Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Swim and Run Cologne 2016

The "swim and run Cologne" is the first swim event I ever entered. My first "swim and run Cologne" was in 2009. I didn't join every year, but almost.
Like every event, I only do it for fun! There is no real training beforehand. So sometimes I wonder why I do it anyway...
This year my sister Annika and my friend Amanda took part aswell. Annika had extra motivation, because of the charity she supports with every swim.
(more about #nikaschwimmt) 

Doing an event like this together is definitly a nicer experience and a motivation boost. We had a small facebook message group to chat about our training - our lack thereof ;-)
We had nice dinner with proper sportsfood the day before the event - in a brewery with isotonic beer ;-)
The whole week before the event was filled with thunderstorms and heavy rain overhead the Cologne area. So the two days before we all had this "I wouldn't mind if it is cancelled"-thoughts... you see, we are not taking this serious.

The sunday looked good enough when we arrived at the Fühlinger See. After a short stop at the registration office, we went down to the water to feel, if it was wetsuit weather or not. The Fühlinger See is a clean and calm lake and wetsuits are not compulsory.
I have a personal comfort point around 19 dregree celsius where I decide with or without wetsuit. After my two short splashes in Helsinki and Stockholm the week before, the water felt warm. It was 20 degress, so good for me.
Whenever I can, I go without a wetsuit and as little gear as possible.
(see also wildswimstories "needful stuff?")

Even though I really like the fit of my suit, it still interfers with my shoulder mobility and gives me too much bouyancy.
And this day was a swim and run, so I could save time in the changing area. I just had my swimsuit with longer legs, googles and the event hat. In the changing area I only put on socks, shoes and a tshirt with my number on it.
My sister decided on going without the wetsuit aswell for better changing. We were the only two without a wetsuit, but the water was nice, it was only 1k to swim and I enjoyed the direct contact of the water on my skin. 

Some triathletes use the wetsuit for extra bouyance or believe it is faster. We had to discover soon, that in this event -even in our race with the everyone-distance of 1k swim and 7k run- only triathletes or at least trained persons participated.
I lost Annika and Amanda right after the start signal. As I was overtaken by more and more people even though the race wasn't that big, it became a little frustrating. I kept in mind, that I had still 7k running to do (with no training) and tried to finish the swim easily. The time of 25 minutes were ok for me. In the changing area I met Amanda, who was struggeling with her shirt. I wasn't really able to have a chat so I put on socks, shoes and my shirt and went off. I knew Amanda would soon find me... and she did at the 1 k point. I had my pulse watch with me, which showed 170 beats and wouldn't come down. I tried to relax, take it easy, but it didn't work. I still felt comfortable enough to keep my pace and at kilometer 5 thought "what the hell with pulse" and got faster even to a small finish sprint at the end.
For me 25 minutes for 1k swimming and 49 minutes running for 7k were good - yes, I know, that it is not fast at all. 

In the finish area I found Amanda, who was always a minute ahead of me. We both felt exhausted, but happy as finishers can be!
We grabbed a Erdinger alcohol free beer and went to a small bridge to wait for Annika running on the path below. She was quicker than estimated and we cheered, than turned around to cheer again as she run past on the finisher track. 

We all were happy and cheerful at the finish. It was great to be over with it, but also that all three of us had finished and had finished in good times. A look at the results showed us, that we were at the bottom of the list. That wasn't so bad, but we found, that they are just too little people taking part for the fun of it. The event became more professional in the last years and is still fine for hobby-traithletes, but the atmosphere was just a bit too professionell for us ;-)
And I look more sporty than I really am.

Afterall I enjoyed the "swim and run Cologne 2016" ....

and you never regret a swim ;-) 


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