I arranged flights to Zurich 10 days before the race to allow time to recover from jet lag and familiarise myself with the course and adjust to climatic conditions. From Sydney's winter to Europe's summer, I was welcomed by a heat wave and over 35 degrees! After a 24 hour flight, I always like to have my equipment checked that its arrived in safe and working order. Hafner's Rad bike shop http://www.hafnersrad.ch/ helped me adjust my Zipp race wheels and final check over my bike for the race - thank you guys! Emma Gilbert http://www.sportsmassage.ch/welcome also made time for me with a pre-race massage, best decision I could have ever made! Thank you mate :-)
A special note of thanks to Patricia Cretin and Rolf Senn who helped arrange accommodation with Brigitte Tue Bennardo in Zurich, only a short distance from transition and race start. Brigitte - thank you so much for making me feel so welcome and staying with you was definitely a highlight :-)
- Population: 390,000
- Largest city, financial hub of Switzerland (capital is Berne)
- Very clean, highly advanced & efficient public transport system (contrary to Sydney!)
- Cosmopolitan culture, rich diversity of restaurants, shopping to nightlife among its museums, arts & music (vibrant city with loads to offer!)
There were over 5000 competitors racing throughout the weekend between the 5050 event (Saturday) and IM (Sunday) which was highly impressive and extremely well organised in Switzerland's largest city. Guided training tours were available leading into the event and transition offered a broad range of product at the Expo plus bike and massage services. The pros were assisted with a designated staff member, assigned to look after 40 professional athletes throughout the weekend, which was a highly appreciated feature to the organisation of the event.
The 3.8km swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Zurich featured a unique Australian exit over a small island. It was a non wet-suit swim (as expected), with temperatures during the day ranging from 18 to over 35 degrees! A small storm blew in at the swim start making Lake Zurich a choppy swim.
What worked well: All things Eyeline of course - best Aussie goggles ever! I was well ahead of schedule and on time for race start (after my stuff up at Cairns), I managed to stay in a pack for the entire 3.8km and predicted a non-wetsuit swim a week out and organised my TYR speedsuit in advance (smart thinker! ;-)
Areas for improvement? Always areas to improve in swimming for me! :-) For most, swim splits were slower than other IM events (though Celine Scharer's exceptional swim talent is definitely worthy of mention). My swim fitness is improving and work in progress thanks to support by Jon Bell's swim squad/Big Blue Swimming combined with my program from Gilesy.
The spectacular bike course flows through the city center along the lake shore out of town. 30km later on the bike you wouldn’t think there was a city even close. The course features grazing lands, small villages and the rolling country side of Zurich. The two climbs “The Biest” and “Heartbreak Hill” are lined with spectators cheering and ringing the typical cow bells (Ironmman.com)
Memorable aspects? Amazing scenery, the challenge of the diverse terrain, the crowd support cheering "Super" and "Up Up Up" :-), seeing Nigel at 'Hearbreak Hill' and helping me with my nutrition (athlete personal support permitted from two aid stations), spews on the bike and getting my ass handed to me on the descents by the Euros - Totally fearless and no brakes all the way!
A great article on descending bike tips!
With the heat of the day I new how important it was to get my electrolyte in and try to keep as close as possible to my gel strategy in preparation for the marathon. A very big note of thanks to Darryl Griffiths/Shotz who was fantastic helping me adjust my nutrition plan leading into this race with the unexpected heat conditions.
The four-loop run course leads through the parks of the city and along the lake shore and is super spectator friendly with crowd support from all corners of each lap.
To be honest, I was disappointed with my bike split, with descent skills being an obvious weakness. But I didn't sign up to sulk about it but rather get my butt into gear and RUNNN the marathon like I wanted to blow up! I love to take risks in racing otherwise I'll never know my potential and I felt I had nothing to loose. My goal was to race the merits of the course and walk away from the finish line knowing I gave it the best crack possible.
Friends and family watching live on line were close in my thoughts. Nigel was a highlight on each lap, again able to assist with nutrition at a designated aid zone (ice cold water on my head was just simply awesome!). The spectator support throughout the city was a highlight and I love the heat so I was happy and pushing all elements and boundaries. Legs were shattered lap 3, where the metal game steps to another level. Loving it! I tried so hard to close and gain on the girls in front - a great goal to drive me forward and give the best of myself on the day. I'm wrapped to have achieved the fastest run split of the day, especially in the heat conditions.
To my fantastic team of sponsors and support crew - Specialized/Cyclery Northside, Skinfit, Eyeline, Compressport, SaltStick, FuelBelt Shotz, Asics, Team Latitude, TriShave - I love working with such a positive and like minded group of people.
My friends and family and all the amazing messages of support are always close in my thoughts during the challenges, opportunities as well as the lows and highs of this sport. So many inspirational messages which help drive me forward.
Nigel - your support throughout this journey and your encouragement through every aspect of training and race day means so so much to me. I'm the luckiest girl to have you as part of this experience :-) xo
Bound for Vegas and Kona 2013 as a professional! A proud career achievement and team effort.
ALL PRO FEMALE ATHLETES
Name Country nnnnnnnSwim Bike Run Finish Div. RankOverall Rank
Beranek, AnjaGER 00:58:210 4:56:230 3:22:550 9:21:3 1115
Schärer, CélineSUI 00:52:380 5:06:570 3:24:090 9:28:28217
Csomor, ErikaHUN 01:01:210 5:10:120 3:17:240 9:33:17323
Goos, SofieBEL0 1:01:180 5:17:050 3:16:570 9:39:14428
Pooley, EmmaGBR0 1:08:160 4:59:530 3:29:150 9:44:57539
Jones, StephanieUSA 01:08:160 5:07:490 3:26:340 9:47:07640
Hoschke, RebeccaAUS 01:08:230 5:20:090 3:15:250 9:48:14743
Gross, SaraCAN0 1:01:230 5:33:580 3:16:250 9:55:48863
Schücker, LindaGER 01:12:050 5:15:190 3:25:010 9:56:20966
Wolfe, JoyceIRL 01:07:230 5:22:110 3:28:45 10:03:2210