Challenge Roth race report

tisdag, juli 19, 2016

Finally done the nr 1 race on my bucket list: Challenge Roth!
This just about the race. I will do a page about everything from travlingen to tips to get around , food etc. Later this week you will find it here: I was so much around the race so I thought i would need its own page, but totally worth it.


Woke upp att 3 o'clock. A friends father was picking us up at 3.45. Trying to get something to eat, not that easy at this time. Got 2 nutella sandwiches, a banana and snickers. 
Got to the Swedish headquarters with most of all the Swedish racers and then second car trip to the Shuttle bus from Roth to the swim start.  The shuttle bus bus was 20min late but I had a lot of time. Arrived att swimstart/T1 around 6.45 and my start time was 7.15. Thought I had time to relax etc. Yeah right, walking around like a stressed out squirrel on to much caffeine. 


After the group before started, we only have 5 minutes to get from our line on the grass behind the fence to the swim start line. Just getting into the water took me around 2 minutes.
The water temp was 19-20. Even if its warm your body reacts to it. And there is no time to warmup. As usual I took place far back to the right.
Suddenly people was jumping in so I was in the middle fighting. Did not feel good, so I took a hard right where there were no people.  Was suffering a little, but I knew that I always need time to warmup. After exactly 500 meters (there were signs) I went from Survival mode to race mode!
Went back in the group and found someone swimming as fast as me so i glided 3-4 sekonds and went on his feet to save some energy. We were passing a lot of people so was nice being behind and just following his feel and not needing to go up and sight all the time. But is has one bad thing, if he swim s to far so do I and exactly that happened, we went by the turn around, but not by far. Now I was the long stretch on the way back and I started to reach the group that started before and there was a lot of people in the way and little tighter. After the last turn around and last 300m to T1 it got even tighter with maybe only 1/3 of the kanal to swim in, but managed quite good to avoid any elbows or kicks. Got hit in the head once , but nothing really serious.  It was a warm swim, opened the swimsuit around the neck several times to let in som water.

Swim: 01:05  (personal best 3.8 swim)

The swim (pic Jessica)


Since by some strange reason I dont know why, you have to keep the helmet on the bike with the chin strap loose over the night. Since you even allowed to keep the bib on the bike and I have my shoes on the bike (have visor on the helmet) my bike bag was completely empty.  Challenge Roth has special thing keeping the bags on the ground. But I found mine fast. Just jump out of the wetsuit, get the bike and off we go.   Time: 02:49 m


I think the most common misunderstanding of me and a lot of people I heard talking is that its a flat course because of the world record , It is not flat! It has nice surface and the kind of course that is fast if you are strong and have'ing a good day. Have'ing a bad day and it will kill you!

I went out on the bike feeling great, I had good legs! For my goal I had to average around 33kmh and after talking to my coach my ideal watt should be around 190 np.  I don't why I paid a small fortune for a watt meter and a coach to go kamikaze on the bike. I think the first 50-60km I was averaging 35kmh and 220 np. When you're getting to most south part  of the course there is the biggest hill (forget solar hill, that just a bump) and after that my average speed dropped. Tried to get my NP down but it was hard on this course. A lot of hills that doesn't look like anything and looking down on the garmin your pushing att 300watts going on adrenalin because of all the crazy crowds everywhere cheering.


At 70 & around 150 km (what I heard) is the famous Solar hill.
The days before I went by the hill by car. It was nothing, not a mountain, enormous hill, just fairly regular hill in small country town. But I promise you it was nothing regular about it on Race day!

I was warned that just before Solarhill there would also be a little hill with a lot of crowd and not to think that was solar hill. When you came there I understod why they warned me, it was really cool.
Then came the hill everyone is waiting for! It was something I never been close to experience.  It was crazy. First it was fences with several lines of crowds. Then getting in the hill you about 1 meter of space att maximum. You couldn't do anything than just ride and smile. 

