WITC at the Siedlce triathlon

Siedlce Triathlon, 26th August 2012

A few months ago a super-sprint triathlon (400m – 10km – 3km) seemed like a great introduction to the crazy world of triathlons for many WITC’ers and there was a strong turnout of 13 athletes looking forward to the challenge with 8 of those 13 never having participated in a triathlon before and more than a little apprehensive about what they’d signed up for.

The whole day itself turned out to be very dramatic and emotional involving a whole lot of rain, laughter, sand, blood, punctures, sweat, theft, mud and tandoori chicken for everyone involved.

August had been a pretty good month with many Saturday morning runs moved to the early morning because of sunshine and high temperatures but unfortunately for the WITC’ers, most of the month’s rain decided to arrive on Sunday morning … and the rest of it in the afternoon. Besides the weather there was a bit more bad luck for some members of the club. Cristina found a flat tire on her bike when she got there, but managed to persuade some local handymen to repair it before the start. Alan being as competitive as usual managed to top that by having his bike stolen the day before the race! But in spite of all these problems everyone managed to make it to the start-line ready to take on the challenge.

All smiles despite the rain, nerves and issues

There were 4 people (Cristina, Alan, Hans, Igors and Andy) who had done a triathlon already at Susz and I think the day before it’s fair to say that most of them were pretty confident about doing their second. A combination of bad weather, bad luck and pre-race anticipation, however, meant that at least 3 out of the 5 were feeling a bit like first-timers before the race started (Hans and Igors either hide their nerves well or are simply too cool for that sort of thing).

For the real first timers it was time to test out all the training they’d been doing (or not doing in some cases!) and see what this triathlon stuff was all about.  Any ideas that because this was a shorter triathlon meant that it was going to be an easy one were to be dispelled pretty quickly. Some of the triathlon debutants were trying out their recently perfected crawl techniques and put in very impressive times while some swimming stars were uncovered who’ve been hiding their talents from the triathlon community.

Dominika and Ewa finishing the swim neck and neck

As everyone gathered lakeside before the start of the swim, the weather was doing its best to put people off but despite a few shivers everyone got into the lake and before you knew the countdown had finished and they were off. The 400m swim took the triathletes in a triangular route around the lake and back to the shore. With a few exceptions everyone did great in the swim, and 2 WITC’ers even came out of the water neck and neck and the competitive spirit was evident as they sprinted to the transition area.

The 10km bike route was a very bumpy and (thanks to the weather) muddy track through the woods – it was a route that would have been tough in the dry and the rain made it extra difficult for our intrepid triathletes. One in particular, Cristina, was slowed down after a great swim down by a recurrence of a flat tyre on the first lap of the bike ride. After struggling around half the course with just one pumped tyre a spectator lent her a bike in an act of extraordinary kindness as she approached the start of the second lap so she was able to finish the bike ride.

Sebastian fighting his way through the bike route

By the time it had come for the run the sun was actually trying to make an appearance. After the tough cycle I think everyone was glad to be on the 3km run which took competitors around the lake and back. Like in Susz, this gave the WITC’ers a chance to see each other while competing and there were lots of hi/lo-fives, nods of the head and breathless hi’s in acknowledgement.

The WITC team supporting Simona to the finish line as she completes her first triathlon

Ivo finished as the fastest WITC’er but more importantly everyone finished successfully in what were tough conditions, and despite some pre/during-race incidents! Congratulations everyone :)


Competitors                                                                        Support team
Hans Koeppen                                                                        Olgierd Swida
Cristina Moldoveanu                                                             Marta Raducha
Igors Berkovics                                                                      Magda Bebenek
Andy Mossop
Alan Parsons
Marta Makowska
Dominika Piasecka
Ewa Smiechowksa
Ania Lewandowska
Simona Klijewicz
Ivo Klijewicz
Sebastian Popiolek
Piotr Zaborowski




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