Challenge Poznan Half – 25th July

Poznan race venue

Challenge Poznan race venue from the air.

A race of many firsts… unfortunately that didn’t include crossing the finish line first but as always these races are almost as much about executing the plan as the end result. Great execution can lead to victory but equally it could all end in a stunning defeat but with many small triumphs along the way. It’s all part of that cliched “journey”…

Screen shot 2015-08-05 at 19.32.38

So what were my wins and losses at Challenge Poznan?

Travelling on Friday (2 days before the race as opposed to Thursday as I normally would) leaving little margin for error – loss

Booking a flight with a layover in Frankfurt – loss

Bike lost by Lufthansa in Frankfurt despite 6 hour layover – loss

Writing down address of wrong hotel on lost baggage form – loss

Intercepting bike at airport on Saturday before it got delivered to wrong hotel – win

Stress caused by bike going missing – loss

Dealing with the stress in a fairly civilised way (by Vickster standards) – win

Scicon bike bag damaged in transit – loss

Bike squashed but fixed by race mechanic – win

POLISH FOOD – big traumatic loss

Being resourceful and cooking brown rice noodle in my hotel room – win

Losing my beetroot juice on Friday which was packed in lost bike bag – loss

Finding beetroot juice in local supermarket – win

Drinking whole bottle of beetroot juice not realising it was concentrate – loss

Buying the wrong water in the supermarket (sparking instead of still) about 27 times – loss

Learning Polish. Gazowana means sparkling! – win

Surviving a choppy swim without panicking – win

Swimming a 1900m personal worst – loss

Not being last out of the water – win

Passing people on first lap of the bike – win

Throwing up beetroot juice all over Drag2zero suit and bike – loss

Losing power and getting overtaken on the second lap – loss

Dismounting bike with good run legs despite feeling rough on the bike – win

Overtaking 2 runners in first 5k – win

Swearing on finding out I’m down in 10th place – loss

Momentarily giving up the fight thinking “what’s the point, 10th is crap” – loss

Snapping myself out of my personal pity party within 1km – win

On the chase – win

Overtaking 3 more women by 15k – win

Holding position on last lap when pace started to bite – win

Not giving myself and excuse/opportunity to give up – win

Crossing the finish line as 8th pro smiling – BIG WIN!

Genuinely congratulating people who beat me without thinking bad thoughts in my head – win

Enjoying the post-race fatigue and dwelling more on the positives but learning from the negatives – win

Mistakes are an opportunity for learning – only an idiot makes the same mistakes twice. So what would be my advice to people contemplating Challenge Poznan 2016?
1 – Book a direct flight. Even if it’s with Ryanair.
2 – Pack your own food.
3 – Be prepared for a headwind/tailwind bike leg.
4 – Be prepared for a long run leg (the 21km marker is about a km from the finish line…. hmmmm)
5 – Enjoy Poland if you haven’t visited before – they put on a fantastic race!
Next up – Ironman Copenhagen August 23rd.

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