WITC at the early-season triathlons 2014

This year the number of triathlons in Poland has exploded and as a result we’ve had WITC’ers travel the length and breadth of the country to participate in competitions. We take a quick look back on three of the first events of this season:

Olysztyn Olympic triathlon, 22nd May, 2014
The first race of the season was held in Olsztyn in mid May. Maciej Szymanski reports on what was an eventful race:

Maciej - The King of the Crete Mountains

Maciej – The King of the Crete Mountains

I chose Olsztyn for my first triathlon this season mainly because it’s an Olympic distance and I like the fact that there is more swimming in proportion to other ironman distances. While the majority of races in Poland are now 1/4 IM and non-drafting, Olsztyn is special because it actually applies the rules of racing from the Olympic Games, which means drafting is allowed. This adds a lot of emotions to the bike portion of the race. I was trying to catch a group on the bike and I was lucky enough to do so. At first I worked with them, taking the lead from time to time and at the end just took advantage of their draft, while sitting at the back. A triathlon at the end of May can be risky when it comes to conditions and here we had a water temperature of 15 degrees, but beautiful sun and even extreme heat outside of the water. Except for the 15-20 minutes when thunderstorm and hail suddenly hit just at the beginning of the bike… this inevitably caused several crashes on the bike leg. The course was unexpectedly hilly, both on the bike and on the run (including a 7% incline at the beginning of each loop!). Anyway, the organization of the event was perfect and I will surely come back. Especially considering the fact that I managed to beat my personal best Olympic distance time by approx. 10 minutes :)

Piaseczno 1/4 ironman, 25th May, 2014
The town of Piaseczno hosted it’s first triathlon this year which was hugely popular in particular thanks to it’s location close to Warsaw. WITC had a strong showing here including Tristan, Igors and Joanna but we caught up with first-timer Agata to hear about how she prepared for her first triathlon and how it all went:

Agata (centre) flanked by Igors and Tristanek before the start of the race

Agata (centre) flanked by Igors and Tristanek before the start of the race

In early January this year I ran into the triathlon topic, and all of a sudden it became a dream for me to take part in such an endeavour. Since then I started to prepare myself for it both mentally and physically. It required a lot of effort and sacrifice, but in the end, once I participated and completed my first 1/4 triathlon, I am convinced that accomplishing a dream is all about giving your best.
You can view the photo gallery from Piaseczno here.

Sierakow 1/4 ironman, 1st June 2014
The Sierakow triathlon was a popular race last year and a group of WITC’ers returned there to take on the scenic, hilly course, enjoy the beer and food at the finish line and pick up another great bag in the starter pack this year. Maciej Brzezinski was the fastest WITC’er this time round and had the following to say about the event:

Congratulations on a great race Maciej!

Congratulations on a great race Maciej!

Sieraków 2014 was my first ever ¼ ironman race (950m swim, 45km bike, 10.5 km run)! :-) I must admit it’s a great distance – it is enough for an intensified effort and long fight (2h 47min 59sec), but it is much less exhausting than ½ ironman and you are not feeling as wasted as after the full ironman.
The race day: the water was chilly but not cold – it was OK in a wetsuit, but still I encountered some problems with breathing so I switched to breast stroke a few times (and actually it was not slower than my tired crawl :-)). The uphill run (to the transition zone) just after the swim was a killer! The bike route was very diverse, because there were no flat parts – it was either up or down the whole time! And my favourite part was the run – a cross-country course through forest with 2 really tough uphills – you couldn’t get bored!
All in all, Sieraków 2014 was a really adventurous and rather difficult race for me, well-organised and with great weather, deckchairs and delicious food at the finisher zone (watermelon, oranges, bananas, ice-cream, beer and burgers) it was beautiful! :-)

You can view the photo gallery from Sierakow here.

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