1148 Janahan Tharmaratnam SRI
Position in AG M30-34 : 140 // Finish Time: 06:07:47
Swim: 0:16:42 // T1: 0:07:01 // Bike: 3:12:12 // T2: 0:06:03 // Run: 2:25:51
My original plan was to do IM South Africa and due to an emergency surgical procedure I had to undergo, I could not do the race. So the vengeance was set on blitzing Challenge Aarhus. In the lead up to the race, I was working long hours and also travelling a lot so training had to take a back seat and the weekend warrior was to come out. Was OK but was not happy with my running due to cramping issues.
The journey to the race start and the ‘school-trip’ with the gang was excellent. Carefully planned and executed by Anne. She did a great job at hosting us in her home country. Was feeling good and strong with the other team members – Rawlie, Anne, Simona, Trudy, Dave and Peter.
After some touch and go, the swim was on. My strongest leg. Unfortunately was only for 1km rather than 1.9km. Oh well. Water was very cold as well. 13c! After sending off Anne, Trudy, Dave and Peter. I hit the swim with a lovely good luck smile from Simona. Was out in the front of pack and stayed there all the way through. Was happy with swim and I have realized that I have become much more aggressive in the water. Excellent!
Slow. Wanted to take it easy as I was feeling light headed so took it easy. Got my orientation together and all warm clothing on. Out I went.
Absolutely beautiful course. Enjoyed the sights and liked the rolling hills. I made some good friends on the bike. In fact, some random Danish guys (Hans, Jens and Bert) and I decided to play the super danish game. The Danes are such cool people. Legal drafting distance between us but rotating every 10 minutes. Loved it. We managed to escape a lot of the traffic that way. Until at 50km where i got a flat.
Bid farewell to my newly found friends and spent the next 15mins replacing the inner-tube. The scenery was breadth-taking so I was just soaking it in. Having the flat, knew that I would not hit my time so no need to feel annoyed, just enjoy what you have! Fixed the flat and off I went.
Ok one issue I had with the bike course was that I had a head-wind all through the course! In both directions. I am told that is a common thing in Aarhus. So those who do it next year, watch out!
Took my time as I was still on track with my times. I know that coach tries to get us to speed through transition, but it’s the one time you can rest, regroup and then refocus. I found it useful to make the best of it.
Started well at 5.45 pace. 1.5km into the run, my dreaded nightmare hit. Cramps. So walked for a bit. Bumped into Anne’s friend Sam who was quite supportive and asked me to walk it through. I could have easily said – f*&k it and given up. My arch nemesis had hit me again. However, I had to dig deep and think about the reason why I am doing this. Cancer research. As a cancer survivor myself and also recently lost my mother-in-law and aunt to leukemia, I do all my races in aid of cancer research and contribute to the funds. So found the strength to keep trotting.
As coach instructed, drank coke and water through the aid stations, walked when the cramps hit again and I kept going through what was a convoluted course. Saw Anne, Trudy, Simona, Dave and Peter on the course, Cheered each other on.
OK another issue with the course. Aarhus is a beautiful place, but why oh why would the run course go through a parking garage and up stairs for 10 seconds through the AROS museum. 3 laps of that no less. A tough course.
Finish line drama
Through the finishing area and the line, I was determined not to walk but at least trot. Legs were cramping. Crossed the finish line, my mind gave up, legs froze and I collapsed. Quite dramatic actually, in hindsight. Heard Trudy in the background talking to me to stretch and get through it. Somehow got up and met the crew. Got a massage and was somewhat mobile again.
Waited for Lord Rawlie who came through in style with his name being called out about 5 times, all of us yelling out like mad animals and a bottle of champers poured over him. We took him into the ambulance for a drip and then we all slowly migrated back to our hotels.
The morning after
Nothing special, packing and then spent the day driving back to Copenhagen. Tour guide Anne showed us around the place with some walks down memory lane as well.
Would I do this race again? In a heart-beat. How was this race compared to the others done? For me, tougher than Phuket 70.3 and even tougher than Challenge Roth (IM distance!) but that’s the personal battle I had on the day.
Let me finish off with this thought … Triathlon is certainly not a solo sport. It’s a team sport of different proportions.