takes place in January in the Israeli city of Eilat on the Red Sea. The features of this launch include a difficult terrain and difficult weather conditions - a gusty wind, significant temperature changes in different sections of the route. When they said at the briefing that it would be terribly cold in the desert, I decided to put on a jersey and a starting T-shirt over the starting suit. Why didn’t I take a cycling jacket or a long-sleeve autumn bike uniform with me? Don’t even ask, I don’t know. In addition, on the eve of the start, it was raining heavily, however, despite the fact that a large puddle occupied a large part of the transit zone, everything managed to dry out before the hour X.
At 6:20 the race began - I swam in the "second wave" (the pros traditionally started the first). There was no flea market. Three days before the race, I managed to test the water - for a swim in hydrika, it turned out to be very warm. The route of the swimming stage looked like this: almost a kilometer in a straight line from the start, a 90-degree turn — another couple of hundred meters and back to the coast. Everything is smooth and measured (two minutes per hundred meters).
Throughout the cycle (and this is 4 hours 20 minutes) it seemed to me that the climb would never end (whoever likes to analyze the charts - take a look at speed and climb). And with it the wind will never end. Up to the mark of thirty kilometers, I did not even look at the clock. And so it was clear: you just have to endure. But when he looked, he was stunned - 2:20:00.
It flashed through my head "this is a fiasco, bro," because usually during this time I manage to drive not only thirty kilometers, no - all ninety.
In addition, it seemed that everyone except me was ready for the cold race - they rode in jackets and buffs (I was lucky: they say it was warmer than usual). The tiniest thing began after fifty kilometers, when it turned out that a fair wind had helped me before, and now even straight sections without slides, but with a headwind became just as difficult, like riding uphill at the very beginning.
In general, the cycle stage is sweat, pain and suffering. Yes, the landscapes - the desert, the slopes - are very beautiful, but because of the cold it was not at all before that.
The organizers located the second transit zone in the desert - this allowed them to “let out” all the participants outside the city, and then, as they finish, lower their things (bags and bicycles) by cars in the first "transit" (at the start and finish).
The running stage included several sections called Eilat trail, and its final part passed along the picturesque promenade. In addition, it was necessary to go down from the "transit", which allowed a little "recovery" after a heavy cycle.
I was pleasantly surprised by the care of some triathletes - after six hours of the race it was hard to run, and having talked with one of the runners, I could find a suitable pace (called sexy 43ace). Thanks to this, I even finished a little faster.
The recovery area was excellent: soups, fruits, tea, coffee, cookies. For myself, I chose yogurt - my stomach, which managed to break the habit of gels and isotonics, was very grateful to me for this. And the tent with massage and myostimulants completely became my refuge after all the yogurts in the district were eaten.
- Never go to the race alone - without support. After all, if you weren’t on the list of people who came out of the water, who will worry and burden the organizers with your searches while you storm the impregnable mountains on a bicycle?
Israel itself was very popular and left a lot of pleasant impressions.
Immediately after the race, we rented a car and spent the whole day traveling from Eilat to Tel Aviv, via
and the Dead Sea.
In Tel Aviv, thanks to incredible hospitality, we got to the Olympic Center, where we were shown and told how the Olympic Committee functions, the famous Maccabi basketball team is managed and athletes train - by the way, under the strict guidance of former champions and outstanding trainers.
Such a difficult cycle stage requires more preparation-one hour a week on the machine and training in the hall is not enough. There was hope that the form was preserved from last season, because only at the end of September I did the full IRONMAN. The reality turned out to be sad: to keep fit in winter is an art that I, apparently, have yet to master.
The lack of bike volumes always affects the same - after the finish it’s sad. If you don’t want to be sad, plan difficult starts for yourself at the end of the season, and not at the beginning or in the offseason.
Forgotten little things (keys, buff, elastic for the number , charging for watches, ear plugs), even if they were all once written on the checklist, they will definitely add a spoonful of tar. In addition, the idea that this could be avoided will not leave you alone for a long race (unless, of course, you manage to occupy your head with something else, more positive).
There is nothing to add - I have never participated in cold cycling before.
In my case, unpreparedness for the weather was worth several weeks of struggle with otitis media and other unpleasant consequences of overload and hypothermia.
Aeroflot obliged me to buy a separate ticket for a cycle case, and it turned out to be more expensive than my own . I wrote to airlines about the dimensions and weight in advance, but answering my letter with a call, Aeroflot representatives assured that everything would be decided at the airport, although they did not warn about the price of this decision. From this conclusion: a velocase weighing 40 kilograms is safe (for the frame), but expensive (for you). Next time I’ll try to fit the “oversized” into the prescribed 24 kilograms by placing the equipment in a separate suitcase.
Unfortunately, in terms of budget this is not the only difference between Russian and foreign starts, so be prepared.