Challenge Copenhagen 2012. Race report.

I’m not sure how to assess my race. Sucess or failure. I didn’t had a goal for a time or ranking, so it’s difficult to fail when you don’t have a quantificable goal. To me,  these races are divided in:

1) The challenge of the race, to be able to overcome the distance

2) Competition. To give one’s best and beat as many competitors as possible.

That first part of the race last sunday was successful. The first goal is to cross that finish line and the biggest failure is to call it a day. The feeling of being a finisher, those last meters, sometimes even kilometers, is a success. It’s one of the main reasons I do this.

I’m not so satisfied with the performance side though. I finished number 7 in a time of 8h45′. This year the conditions were a little tougher and as I said I didn’t come with a clear goal in mind. I just wanted to give my best, to colapse right after finishing. It’s all I wanted. When you’ve done all the training, when you think you prepared the last detail, when your feelings in training have been the best they’ve ever been, then you don’t need anything else than giving your best. If that happens you know everything will be all right. But I made a basic mistake, I did not take enough calories during the race. I had some problems with the bottles I had my nutrition in and I was not able to adapt to the conditions. I only eat 150gr of CHO during the bike and I gradually faded during the bike course. I tried to fix it in the marathon but it was too late. From the very first step it was not possible to run at a high pace, so I settled into a jog. Instead of holding the agony during the 42km, all I managed was to put one foot in front of the other and wait for the finish line to come. The upside of this is that I didn’t kill myself so I believe I still have one good race left in me this year.

Radisson Blue. Our very nice hotel.

The days before the race went fine. Organizers arranged everything perfectly for us, a big thank you to them. The hotel was very nice and the views from our room in the 23rd floor were impressive. I love Copenhagen for many reasons. It gives me the feeling that everything rules perfectly there. I love the respect and friendliness of the danish people. And I absolutely love the pelotons in their bike lanes, from people going to work in elegant suits, to young parents with kids, to elderly women with baskets full of groceries.  To our surprise, it didn’t rain at all during the days we were there. Race day started fine as well, organizers arranged a shuttle from the hotel to the start in Amager Strand. We reached there with plenty of time for the last preparations. I double checked that my RTScarbon bike was fine and after seeing the conditions of the day decided the Fusion gear I was wearing.


The cannon went off at 7am and off we went. I was quite well placed in the second group but at the 1km mark the guy in front of me was dropped and there was no way I could make it with the group again. I had to settle in the third group so I exited the water 6 minutes down the leaders and 2′ from the group in front.
I started the bike quite well, at a controlled pace, well bellow the watts I’m able to average. My plan was to save something for the second half of the bike and then start pushing hard. Almost all the guys that exited the water with soon lost contact and for the 30km there was only one, Jacob Frandsen. We worked quite well together. At the 110km mark we were told that the group in front was 1’30” ahead, so it was time to start pushing. Or so I thought, but instead the watts started to decrease, my energy was gone and I was hardly moving the cranks. Definitely the way too low intake of calories was taking it’s toll (and still did nothing to solve it). I lost 5′ in the final 60km.

Geels Bakke. 80 Km.

I was hoping that things would change in the marathon but from the very first step I knew there was nothing in the legs. Somehow I managed to advance some places and I finished number 7.

Enjoying the crowds.

Now it’s time to rest some, train some, and in a short time I will have one other shoot to give my absolute best.

Xabat, we are finishers!!


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