What is the point?
Welcome to the blog of my journey to compete in two endurance events which will lead me to the gateway of east and west. Two physical and mental challenges to push me to places I never went before, and hopefully learn and grow along the way.
First event on the agenda is the Ironman 70.3 Turkey which is held at the Gloria Resort in Antalya in October. Entering this event was an act of mild stupidity and overconfidence. While on holiday in Turkey last year around the time of the event from 2015 I saw the competitors and arrogantly thought to myself, if they can do it, so can I! 2 weeks later I had registered myself and was coming to terms with the fact that although I can run a bit I am a terrible swimmer (imagine a cross between a three legged dog and a stone) and a distinctly average cyclist.
Anyway, as someone who took up running at 30 and had done a few marathons I was looking for a new challenge that would break up the monotony of running, and triathlon fitted the bill. Maybe signing up for a 70.3 mile race was a little foolhardy, but I figured that by aiming high I might just achieve more than my naturally lazy disposition would allow.
From where to where?
Having registered for Ironman 70.3 Turkey in October 2015 and the nights grew longer and darker I felt I still had an itch I could not scratch. I had watched alot of the Tour de France and had bought myself my first ever roadbike and was starting to ramp up the cycling kilometers, helped alot by not having a car and living within 12km of my workplace. So some idle googling had led me to the Race Across America RAAM (http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/) which looked cray tought, but also a little bit too much effort in terms of a support vehicle and simply getting everything to the US. So was there something similar in Europe…….? Enter the Transcontinental Race.
An unsupported ‘back to basics’ challenge of mind over body to get yourself and your bicycle from Belgium to Istanbul via a handful of checkpoints along no fixed route. Just the sort of warts and all type race I was looking for
‘Trailer’ for TCR
However, the starting places are limited to just a couple of hundred so getting on the start line would itself be a challenge. I have to admit the exclusivity of the starting group and the fact 2016 would be only the 4th edition of the race played a big role in my desire to join the race across the european continent. Registration opened and I duly went through the formalities, which are in themselves a challenge.The philosophy of the registration process seems to be to make you aware of the enormity of the feat you are supposedly willing to undertake.This involves planning your route in order to know the shear number of kilometres (both horizontal and vertical) that you need to cycle and how much you need to achieve per day. However, to cut a long story short, I did not get a place on TCR04 in 2016.But, and this is a big but, I will be a volunteer at the second checkpoint for the race in 2016 at Furka Pass in Switzerland. So my plan is to cycle there from my home in Stuttgart, Germany as experience building for my renewed registration attempt for next year. Bearing mind that as a volunteer I hope to have a small advantage in the registration process next time around.
Now down to the nitty gritty, training, sorting equipment,ups, downs and hopefully success!