A very tough race for me. The first 2000 vertical metres were ok and the second 2000 m were hard.
The race started in Hohenems and the course did a large loop through the mountains back to Hohenems 187 km / 4040 m later (according to the race officials).
I set off at a very leisurely leg-conserving pace and rode the first two climbs at that pace. By the third climb I was already feeling tired but luckily it wasn’t too nasty. Then a nice descent from Flexenpass, and the long and speedy Arlberg pass descent with the many tunnels. Amusingly it was almost the exact same configuration as last weekend at the Arlberg Giro. I was with three others on the descent and we had to chase hard to catch the bunch in front of us. It was then down, down, down, and after some time I met Leonie in Ludesch where she had been patiently waiting for Thomas and I to go past.
Then it was the second 2000 m. I was feeling pretty poked as the climb began and began to be overtaken by people. This continued into the second climb until I reached an equilibrium and everyone it seemed was struggling. The climb seemed very hard and it was really hot but I decided it was just that my legs were destroyed. I had to use my arm to help my right leg as I was getting strange nerve things like lightening up and down my leg. Then my left leg started complaining it wasn’t getting enough support. I was happy when we rode through another tunnel and it was cool for a few minutes. Looking back down the road just before getting to Faschinajoch the road looked actually pretty steep. I found out afterwards that there are some nasty 20% sections.
A quick descent and then up to Furkajoch where I was happy that all the climbing for the race was over but confused that my speedo said I had done under 4000 m. A speedy descent to start with with lots of overtaking and then a slow descent as we got stuck behind some snail-paced cars.
The last section along the flat went ok until the missing vertical metres came into view. A small climb but my legs started to cramp horridly and I had to let the riders I was with go and crawl to the top. An old man on a crusty old bike who I had just passed cruised by grinning.
I rode with two others to the finish arriving there with a time of 7:33:06 308/ approx. 754 starters in the long course. Thomas got a time of 6:45:40 (143) and complained about the horrid climb to Faschinajoch too. Leonie, Thomas, and I sat by the river at the finish line and cooled off.
Was quite happy with my time considering I haven’t really ridden any longer races this year, and haven’t done the climbing either.
Above left: The race started at 7am in Hohenems, half an hour from Lindau. It took many photos before Leonie got one of me not looking tired. Above right: Heading off..
Above left: Leonie very nicely waited for us in Ludesch 100 km into the race and sorted us out with more drinks, and food. Above middle: I grabbed a bite of pizza when I came past. Above right: The race was hard. I was knackered at the end.
Highlander Radmarathon 2014 – 187 km / 4040m Time: 7:33:06 Avg: 24.7km/h Max: 95.0km/h Avg Heart: 158bpm 308/754-ish starters.
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