A weekend in the life of Dan Bailey’s support crew!
1st sept – thurs -departure day.
So we set out for our journey to get the 14.40 flight from London Heathrow to Basel, Switzerland. We finally arrived in a town called Rothrist where we were staying at Hotel Ibis, this was after going from car to plane to bus to train, changing to another train and then walking the looooong distance of about 1 mile(!) to the hotel, suitcase, hand luggage, bike bag and a moaning Dan in tow.
After checking in we thought we would sample the local cuisine and had dinner in the hotel restaurant. I then had the joy of watching Dan put his bike together whilst F’ing and blinding and trying to sort it all out! Once the bike had been assembled we were allowed to sleep!
2nd sept – fri – day before the day before.
After a rather interrupted nights sleep thanks to the hotel being on a very busy main road we thought we would mooch in to Zofingden to get Dans race number and check out the area. So we filled our faces at breakfast and then hit the road. This walk took us about 1 hour 15mins for about 5k due to the rather ‘hilly’ area and this is when it started to kick in for Dan and he began to realise what he had signed up for! -This is when the moaning really began!
But thanks to Dans excellent map reading skills and my fantastic sense of direction we made it to Zofingen.
We had a look around the stadium and Dan went to get his race number, then on to the supermarket to stock up on some nosh -this is where I managed to hold up the entire checkout Queue for being a numpty foreigner and not knowing how to weigh my fruit! Dan was no help whatsoever, by disowning me and laughing.
We managed to get the bus back (-thank god as I did not fancy doing that walk twice in one day!) and then Dan wanted to check everything was set up on the bike so I thought I would go for a run at the same time – or a jog as Dan would put it! after that and some pizza (great race prep food) from a place round the corner -where apparently all the cool kids hung out -it was time to sleep!
3rd sept – sat- the day before!
Woke up to a lovely sunny and hot day – I was thinking brilliant my tan could do with a top, Dan was thinking oh god if it’s like this tomorrow its going to be very hard work!
We caught the bus into town and watched the PowerKids and the charity race take place. After much moaning about it being too hot we took to some shade and waited for the pasta party to begin!
Pasta eaten and it was time for the opening ceremony, all the flags were brought down to the stage one at a time whilst the host introduced each nation- this was quite amusing as she managed to describe each one with having nice people, good food and beer and having some relation to a excellent football player each country should be proud of.
Then the elite athletes who had previously won a Powerman were invited to the stage to talk about their previous race experiences.
After killing time at the bus stop with the alphabet game – apparently I need to work on all areas of competitiveness, not just racing as I lost this game! – It was time to get some sleep before the big event! That would be a 10k run, 150k bike and 30k run for Dan and 7hrs 23mins of standing in the rain taking pictures for me!
4th sept – sun – race day!!!
The alarm went off at a shocking 5.45 am!! Giving us enough time to grab some breakfast, do any final checks and style hair – and that was just Dan!!
Bike racked and everything good to go, just enough time to do some warming up before ‘BANG!’ off went the gun and the male athletes were off!
Dan’s race report….
"Well where do i start, i’ve let Lizzie go over the antics of preparation for an event like this, so i suppose i should just tell you about the race itself.
Ok so 10k run, 150k bike, 30k run. Not quite your average distance. Standing on the start line, i was having second thoughts on completing this, let alone race in GB colours in the World Championships.
When the gun went off, i took the front with the elites, and we set about putting a hard pace on. it was 2 x 5k loops, with the first 3k being uphill. and then a 1k descent back to the transition area.
After 5k i was already knackered and decided that trying to run a 31/32 minute 10k was probably a stupid idea, and i should save some energy. On the second lap, i eased off and allowed myself to
catch my breath back. Coming into T1, with 33:55 on the clock, i was pretty happy, but with 180k left to go, i was struggling to grasp what a long day it was going to be.
Heading out onto the bike, i decided to work my way up to speed. For the first 10k, it was about making myself comfortable and adjusting my position. The 150k bike was 3 x loops with 3 major climbs,
the biggest peaking at 1600m (roughly). I felt strong going into the distance and had no doubts that this would be the hurdle in the race.
Alot of you will know, i don’t pay attention to scenery in a race and this was no exception, when you are wearing an aero helmet, you should really just look forward and pay attention to the road.
anyway, out on the course, i was put through my paces, not only by other athletes, but by the hills, rain, wind and smooth roads (that was the only good part).
