ITU Long Distance World Championships
At the end of July, Richard and Sarah headed out to Odense in Denmark for the World Multisport Festival which included a whole range of events such as an Aquathlon, Duathlon, Aquabike, CrossTri and the Long Distance event (among others). Sarah had qualified for the World Championship race the previous year and Richard had entered the open race (although is perfectly capable of qualifying for the world championships but chooses not to). Qualification to represent GB for long and middle distance events is by submitting a suitable qualifying time from an equivalent race. For shorter races you have to attend specific qualifying events. There are a few people in the club who have represented GB in the past and present and I'm sure there are plenty more who could meet the qualifying criteria if they wanted to! Feel free to come and chat to me if you want to know more about it!!!
Back to the race... Odense is the largest city on the island of Fyn and was a great place to host the race (and take a holiday after). The distances for the ITU long distance race are a little different from most long distance races and fall in between a middle distance and an Iron distance. The swim is 3km (and was in a canal... complete with jelly fish), the bike is 120km and was pretty flat (certainly by Highland standards) with a mix of long straight roads heading out of/into the city and then quite a few twists and turns through the countryside. The run is 30km and was a multi-lap route through the city so there were plenty of spectators in cafes and bars to cheer you on! There was great representation from all over the world and surprisingly large teams from further afield countries (NZ, Oz and USA) that you might have thought wouldn't have attended in such good numbers given the distance.
Sarah and Richard both raced well with Sarah finishing 5th in her category in a time of 6 hours 52 minutes. Richard also had a strong race finishing in 6 hours 39 minutes. He won his category in the open race and would have placed 9th in his category in the World Championship race (if he'd entered it).
The following week was then spent doing a bit of leisurely sight seeing (which actually turns out is more tiring than training and racing) and continuing to consume large quantities of ice-cream and having to drink the rather pricey beer in moderation!
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