On to the second lapp, after going over 100km, I get little bored and the tired felling is getting to you. My speed was going down and I was just trying to find a balance between saving energy and not loosing to much speed. After the second time going upp Solarhill my legs woke upp again and decided to push a little harder. I knew that I never would be able to run a sub 4 hour IM marathon så keeping my 11 hour dream alive I had to push a little. Feeling very good I saved up some time och rolled into T2 really fresh. 

Bike Time 5.36 h (about 33kmh average speed and 210 NP)

Solar hill pic Jessica

Solarhill pic jessica

Solar hill pic jessica

Me to the left, pic jessica

It was crazy, pic jessica

Solarhill the day before the race. Nahh nothing speciall.


First class service, everyone seemed to get a volunteer. Packed my things as I tied my shoes. Just in and out (I was not that fast tying my shoes).  

Time: 3:21 m


Mentally I was not there. I did not look forward to the run. And my running this year has not gone specially good. I had the energy going out feeling good, but not enjoying it as I should. I think i gave upp a little already there in my mind. 

First 10km went fine, everything working ok battling just with my mind that wanted to walk, go to the bathroom, you name it!  After 15 km my legs were getting worn out and the walking started, still the run was good, when I run. Not so much was passing me. Maybe while I walked but I dubbled the distance when I run. Of course there was a lot people blowing by, thinking more about people in the same state as me.

At 20km I was tired, small steps forward. Before,  I had set up goals to the next aid station, now it was km markers. Was running maybe 900m and walking 100m and that changed the longer the day went on and at the end it was probably closer to 50/50%.
A nice negative bonus was that I now noticed that I hadn't tied my shoes properly and started hurting (today its blue nail and got it's own heart rate). The second thing i didn't need was that I dropped a mugg of water on my other shoe. Hokas does not do great with water, was squishing for like 5km.

30km and doing the zombie walk of death but add in cramps also. Not a pretty sight!
Asked for salt at a aid station and they showed me a massage station. Sweet! 
Since my (pice of shit of a watch) Garmin went of battery after first hour on the run I had no Idea of the time, expect that I would not go under 11 hours. So wtf, I can enjoy some massage. 
My legs got actually little better. Running uphill was just a big nono still.

At one point I got someone running (walking) next to me shouting "run" "run" "run" not standing there, he was following me. It was almost "hey *badword* run yourself! I'm dead , cramping and just struggling. I gave him a high five, jogged 30meters and walked again. Looking backward that he not would follow me, hehe

The last km'ers of the run is in the city of Roth, wish I had more energy there. Saved upp some energy for the final run in the stadium. 

Entering the stadium was just like: WOW! 
Ran to the finish line with so much emotions, all breathtaking cheering that never stopped!

I didn't care about the time,  I just had the Race of my lifetime!

Run time: 4:33 

Finnish: 11:21

After finishen, I meet up Jessica and she told med that I just done my best IM distance time.
That was a nice bonus. I thought I was going in over 12 hours.

After picking up my bags and short shower we went back to the arena.
The Heroes hour was amazing! You can't buy the tradition of this race, the people there was like crazy. The organisation with all the volunteers was a class of it self.

A very very huge thanks to my coach Mike.P, I have improved on so many levers since you started coaching me. Just need to get my run together :)

To Jessica (my gf) that has been to almost all the races since we meet. Think our third date was me running a half marathon, hehe. She puts up with a lot of things when i'm nervous. Would never want to race without her.

To the Swedish crew (specially Anna, Martin  and Johans Father) for inviting us to join them and helping us. 

The family where most of the Swedish crew was staying. Michel and wife, Max and Katarina.
I dont think I will ever find someone more friendly and thanks for taking care of Jessica while I raced. Otherwise shed had never seen solarhill, swimstart and Froda taking the WR :). Really cool meeting you also. 

All of my friends cheering and folliowng me, I thought of you every time I saw a timing matt.
Ok, need to get them a nice time to se, and could imaging you reading it . (Ok, the last 10km i didn't give a shit about the timing matts , just wanted to get home, hehe). 

This race is a lot of work to get to and everything around it.
But I promise you, It is worth it!

I don't know what the next challenge is except getting twins this winter, but I'll have something for next summer. 

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