Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One more week in Deutschland

Week five in Sigmaringen done and dusted – time is moving quickly!
Last week’s training was a bit disjointed with our little trip to Maikammer at the beginning and then a trip to Roth at the end so I had to cram in as much as I could between Wednesday and Saturday.
The realization that l’Alpe d’Huez was fast approaching scared me into a 4hr radfahren – afterwards I saw that there was a bit over 1000m of climbing over 106km which is a bit less that the climbing up alpe d’Huez but in only 15km – hmmm. But I am making the most of what we have got here and spending some quality time in the saddle.
Laufren is going really well with my average pace on most of my runs getting quicker and I did a 17km laufren without any issues in the weekend – yeah!

The highlight was the week was a trip up to Nuremberg and Roth to watch the Challenge Roth iron distance race where a number of our Kiwi buddies were racing.  We were tossing up whether we went or not because it was about a 3.5hr drive and would mean a day of training lost, but having done Ironman races overseas I know how uplifting it can be to see a familiar face amongst all the foreigners in an unfamiliar country so that sealed the deal for me.
Once the decision was made I started to look at accommodation in Roth and came up with nothing – being a pretty small town with this triathlon probably being its biggest tourist attraction there is not much in the way of hotels.  The nearest big town is Nuremberg which had plenty of reasonable accommodation and is only about 30mins drive from Roth so this looked like a good option.
We dropped into Roth on the way to Nuremberg and had a look at the expo which was massive and still full of people at 6pm the night before the race!! The expo was bigger than Kona and had all sorts of triathlon paraphernalia, these German’s just love triathlon.
Challenge Roth expo - the place to be before the night before the race
By the time we got to Nuremberg and had din­ner it was about 8.30pm, we decided to get something from the supermarket opposite the hotel for the morning and then retire for the evening.  Because dinner took so long the supermarket had closed so we decided to see if there was anything else similar open.  The old part of Nuremberg (our hotel was on the edge) was pretty pumping with people everywhere and the further we walked the more amazed we were with the buildings which were very medieval looking.  I admit to being a completely ignorant tourist and had not even researched anything about this place that we were going to which was so full of history.  The buildings were absolutely amazing (most had been restored after 90% of the city was destroyed in WWII) and we walked over a massive cobbled square where you could just imagine witches being burned at the stake in the dark ages.
Apparently this used to be a hospital in the 13th century

Not sure what this was but it was almost next to our hotel
The next morning we set off to Roth which is a bit of a logistical nightmare to spectate as the swim start/T1, T2 and finish are all in different locations.  The Solarer Berg is a hill towards the end of the bike loop which is famous for the thousands of spectators which cover the hill opening a narrow path for the cyclists to ride through as they come up.  We figured this would be a good place to spectate from so we followed the masses from the swim exit to there and found a spot just up from the foot of the climb.  The atmosphere was absolutely amazing and as fantastic as everyone says.  
Wooo! A cyclist!
There was a crazy German on a PA system at the bottom of the hill – we couldn’t tell what he was saying but he was getting the crowd going.  We didn’t have to wait too long for the lead cyclist to come through – I am sure that people must get their toes run over by the motorbikes, that is how close it is.  I took lots of photos but it does nothing to show what it was actually like, my excitement levels were at an all-time high just being there.  We cheered the Kiwi’s through (and also Celiacsky our honorary Kiwi) and then made our way back to Roth to watch the run.

Two Piece! And she spotted us!

We had our bikes with us which made getting around a bit easier.  The run is on a similar path to Wanaka minus the tree roots and hills which generally makes for quick times.  Our main athlete Two Piece had a good time on the swim and bike but was finding the run a bit tough so we did our best to encourage her as well as the other Kiwis.  Once Two Piece finished (in a PB time) we headed back to Sigmaringen in our 29 Euro per day car ready to face our last week here.
Timo travels in style

Another stylist mode of transportation
 The last Liga race is this weekend, it doesn’t look like I’ll be racing so can get a some good training in the Big Jo bank ready for the l’Alpe race.

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