written by Anna Mersmann

Last Sunday was the 2nd competition day after the team time trial 3 weeks ago in Almere. This time the so called „lange afstand bij de divisie“ (Olympic Distance) was on the agenda. Unfortunately Dieuwertje, who was supposed to start for the Ere Team and her backup Judy were sick . So Janneke had to start for the Ere Team, which left the 1th Team with a missing number 4. But luckily we were able to come up with our joker Marijke! With a team of Kirsty, Margreet , Marijke and myself the target was to defend our 4th position. 2 laps in the water with an australian exit, 5 laps on the bike and 4 laps on the run. Beside of swim bike run counting was an additional challenge on that course.
At 13:15 we heard the start shot and the race began. As I am the weakest swimmer, the swim part is crucial for me to manage to come out of the water on time to be able to cycle in a group. I swam as fast as I could, trying to stay close to those feets in front of me and ignoring all the arms, which were hitting all parts of my body . Yes swimming in Triathlon is great… it’s supposed to be fun … that’s what I kept telling to myself to not get annoyed and not to waste any energy on defending yourself in that „waterfight“.
Marijke came out first of the water (I didn’t even saw her in T1 ) and short in front off me Kirsty. Unfortunately Margreet was not that lucky with all the hits/ fighting arms in the water, which cost her some additional time in the water. After a quick transition (thursday trainings with Bart are showing it’s results) I was very happy to see that I could manage to bike towards Kirsty’s group. Quickly the group increased and we began to get used to work together and exchanging „kop over kop“. Margreet told me to try to be in front of de group when you arrive close to T2. I remembered her advise . The lap counting went well but unfortunately I forgot to memorize where exactly the entrance of T2 was. When we arrived at T2 I was still in my shoes. But you have to be flexible during a race and adapt to the situation. I don‘t remember how, but I managed to quickly get off my bike (with shoes on the bike). Out of T2 I tried to only focus on my pace which I wanted to run. Although I couldn‘t keep the pace I wanted to run, I kept catching up more and more competitors. Along the canal then I saw Marijke in front of me and Kirsty and Margreet on the other side behind me. Happy to see we were still complete gave me an extra boost for the last km’s. It was a great race with some room for improvement . We finished 7th with the team and dropped 2 places to the overall 6th position . In 2 weeks we will race the Triple Mix in Rotterdam and aim to climb further up that ladder !