Professional Triathlete

With only a week left in Europe I headed from Spain-Vitoria with the Aussie tri team for Nice France .

 

The final of the French GP was held this past sunday with 16teams of 5 athletes and one of the most amazing locations I have raced in . Nice France , has officially become one of my favorite places to race at due to its beaches , calmness and crystal clear warm waters.

 

 Our team : Mulhouse Olympique had a full loaded team , with Clark Ellice , Daniel Hoffer , Matt Sharp , myself and our beast on the bike Toumey degam.

 

I will need to admit, that this season Is starting to get a bit out of hand now … Started training for this season at the end of december with Anton Ruanova , been sick 5 times , moved home like a gypsy but have traveled and seen so much.

 Early season fresh legs have worn of ages ago and now the strong and determined will be rewarded for their hard base miles and correct  training and racing plans .

 

Nice was just another race for most , and most didnt even taper “recover the week of the event” but I find as it is nearing the end of my season , recovery time has gone from 3days to more like a week, and I need to take it easy sooner and sooner as the season rolls on.

 

With some of the biggest hitters in triathlon , Brownlee bro’s , Hauss , Silva , Justus and Luis to name a few things were rather fast and furious from the rocky start on the beach of Nice .

 The beach , made of large rocks , made for a rather painful start and I think we all had the roughest swim of the season with thanks to a bit of a chop on the water . Before 350meters was done I had been dunked about 3 times and punched a few guys due to fighting in the start .

 

At the start my body felt a bit tired after a big few weeks of training and I realized things would be hard going right out of the gates . I had a good position after the swim , exiting with the top 20 which set me up for a very good day of racing .

 

With a long transition from the water , over the rocks ,  I managed to smash my left foot on one . I  managed to pull in a few guys before I climbed on my KTM .

 

The bike , a 20km VERY boaring out and back bumpy route , was not my cup of tea as its mindelss and could have been changed for a nice technical undulating route near by .

 

The legs felt good on the bike, and on lap 2 our bunch managed to pull in the leaders of the Brownlee bro’s and the quick swimmers that managed to get away .

 

Some enjoyable swearing from Ali on the bike made things a bit more entertaining and having a front handle bar that kept on flipping down a bit kept me awake along with our 45km.h average bike leg !

 

The podium would come down to a runners race , and everyone become a bit nervous and anctious before we hit the transition zone for T2 . Mulhouse had a great leadout from Toumy and this helped our team to have a quicker T2 possibly moving us from 5th place overall to 4th..

 

My T2 was not anything special apart from it being rather difficult finding our racking spot on the way in . I exited In a good position for the run, and was hoping that my tired legs would miraculously feel fresh and respond ….. This didnt really happen.

 

I was moving my way through the field till I reached J.Brownlee and then I slowed my pace a bit . We traded position once just before the 1.25km turn around point, and then Johnny picked up the pace and I was not able to respond!

 

My legs were really in the hurt locker and was starting to think that the guys behind me might pull their way past me on the 2nd lap of 2.5km .

 

At the end of the 1st 2.5km loop I was in 2nd place, and starting to fade … The breathing starting to come closer and closer to me and things did not start to look good . Gregory Roulat was soon right next to me, and this set something off in my mind to pick up the pace as a 2nd place was a lot more valuable to me than a 5th-10th.

 

With the breathing starting to disapear behind me my body started to feel efficient , and only at about 3.5km did I feel like my legs were awake .

 

All I needed to do was keep up the pace and I would have my 1st French leauge podium which is probably equivelant to a World series podium!

 

On the last 1km I felt even better and knew that it would be possible to get 2nd and I kept the pace and came across the line in 2nd for my team Mulhouse 🙂

 

Its good to know that even when I have very little In the tank I can still dig deep and bring out a good performance on the day .

 

Currently Im descending into Santiago de Compostela where Ill be for a week with good friend Anton Ruanova and I look forward to a few easy days before heading up a few hard days before heading off to my 2nd last World series race in Yokohamma Japan at the end of September .

 

The legs have been used a lot this season, and I cant wait till the 23rd October , just over a month where Ill be able to hang up the trainers for a few weeks .

 

Mulhouse triathon team is one of the craziest french teams, and it has really been an honor to be a man in Black this season 😉 

 

Will have a small report on my time/recovery in Santiago just before I head off on the 25th September for Japan.

 

Over and out

DJ-RD

 

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Hannover Bundesliga and rest of season .

With my 1st Bundesliga race in Hannover this past weekend and only 3 more weeks left in Europe I find it hard to believe that I have been in Spain for around 3 months .

This past weekend , Ryan Bailie and myself set out from Bilbao for Dusseldorf Weeze north west Germany .

The decision to use my team bike , allowed me to travel bicycle free which was one of the reasons why we chose to fly Ryan air .

With a great travel to and from the aeropurto “Airport in Spanish” we were setteled in a day and a bit in Witten before the 200km drive from Witten to Hannover .

