Sunday, October 3, 2010

Afriman Race Report

Think I must keep it short and sweet, just the opposite of my experience today. It was a long and brutal day.

The Weatherman was right for once in his life and the forecast of 34c with no wind was 100% correct.
The race was a duathlon starting with a 10km run, followed by a 70km bike and then a 5km run again. The run section was not on tar but on gravel road with about half a kilometer on tar and another half a kilometer of single track trail running.
I could manage to move to the front part of the field when the siren went off and could manage a respectable pace. The first leg was two 5km laps which made it easy to check my position as the athletes had their age groups marked on their calves. After the run leg I was in 9th position overall and 2nd in the 40-49 age group and finished the run in 40:43 minutes.

The transition area was about 200 meters from the tar road and I was a bit worried riding my bike on the gravel road towards the bike course. Luckily I had no punctures or damage to the bike.

The bike leg was a 3 x 23.3km loops with no major hills but long sections with a steady climb. I managed a 37.5km/h average on the first leg but that's was the end of a pleasant day for me.

On the second lap I could not maintain the power and speed and my average wattage drop by more than 20 watts and on the third lap it dropped by another 20 odd watts.

In the end I averaged 35km/h on the bike and somehow by passing guys and other guys passing me I could maintain my 9th place overall but dropped to 3rd in my age group. I also ran out of fluids on the bike and during the last 10km I had nothing to drink. Not nice when there is no wind to cool you down and it is 34c

I wasn't happy when I got off the bike and could feel that the 5km that was waiting would be very hard and I've also learned after the run leg it would be my slowest 5km run in many, many years.

My pace dropped to around 5min/km but then at 3.5km I had the most brutal cramp in my left leg I've EVER experienced. My Quadriceps, hamstring, calve and Gluteus muscles just seized up and it was the first time I cried as a result of cramping. I could not move my body never mind my leg.

I just stood their and didn't know what to do apart from swearing and crying. Eventually massaging my leg and started moving slowly helped a bit but as soon as I wanted to walk at a brisk pace the cramping was back.

Don't know how long it took me but eventually I could shuffle home and people were flying past me. Eventually I finished the 5km run in 30:28 min and got passed by 8 athletes of which 3 was in the 40-49 age group.

Going from 9th to 17th overall (including 1 team) and from 3rd to 6th in my age group in less than 5km.

Overall time for the race 3h10:37
Official Race results here

Well no need to sulk about the race as it was the first one of the season, just hope the season gets better and this is not the beginning of some bad racing.

Know how hard core this race is, even the TV commentator wear compression socks!
Lesson learned today: The distance and heat got the better of me today and I need to drop the 5 kilogram I gained during Winter ASAP.

The big mileage and long hours only starts November, no need to be a hero during the first race of season. Rather save that for end of season.
Thank you for reading my Afriman race report.


  1. Hi Johan, I'm sorry the race did not go as you had hoped but I still say you did fantastic! I wonder why the cramping? Dehydration from running out of fluids on the bike maybe?

    You have a long season of racing ahead of you, take your lessons learned and keep going. I am always impressed with your accomplishments.

  2. You know Johan, all these experiences go into the Kona 2011 account. You need something to draw against when you're lying 4th at IM and there are only 3 Kona slots available. Today you earned a small bit of that Kona slot.

  3. It is still an impressive accomplishment knowing it is just the start of the long season of racing.. :)

  4. This weekend was really hot and racing in 34°C is no joke. I think finishing in this heat is good for anyone. Well done, I think you still did very well! The 10km on the bike without fluids must have started dehydration and in that heat you won’t recover while you carry on racing. Recover and rest well. Next race will be much better!

  5. WOW! Honestly, until the last 5k, you had one exceptional race!

    This is why its the beginning of your season. Find out where you need to work and fix it :)

    Great times though on your first two legs. Keep up the good work and be nice to your new bike :)

  6. Sounds like a tough race - that sucks that your muscles seized up on you. Ugh. What a bummer. At least this is early in the season, you got that race out of the way. Learn and look forward to the next one. You always are inspiring to me, way to tough it out and finish.

    I love that the commentators were even wearing compression.

  7. Man, your 10 km time was unbelievable!!! Sorry to hear about the rest, but you know you went hard when you cramp and the heat and no water didn't help. First race of the year, no big deal, you can only go up.


  8. great report and quite the adventure!

    I must say though that that kind of weather would kill me quickly - I just ran in 4°C and I came back sweating with a wet shirt!

    you are awesome and good luck with the trim down!