Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sam the Roth-man

An email I received from Sam today regarding his experience at Roth. Sounds like an awesome race to do. Sam as you will read had a mishap before the race and it's amazing that he even started let alone finished. Amazing job Sam, well done.

Photo taken at recent KL Half Marathon courtesy of Mohan the Great

Sam says: -

"I am writing this at the bar of the hotel in Geneva airport after Carmen and I drove from Roth today. We head back to KL tomorrow morning.

The race was absolutely fantastic and lived up to its reputation by more than 100%. I have done a few IM’s around the world and before yesterday, I would have classified IM Austria as the best in terms of support and the friendliness of the crowds etc. However, Roth ‘takes the biscuit’ in that category.

The experience is out of this world and I enjoyed every minute of it. I knew that my prep was below par due to my shoulder (recovering from a broken collarbone), my busy work schedule and bronchitis so I was hoping for something that had 12 hours plus change.

Unfortunately, I twisted my right knee just as I was walking to the swim start (by foolishly climbing over a fence) and from that point on, I knew I was in trouble. The knee swelled up immediately and while it was manageable in the swim and on the bike, the pain became unbearable on the run. I had to walk the last 15k and even that was very uncomfortable. Anyway, I am not complaining. I went to take part and not to do a good time and in that respect, the mission was successful.

Carmen and I stayed with a German family (I got their name from the local tourist office) and boy, were they friendly and hospitable. We really lucked out there and it’s so much nicer than staying in a hotel at 60 Euros a night for the two of us.

As for the race, I had a nice and easy swim. The canal is clean and it’s not cold. The bike course is undulating with about three hills of any significance. All of them had hundreds of supporters lining the road and the best had to be the famous Solar Hill where you have to ride TdF style through an avenue of supporters who are shouting and supporting you up the hill. The experience is the best! The run course is mainly along the canal path but at each U turn, the course goes through a village where the ‘umpah’ bands are playing and atmosphere is akin to Oktoberfest.

The finish in Roth is also another feature where you run into the finish area which is built like an arena. The red carpet is laid out in a U shape so you have to run down one side, along another before turning towards the finish arch. I tell you, the organizers think of everything to get the most out of the Roth experience for the athlete. It’s brilliant!

Anyway, we have a long day of travelling to KL tomorrow which is quickly followed by PD tri next Sunday. I will have to see if my knee calms down before then but Carmen is up for it, big time.


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