Racing for Stadtwerke Team Witten has been the plan for this season and it really is a good team environment and Richard Gutt the team manager is a honorable man.

http://www.stadtwerke-team-witten.de/

With my health deteriorating during my stay Witten due to my glands becoming irritated from the flight and drive, I knew I would not be 100% ready for the sunday’s race.

Some light speed work in the pool and in my puma Faas350 the body was as ready as could be ! Stayin in one of the oldest hotels in germany “some 600 years to be exact” it was quite cool to see the town of Hannover which is filled with huge churches, monuments and parks .

At 10:30am on sunday team Witten headed for the start line ,going through the normal per race warm up of a morning jog, bike ride with some intervals and then a dry land swim warm up due to the 20.4degree non wetsuit swim .

A 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run …. all flat and fast it was quite the event . 360productions doing the media on the day and we even had our own photographer .

The decision to start on the left from team mate Christopher Hettich was one that really paid off as 3 out of our 5 man team made the front pack , which I was happy to be apart of .

Ryan Bailie “my bitch for the day” did well to help me out with a few extra turns on the bike and I knew that we needed to stay away from the likes of Steffan Justus and Johnothan Zipf which where closing in on us .

Our bunch was around 10 strong and only really started to work together half way through the race so at around km10 .

With our bunch of 10 rolling nicely we saw the gap widen to the chase group now to around 30seconds which was enough for me to pull off a top performance on the day .

Rolling in the front pack out of the swim was really a big achievement for me, even though the best on the world weren’t there !

Not knowing how the legs would feel at the start of the run, I hit the transition just behind Christian Prochnow and left in 2nd place behind 17year old team mate from Witten “ d “

The 1st 2km I put the hammer down and noticed that I had a fair lead over Chistian and Gergor Buchals .

With around 2.5km to go I knew that all I needed to do was keep them at bay and the win would be mine for the day 🙂 Steffan Justus was closing in quite quickley and managed to pull up to 4th overall .

The overall placing for out team was

Richard Murray – 1

Ryan Bailie – 6

Sebastian Rank – 7

Jonas Schomburg – 9

Chris Hettich – 13

Once again was a super visit to Germany, and next season I plan to do around 3-4 events in the Bundesliga as the team, places and country is a great place to race in 🙂

I now have a week and a half in Vitoria Spain with the Aussies , then will be heading to Nice for the French GP final also sprint distance .
Ill go from Nice to Santiago de Compostella where ill spend a week with a good friend , Anton Ruanova before jetting of to Yokohamma for the 2nd last event in the World Triathlon Series on the 30th September .

So for now its time to get in a good block of training till the 25th before I head to the East .

Living, Racing and loving ….. Could not be happier !

Sometimes, words can be replaced by a video 😉 race report to follow.

Its amazing how just the other day , Lindsey Parry and myself were sitting down at lunch in Pretoria talking about what It would take for me to qualify for London . At that point it seemed a bit far fetched .

Soon after a win at African Championships in Mauritius I knew things were heading in the right direction.

This then set me up for a start in Sydney World Triathlon series event #1 . Obtaining a start in Sydney was a huge success for me, and then things went a step better by getting 2nd place at the event behind Steffen Justus . With a great block of training in Wollongong-Australia I headed for San Diego the 2nd event in the world Tri Series .

Still not 100% certain I was going to the games, even after the biggest win of my career, I headed into San Diego with my best possible performance in mind .

Soon San Diego came and went, and I knew after this great event that I was going to get selected for the South African team to race in the London Olympics .

Only really getting the go ahead +-2months before the games , and getting sick for 2 weeks in this period really made me nervous in how my performance would be.

Moving from Germany “Sickland” to Vitoria-Spain was the smartest move of my season, and training went very well once-again with thanks to Jamie turner and the NSW-triathlon team 🙂

Hamburg was my biggest and most amazing showing this year, and I feel like my preperation towards London could not have gone any better .

Many people don’t realize that my goal was to get to London and then take it from there, as qualifying was an achievement its own!

Staying in the Olympic Village should be a post on its own, but Ill keep the negative banter to a minimum 😉

Moving to the olympic Village on the 2nd August to get my bicycle through bike check in, was a long time to spend in the village…..

With my race on the 7th August and 5 days to the event, I settled in at the village and went about my normal pre race week training .

Hyde Park was the venue , which was some 1 hour bus drive away from the village and running and cycling in the village was far from ideal. After my staying at the village on the night of the opening ceremony I was 100% certain I didnt want to stay there before my race on the 7th August . Things didnt go smoothly, cycling and running was not really “Great” as one needed to run around in circles on tar and there were many cars and people getting in the way all the time .

Heading back to Spain I tried my best to get out of the Village, and the response came “ If you dont stay in the village , you will not be alowed to compete” . I found this illogical and power hungry , and this left negative thoughts in my mind leading up to the games .

