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Race Report: Powerman Zofingen 2014- Long Distance ITU World Championship - Run 10km, Bike 150k, Run 30km

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After travelling for 27 hours, we finally arrived in our hotel in Olten, Switzerland. Olten is a picturesque little town approximately 10km North of Zofingen. I built my bike and went for a run with the rest of my team mates from South Africa. We were 5 representatives including Annie Lemmon, Mark Lemmon, JC Visser and Craig West. In the days leading up to the event we went and rode the bike course and ran the first run loop. On Saturday afternoon we had race briefing and I completed my final preparation for the race.

 

Race day came and I was well prepared for the event and was confident that I was going to do really well. The ladies start the event off at 8amand the men go off at 9am. With all the men starting together, with the Elite men only 10m ahead of the age group athletes, it possible to go with the elite mens pace which worked well for me and got me into a good pace. 

 

The gun went off, I went for it and closed the gap and put myself in a good position going up the first 900m hill, before going off road of gravel trails, continuing the uphill drag, before getting some respite at 1.4km being comfortable in the top 15 men overall on the undulating section before running downhill back to transition. I reach transition about 50-75m behind the leading group, comfortable and happy with my position, on to the second brutal lap of the run, it was all about consistence with good pacing. 

 

After 32.42min for 9.2km, I reached transition first in 30-34 age group and 14 overall, quick transition and onto the bike for 3 laps of 50km equaling 150km with 2400m of climbing. Within the first 10km I knew it was going to be a long day, I just couldn’t get comfortable on the bike and kept shifting around in my seat. At 15km I was caught by my fellow age group athletes going up the main climb of the course the Ohm Stal/Budenberg, plan B was established, try pace off these guys of as long as possible, at the end of Lap 1 I collected my nutrition from my girlfriend (now fiancé) Kasandra who had come to support me during the trip. Lap two and three was all about keeping it together and not losing too much time to the other athletes in my age group. At the end of the bike I was placed firth in the age group losing 17 minutes to the leader of the age group and 6-9min off second/third in my age group. I covered the 150km in 4h24m, I was pretty broken going into transition, but really happy to be running again.

 

Onto the last run a two lap hilly and undulating 28km course, going uphill for the first 3km before reaching the plateau, where its undulating and twisting. I got into a good rhythm and past two athletes on the first lap of the run, know that the gap was pretty big to first and second place I thought I was going to get a podium, get to the top of the plateau again I saw the athlete in second place was struggling so I pushed hard again and caught him at 7.5km to go. As I caught him I put in a surge so that he didn’t go with me, he had nothing. The athlete leading my age group was just to far ahead of me to be caught. Running down the hill to the finish line, I just kept it steady., covering the 28km in 2h12m. 

 

Running into the stadium was great once again and knowing that I would be on the podium and receiving an ITU medal was a great motivator considering I did not have the perfect race day. Finishing 2nd in the 30-34 age group and 20th overall.

 

My advice? Never give up, the race changes all the time. Its not over until you cross the finish line.

 

A special thank-you to the following: 

Happy racing!


Rohan Kennedy

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