Last week, I have competed at the first Sprint Duathlon Race of the season. I prefered to drive from Istanbul to Marmaris with 3 of my friends. I have a bike carrier at the back of my car. We started our tour around 5:30am on Saturday morning and ride until Susurluk area where we stop at Yasa Restaurant. I love their Ciborek and toast :) It was my first time to use Cesme Highway and I loved it :) It was big and empty :) The entrance to Marmaris was hilly and there were many loops. We arrived there around 2:30pm. We have stayed at the race hotel Blue Bay Platinum Hotel and it was very crowded. I have shared the room with 2 of my friends. I really liked the hotel, it was big and clean. The hotel staff was very friendly. I have slept until 5.30pm and it felt so good! :)
My friends went out for a cycling. Of course they weren't driving the car.
After I registered for the race, we went down for a briefing at the hotel and we had a bad surprise. Because they changed the schedule of the race. They moved Age Groups start to 12:50pm and Elite's and Young's start to 4:00pm or sth. My friend, Yağız, was going to start at the Young's group where Göktuğ and I was going to race at Age Groupers. We had to find a solution because I had to go to work on Monday and I did not want to take day off. Anyway, we all focused on the race and we were going to think about it tomorrow :)
After the briefing, we had a dinner at the hotel. I realized that I missed Team Gatherings before the events. The kids of our team were also with us. Our coaches Oleg and Erdoğan was sharing their experiences with us.
As I discussed with my coach, Oleg, my strategy was to finish 5k at 21 minutes and catch the 1st group on 20km of cycling then finish 2.5k strong.
After dinner, we went to the race area and walked around the coast.
I have arrived to hotel room at 10:00pm and went to bed around 11:30pm. I woke up at 07:00am and had a large breakfast. I was ready for the race. My strategy seems fine.
When the clock shows 12:50, the race has started. I tried not to start too fast and checked my pace. The first group was ahead of me and I was right behind them. I was trying to keep my pace around 4'15''min/km. I was successful at it.
1st km: 4'10''
2nd km: 4'12''
3rd km: 4'20''
4th km: 4'21''
5th km: 4'23''
My transition took 50 seconds. It should have been less than 40 seconds.
When I started to bike, I was feeling strong, but I was in a position between the 1st group and the 2nd group. I was trying to catch the 1st group and could not wait for the 2nd group. I was passing the solo riders one by one until the one hits me near my gear :( It was totally his mistake. I passed him from the left side and I was getting faster. He wasn't going as fast as I can. However, he tried to fasten and catch my draft but he was uncontrolled and he hit my bike from the right side which also affected my gear. :( He fall down and injured. I did not but I lost the balance and easy shifting and couldn't get faster in a short time. Anyway, in the end I finished 20k cycling ( it was 21,500meters ) 39 minutes 47 seconds.
Now it was time for 2.5k running. The bike really forced me so at the beginning, I had a side stitch. At the first km, my average pace was 5'00 min/km but then I recovered myself and increased my pace to 4'38'' and 4''00 in the end. I finished with avg 4'38 min/km in 11'52.
In total I finished with 01:15:00 and 7th in my age group our of 10. If I could bike faster and finish it in in 37 minutes. Then it would be better start to my second run. My aim was to finish in top 3 or at least 4th. I will do better next time!
Now I focused on Istanbul Half Marathon and Cyprus April Joke triathlon!