arranges this race because he loves triathlons, I say – Bellisimo, Bravo!