I had planned to use around 750ml – 1000ml of energy drink/water per lap, and i was carrying two bottles to do the job. Unfortunately, somehow i managed to knock one of them off, so i left it on the floor.
Fortunately there were drink/food stations twice on each lap, so i soon grabbed a new bottle. I must point out that the hills in this race were not hills that we are used to in Chichester and the downs, these are mountains
with the longest one being a 5k accent, which was like doing Harting Hill over and over and over for about 20 minutes. I can distinctly remember hearing alot of huffing and puffing from all the other athletes around me.
My other nutrition plan was to use 12 gels, working out about 3 per hour, along with 2 energy bars. The gels were working perfectly until about 3 and a half hours into the bike, when i had a caffeine low (all my gels were caffeinated). By this point, i was a little concerned, and it was around this point that i was overtaken by New Zealander Adam Milne. I attempted to eat some food, but my body decided that i wasn’t hungry, and i barely managed a few mouthfuls.
With not very far left to T2, i perked up a little bit, and knowing it was a 5k gradual descent into the transition, i eased off and allowed my legs to spin, ready for the run
There was one point on the bike where i looked down, (67 miles to be precise) and saw on my speedometer that i still had a WHOLE chichester triathlon cycle route left to do!
Coming into T2, the crowds had died off a little thanks to the rain. As i came to the dismount line, i swung my leg over the back and kicked my water bottle out of his cage (i had one attached to my saddle). I decided not
to stop, and carry on in to find my bike rack. With T2 being my speciality, my bike was racked, and my run shoes on in no time. I was pleased to see in the results that i had, the fastest T2 of the day, by 10 seconds. Not even the elites were close!
Storming out onto the run, i was now feeling confident on finishing, and determined to catch Adam Milne, to take back 1st position. The run course, was a 2 x 15k loop, cross country run, through a national park.
Straight out of transition it was an immediate 3k climb, not something that was very welcoming. It was challenging, but the atmosphere of the crowds on the course was enough to keep me going. When i got to about 6k, there lots of loops where you passed the same point over and over again, but from a different way. This was confusing, but the distance markers went up and up until 7.5k so i wasn’t complaining. At the turn point, i was rather annoyed that i had to do all of what i had just run, but in reverse. Even though it was slightly nippy and wet, i was taking on fluids at every drinks station, the marshals were holding out "coke, water, isotonic drink" i took all of them.
Coming back down to the transition area, and halfway through the run, i felt great. with 1 hour 5ish on the clock for the 15k, i was a little outside my pace goal. Just i headed to the turn point, i saw the New Zealander heading towards me. With this in mind, about 400m into the start of the 2nd 15k i overhauled Adam Milne. With my confidence boosted i was feeling great and extended my lead.
At the 22.5k turn point, i was 5 minutes clear of 2nd place, now a Belgian Athlete, and about 15 minutes clear of 3rd. With 7.5k to go i was still feeling good and not fatiguing, however nature was calling, so i pulled over
to relieve what can only be described as pure coke and isotonic drinks.
I thought nothing could go wrong, until with just 5k to go, Disaster struck! My IT Band decided to give way, causing me to collapse in a not so elegant fashion. Unable to stand, Medics were called and they did what every first aider does (especially St Johns ambulance), stick an icepack on it! Time was passing, and the Belgian Athlete came past. Determined not to drop any further in position and having spent 10 minutes on the ground, i forced myself up and hobbled/ran down towards the finish.
With the finish line in sight, the rain beating down on me and the sun disappearing, i made a superhuman attempt at a sprint to cross the line in 2nd Place in 7 Hours 23 minutes and 14 seconds.
I was absolutely knackered, but my thoughts were turns 1. to getting medical help and 2. getting my t-shirt and medal.
Below is a breakdown of my times:
2nd Place 20 – 24 Age Group
A word of advice, which i’ve said before. "don’t ever do a Powerman unless your crazy like myself"
After dan had had a beer and some pasta he thought it was about time to find me, he was shivering and had blue lips, perhaps he was a little cold.
He found me sheltering under a tree and very surprised I hadn’t shrunk in the rain, we decided it was time to head back to get ready for the closing ceremony/issuing of medals.
5th sept – mon- home time!
Another nasty awakening at 6.15am!
Bags packed, transport booked and it was time to head home. I for some reason was put in charge of the return journey and as a result we were a nice hour early than needed!
All in all a great weekend, it was good to watch how to race properly………and watch Dan!