Helga’s house of pain

Yo folks, yeah, well, here is the ” official ” version of IM Switzerland.

If you are ever bored and don’t know what to do on a rainy Sunday, there’s plenty of options on what to do, i.e visit Helga’s house of pain or race IM Switzerland. Not that I have experience with the former, but I would like to think that both are priced out pretty much the same. I have experience in the latter, and IM Switzerland ( 3000AED) is pretty much top end and in my opinion a bit steep. But I don’t blame the organisers for that, it is my choice. after all it is a very well organised event. Even the IM flag flew high on the Bellevue flag pole instead of the blue white ” Kanton Zueri ” flag.

This was my first WTC Ironman ( I did my first irondistance race in a local Czech republic race in 2012 in 8:50:00 ), and boy, I chose a hardcore one right there. lake swim with little buoyancy, a relentless, technical bike course with 1300m in total altitude and a Harry Potter zig zag marathon with so many uturns and corners and this time around a little visit to the tooth fairy’s forest ( the Belvoir park underneath the Belvoir villa, I wonder whose idea that was ), that I was very nervous on how this would pan out. mind you, this is a hardcore race when it is nice, now we had bad weather on the cards and that’s what we got………..

I waited so long with the Irondistance for several reasons: IM is hard, so to have a solid foundation with other race distances and success with those is elementary. second a lot of race kilometres in me is good for Ironman. third I wanted to be fast first on the shorter distances like Olympic distance non drafting and 70.3, if you are fast in those most likely you are fast in Ironman distance as well. four, I wanted to go to Kona once to race there and deliver my best possible performance. I think I am able to do that now mentally and physically. of course, I will continue to race hard on the Olympic non drafting and 70.3, and that will benefit my Ironman racing, which I will race once or twice or so in a year.

I will not bore you know with how many gels I had in my bottle, and where I ate and whatnot, no, as usual I will go a bit deeper and share some of my observations. The WTC is a dominating force in triathlon. Their races dictate the image and what is cool and not cool in oly-, middle- and longdistance triathlon. Plus the media attention of the triathlon press is concentrated on what is happening at Kona.

The ” frenzy ” which is created around these Kona slots for AG’s and around the KPR ranking for the pros, is creating a lot of attention and creating ambition to participate in the race in Kona at any cost. I repeat: at any cost. Not that this is the WTC’s fault, absolutely not, at the end, everybody is responsible for their own policing. But you know it takes 2 to tango: one who is creating the illusion, and one who falls for the illusion.

During the race, I have not seen that many people throw rules overboard to get closer to that goal or fulfil it. at the same time, I would like to point out in all fairness, I got sucked in that vortex as well for brief moments, but not willingly, since people cut in front of you with less than 10meters and I let myself fall back. but I kept the distance of 10metres for the largest part, as you can tell by my bike time, which is in line with the circumstances and in relation to other people. ” Rules over board throwers ” are easy to spot: slow in the swim, a bike time which is 10mins slower than top pros, and then a less than mediocre marathon. pathetic. but I must say that some got away with murder and unfortunately and undeserving were standing on podiums. but hey you know, everybody looks in their own mirror at night and then the truth comes out. here the WTC would do good to have neutral federation referees, do their job, which they did only partially.

Creating a frenzy like this around Kona certainly pays off for the WTC financially big time. and that’s cool with me, because they sell a great product for the biggest part. But without triathlon, the WTC would not have a business. It would be great to see a little bit more respect and integrity towards the sport.

unfortunately in Kona, I do not expect it to be any different than in Zuerich.

you know what my favourite sporting memories as a kid were? Paolo Rossi scoring for Italy in 1982, Boris Becker winning in Wimbledon 1985, Jack Nicklaus making that putt on 16 to win Augusta at the Masters 1986, and also watching Juergen Zaeck and Lothar Leder battle it out in Roth in the mid nineties. classic.



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