When I came to Glücksburg with my family to do the OstseeMan Triathlon this year it almost felt a bit like coming home.
I think in some way it became my home. Everything is familiar to me. I know exactly when I have to be where. The welcoming gets heartier from year to year. Over the years I got to know so many lovely persons in Glücksburg. Volunteers who make this race to what it is every year, people who watched the race during the previous years as spectators and decided to participate themselves and participants that can´t resist the force of the Ostseeman spirit and come back for the race every year. Like me.
At least I am at home in Glücksburg from a sporty point of view. In 2008 I did my first iron distance triathlon in this beautiful landscape. I came back in 2010 as a pro and could win the race this year for the 4th time in a row.
The days before the race where slightly different this year to what I am used to before my main races of the season. I wasn´t even concerned as much as usual if everything will go according to plan. I simply could not wait for the race to start. I felt like a 10 year old boy before Christmas or Birthday! A feeling most “adults” loose sooner or later. I was just looking forward to race. To the smiles of the volunteers, the cheering of the crowd that gets bigger and bigger every year, the beautiful landscape, the goose bump atmosphere in the finish area, my family motivating me during the race, the many dreams that will come true during such a day and last but not least the lead cyclist on the marathon. He really pushed me during hard phases in the run during the past four years, just with some wise chosen words!
This year I could enjoy the race much more than in the previous years. Even though I made it harder than necessary for me, due to a stupid mistake on the bike. I had used all the nutrition planed for the 180km bike ride already when I reached km 135. Instead of giving my stomach time to digest the food overload I grabbed some more gels and isotonic drinks during the rest of the bike leg. And the Problems appeared during the run. I got some stomach issues and had to stop twice at a dixi-toilet. After these stops I decided to do the remaining 25km of running on water since it made no sense to take more gels or isotonic drinks because the stomach would not digest them anyway. Fortunately my lead on the second man was more than 15 min and I could even enjoy the rest of the run to the finish line, even though it felt terribly slow.
After 8hrs38min I could celebrate my 4th victory in a row in Glücksburg. It was a fantastic day with perfect conditions and a lot of time to enjoy the wonderful crowd. In one way it was a bit strange when I reached the finish line, because on one hand every muscle in my entire body wanted to end the effort, but on the other hand I enjoyed this race so much that my head did not really want to end this. Therefore I decided to experience the race after my finish from another point of view. I helped out at an aid station. It was fun to change the sides for the first time. I think it even gave some participants some extra motivation for their last kilometers. Some even stopped to have a little talk with me. But I was a little bit astonished that my arms fatigued after just 40 minutes of passing water. It´s an incredible job which all of the volunteers do at such races! Their job isn´t even over after all of the ironman and women reached the finish line, and no race would work without so many volunteers.
Right now I am pretty sure that I can´t resist the attraction of the Ostseeman next year J, provided that the spectators in Glücksburg do not get bored of my 6th appearance and Reinhard Husen the race director likes to see me once again in Glücksburg.
Thaks a lot Glücksburg, everyone involved in the Ostseeman triathlon, my family and of course the team and its supporters. Without them such a day would not be possible!