It was the ITU Asian Long Course Championships on Sunday, a 3km swim, 80km cycle and 20km run. The race was a point-to-point race in the Gangwon Province. It started at Samcheok Beach with a 2 lap course. The water was cold, 16°C. It was a beach start with a deep drop off as soon as you hit the water. We had to run up onto the beach and re-enter the water to complete the second lap. I felt like I swam ok, coming out 7th.
The bike course was challenging. It had some flat sections, some down hills but mostly up hill. Through the 80km we climbed from sea level to 1200ft. There were 2 major climbs in the bike, each approximately 10km. The first came at about the 50km mark and the second for the final 10km into transition. The ride took us from Samcheok beach through some small villages and up a mountain to Taebaek. During the ride I passed a couple of girls and a couple passed me so I got off the bike still in the top 10.
The run started on an athletics track at the Taebaek training centre, followed by an undulating section on the road and onto a track that cut through the mountain up to the finish line at the High1 Resort (race’s major sponsor). I started the run with a little stitch but it soon subsided and I was running well. I passed two of the girls that had passed me on the bike and had a good rhythm going. The track was challenging terrain, rocky and muddy in some sections. Unfortunately I took a wrong turn about 14km in (I wasn’t the only one! There was a sign with an arrow the same as had been at some previous points on the track and I assumed it was pointing the way but it wasn’t, no course marshal either!) I’m not sure how much time I lost but enough to take me from 8th to 11th. The last part of the course was probably the hardest, a 10% incline for just under a kilometer to the finish line. I finished in 11th place, a little disappointed to be outside the top 10 but a worthwhile experience.