Race Report Challenge Davos 2020 Vol. 2 -
"Everything is possible". And Christine says "No".
- Race report of the Challenge Davos 2020 Vol. 2 -
by Alex Janz
The first moment of shock at the early end of the Challenge Davos was, I have to admit, only temporary. After all, all the athletes were already shivering before the start due to the refreshing weather conditions, the water temperature of 68°F didn't really make me expect any real bathing pleasure and my continuously fogging glasses over my sweater were also very annoying. Then the understandable cancellation of the race due to a storm. If my races in Roth and Louisville, which I had announced for 2020, were cancelled due to corona, the race in Davos failed because of bad weather.
Back in my warm and dry hotel room, the disappointment of my sports friend Nora and I quickly give way to a bitterly motivated confidence: "No way, no way! We will have another race this year. And if we go through this by ourselves.
Said in the hotel, planned on the return trip. The organizers of the Challenge Davos show a sense of humor and send out two medals to Bonn the following week as a motivational aid. Our "Challenge Kottenforst" should replace the Challenge Davos. However, it quickly becomes apparent that completing a sprint and a middle distance at the same time in pairs is equivalent to a logistical challenge. The solution lies in the temporal separation of our competitions.
I submit with the organization of "my" competition. But: it's no fun alone! But who is willing and conditionally capable of shaking a middle distance out of their arms and legs at short notice? My friend Christine Bunte comes to mind spontaneously. I have known Christine for several years from various business appointments. Despite the different interests that she, as the representative of a chemical company, and I, as the representative of a ministry of the environment, have to represent, the chemistry between us has been right from the start - to stay in the picture. So I ask her, and she says yes. The combination of a relaxed after-work triathlete and an ambitious long-distance athlete should not be a problem. I think in all my childish naïve attitude.
We decide to base our choice of routes on those of the Maxdorf triathlon. On the morning of September 21, we set up the transition zones T1 and T2 in the trunks of our cars and then jump into the Lambsheim night pasture pond in wonderful triathlon weather and in the best of moods. 1900 meters full speed ahead - and there we go. In the meantime, our sporty joy becomes the annoyance of two fishermen, who we accidentally swim through their fishing grounds. On the other hand we see ourselves as lifesavers: the loud, probably not always polite exchange of words has certainly put many fish to flight and thus saved them from their last bite into the fishing hooks. Our good deed for today!
At the swim exit we passed a nice beach bar. But even the hint of my idea to enjoy a quick coffee with a view of the lake is rejected by my comrade-in-arms. No, no coffee, but rather off on the bike, on the double. Very well.
The very scenic bike course leads us through the vineyards around Bad Dürkheim and through the Palatinate Forest, now with midsummer temperatures. While we were still swimming relaxed in our team, Christine then makes it clear from the first of the total of 1030 elevation meters where the hammer hangs. With elegant riding style and high cadence I see her disappearing into the vastness of the Palatinate Forest. My trainer Takao Mühmel knows my preference for cycling in mountainous profile. With his warning words in my ear that it is better not to over pace on the climbs, I discipline myself and do not follow up. A very wise decision, as will become apparent in the last lap of the race.
Passing the restaurant Lindemannsruh at the highest point of the bike course, I cleverly extend my supposedly seductive offer of the morning: Christine, how about a coffee and a piece of cake? No, her answer is clear. We do sports. No discussion. Then we head towards T2, which we reach after about 85 km.
The half-marathon course consists of three laps in a forest near Maxdorf. My sports friend now sets the running pace with what feels like merciless precision (and stride length...). Meanwhile, the sandy, rooted forest soil robs me of the last grains. Takao's recommendation not to exceed a running pulse of 147 bpm: carelessly thrown overboard right at the beginning. Accordingly, I feel more and more like Christine's braking chute on the last running lap and therefore offer her to run ahead. The answer is no. We started together and we will finish together. Nevertheless, the patience with my "walk run" of the last few kilometers is probably the bigger challenge for her than the run itself.
At the finish line, Christine's husband is the only spectator at the track, although in a good mood.
After the two of them restored me halfway with cola and salted pretzels, we now find out in the college of self-proclaimed race directors that the middle distance was completed by all participating athletes and that they are therefore allowed to put on their first medal themselves.
The second medal, however, is still waiting to be earned by Nora over the sprint distance. And should the question arise whether it might be better to postpone this event until next year, my answer will be simple: No.