Monday, June 17, 2013


Okay, so, last Thursday, I'm sitting at my computer working.  My wife comes up to me and says "I want to do a sprint triathlon this Saturday.  For exact reasons unknown to me, I said "Sure, I'll do it with you".  Anna was both surprised and excited, so I knew at that point, there was no backing out.  Well, almost no backing out.  We discovered that the water was going to be around 17.7 C, and we didn't actually know how cold that was (64 F) in terms of comfort level.  Some preliminary googling suggested a wetsuit might be in order, however, after consulting with friends on Facebook, it was determined that a wetsuit was not absolutely necessary (which was good, since getting a wetsuit at the last minute was going to be inconvenient).  So, with no more excuses, we got ready for the sprint triathlon.

What I hadn't realized, was that I was also committing myself to getting TO the triathlon.  We don't have a car.  Well, actually we do, but it's in Minnesota, so it does not do us much good for getting to things here in Germany.  So we took a train part way, and then rode the remaining 10km to the triathlon start.  From there it was just a matter of signing in, and trying to decipher where to go, and what the rules actually were (I'd never actually done one of these before, and it turns out there are all kinds of little details, like what do you actually want to wear for each bit?  Where do you put your stuff?  Do you wear the little chip thingy on your ankle or on your wrist?)
Me running so fast the photo is blurry

It was fun.  I definitely could have done better on the swimming - I managed to get behind some rather slow people, and was a little slow in figuring out the best way to pass them.  In the bike ride, I actually managed to pass someone (okay, so I'm not the fastest out there.  In fact, I got beaten by a 75+ year old.  By 8 minutes).
Someone much fitter than me in the process of leaving me behind
I was consoling myself that when one is in last place (or almost last place), at least there's no one left to pass you.  And then the second wave started passing me.  Near the front of these was my wonderful wife, who said hi as she left me in her dust.

Triathlons in Germany seem to have some distinctive features.  One of these is that you might find beer in the water bottle holders of very expensive bikes post-race (or maybe it was there during the race...)

This was also the first race in which my wife won a sausage.  Literally.
Anna pondering what do do with the sausage
The winners with their sausages

Only the best get the wurst
So, that was my first triathlon experience.  It was a lot of fun, and I think I'll probably do another one sometime.  Actually, given that Anna has already pulled up the schedule of when every other triathlon in the state of Hessen is (our state), I give it really high odds that I will be doing another one in the not too distant future.

Actually, there's one more part of the triathlon experience.  And that is that we didn't want to take the train home...  So we biked the 30 km back to Marburg, with all our stuff on our backs.  Which meant we covered a greater distance getting to and from the triathlon (40 km) than we did actually racing it (25.5 km).
On the bike ride home.  Note the Pringles can in my right backpack pocket.  If your vehicle is a car, it might not be a bad idea, but when everything you bring is riding home with you on a bike, packing light takes on a new, and previously under-appreciated-by-me level of importance.  The full-sized beach towel will also stay at home next time...

Editor's note (aka Anna): what Sasha is modestly failing to point out is that this is his first race since approximately middle school and a year ago he couldn't run 5km without walking, so I am VERY impressed that he did the running AND swimming and biking and riding home!!  Yay Sasha!!!  And in case that wasn't enough exclamation points, !!!!!!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. haha, this was awesome. nice work, both of you! Anna, I hope you shared your celebratory sausage =)