I have come to realize, that people,congestion and a nightmare getting to places is not my kind of thing and is a true waste of time and effort….. This is how my pre race prep felt and took place.

Also staying in the Village , sleeping was very hard due to some athletes being finished with their events and partying it up while some of us still needed to rest .

In the village I never really felt happy or comfortable as I like my own space with piece and quiet and training must be away from everyone and everything… I guess staying on a farm makes staying in a zoo a bit difficult .

I realized that there was nothing I could do, and got on with training and prep for the race . Come race day, my bicycle had been check multiple times along with every other piece of equipment I would race with on the day .

The 7th came was soon apon me, and my pre race day swim,ride and run throughs went very well . I was mentally, physically ready for my race and was going to give it every ounce of energy I had to make my country and myself proud!

With a nice start time of 11:30 , and the water temp 19,7 wetsuits would be used 🙂 I dont normally get very happy before a swim, but the chance of having a better swim was a good thought.

With Richard Varga breaking the tension in the athletes lounge by sitting on a plastic container “Like I was” and it breaking underneath him, it was a good start to the event.

A,Browlnee , J,Brownlee and J,Gomez the favourites for the event and myself ranked 19th , we headed down to the pontoon for the line up .. I was very nervous , as all my hard work for the season had been for this one race!

Starting on the left was a good choice and I had a great swim till the 1st bouy. The swim was a 1500m 1 looper which is a bit harder than a 2x750m loops , but I prefer 1loop. We rounded the 1st part of the swim and everyone was swimming as hard as they could go! We started to head back towards the pontoon and I felt composed and my stroke felt very good 🙂

As we passed the side of the pontoon I started to realize that we were slowing down, and I looked up to see that we were FAR behind and the 4 guys in front of me had dropped out of the slip of the swimmers in front of them .

This I have noticed Is something I will need to work on in my open water swimming, I need to know where I am in the swim bunch and what is going on near the front of the bunch.

I decided to do something brave, and I forced my way through the swimmers in front of me and was practially sprinting for 500-600meters and I finally managed to close the 20m gap that the guys had let open up .

Out the water we sprinted and with 1min plus seconds back , I knew that we were in big trouble . I then had the fastest transition 1 of the day and was on my bike putting the hammer down to try and catch the group in front of us .

On the bike we were working well together but I noticed that all the favourites and some very strong bikers were in the front pack and we were not closing the gap during the race . I was giving it everything I had , and some athletes in our bunch “no names will be mentioned” were not rolling through and this made the guys working 4-5 suffer for about 4-5laps of the bike course .

Our bunch was then caught by the chasing group with some strong riders and they soon came through to help us out a bit.

With strong bikers and guys motivated we closed the gap a bit by 15sec on one lap but then it grew again to the front group to 1min30 by the end of the bike .

I knew that on the bike , my race for a medal was very much over, and that I would most likely catch a few of the back markers of the front pack on the run .

Off the hardest bike of my life , I “bolted” out the transition again for the run course . With Steffan Justus , Mario Mola and a big chanse group right behind me, I knew that this was my biggest race of my life, and even though things hadent gone to plan I would still give it my all and catch as many people as I could .

I felt smooth and good on the run, and caught about 5 guys that had a 1min30 gap over us on the run. With around 500meters to go I knew that Steffan Justus was coming for me and managed to pass me in the final 300metrs to the line . I didnt my best to keep on his feet and told myself you have more and you can stay with him, but I was giving it everything !

I finished in 17th which I am happy and not so happy with . This was quite a weird event, and I find that from the swim I was already in big trouble .

I have been working very hard the past 3 years on my swim, and I expected quite a lot from myself after a good racing season so far.

Progression and moving on is taking place now in Spain, and even though I didnt get a medal or even a top 10 , it was the most amazing thing I have ever been part of ! The Olympics has many Do’s and Dont’s but through all the bull there Is something amazing about all of the best athletes in the world staying together and enjoying in each others success and defeats .

The olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a small kid back on the farm in Durbanville South Africa , and I really cant say thank you enough to my parents for all their years of guidence love and support . They have been to hundereds of my South African events , many internaional events and they have made me who I am today 🙂

My main Sponsor BSG has giving me the opportunity to unlock my potential and accelerating my performance

locally and internationally since 2010.

To everyone who has messaged me with kind words and to everyone who believes in me , I thank you to.

I believe that with some more guidence and swim stroke work, in Rio 2016 I can medal 🙂

Over and out
RD

Post Olympic Quickie

I think I still need some time to properly analyze what happened today .

I finished 17th , which isen’t amazing, yet isn’t bad .

A worthy report will follow, as soon as I have had my fun here in London 🙂

TO: all the amazing support and kind messages ! Thanks everyone … has been quite the journey this year.

Catch you guys in the next few days 😉

DJ-RD