aRoUNd Hungary – Nr. 2
Triathlon for beginners also
5i50 or otherwise Olympic distance: 1,5 km swimming, 40 km bicycle and 10 km running.
This is a short distance competition in Triathlon. As an unprofessional competitor 2:30-3:30 hours is a good result for a woman.
In the summer period, there aren’t many big running competitions to enter – even if there are more and more smaller ones coming up. There is a simple explanation to it though:
- a lot of people go on holidays
- but mostly, that it is simply just too hot for good results
The ideal temperature for running safely, is at 5-10 degrees celsius. So, in Hungary in the summer it is difficult to have a safe forecast.
But for triathlon, summer is the main period:
- yes, there is running also included, but for the two other parts – open air swimming, and cycling – good weather is capital
- therefore, running takes the place in the shadow of the other two
- thus, those runners, who can take hot weather running have advantage on these triathlon competitions primarily
So, I wanted triathlon, and I went for the area of Velence – but why?
It just came along. I wasn’t in a good mood emotionally, so knowing that sports always helps, I went along with it. This summer, I feel like a 20 year old girl again, and thus, at weekends I do what I want, even if for just a couple of hours. It could have been partying with the girls (which I do sometimes of course), or going to the spa at one of the luxury hotels, or even a fabulous dinner at one of the many gourmet restaurants. But my heart wants something different. I want to compete, do sports, take the challenge and try myself out.
- In the beginning of the summer period, it is better to start with short distance competitions, specially for those, who have not been on the bicycle a lot in springtime
- It is close to Budapest
- It has emotional value for me, as I used to spend my childhood here with my parents, staying the night in tents at the lakeside camping
- Last year, I was audience at the competition, this year I wanted to take part
I didn’t have an entry, but it really is just typically me. I miss a lot of competitions because of that, however, you have a better chance at smaller competitions, which are more appealing to me lately, than at bigger ones, or pejoratively, mass events. So, I was lucky. I could do it on site. Of course it was less advantageous regarding the fee, but hey, that is the price of spontaneity and flexibility.
The fees for triathlon competitions are higher than for just running ones, which is understandable, as the need for logistics is a lot more explicit.
From the organizer’s point of view:
- Providing a running field, a biking field and a swimming field
- Supplying a bike depot
- Organization, referees (with mopeds on the biking field)
From the competitor’s point of view:
- Thriathlon does require a lot more personnel to start with.
- The bike itself adds quite a lot to the expenses, and the entry fee as well!
- And we have not even mentioned time, as we have to do a lot more training before a triathlon. And time is money!
- But, we have to consider what we gain in return, and that is difficult to deny yourself. This is my luxury – the hobby of my hobby!
Let’s look at the venue:
I did a lot of camping here in my childhood, as did a lot of people of my generation. Recently, as with lake Balaton, lake Velence has also had a renaissance lately. Naturally being a smaller lake, the infrastructure has not been as rapid and explicit as with lake Balaton, but it sure is in our hearts, and I believe that will change!
- The headquarters of the competition is in the village of Velence itself, – about 3 minutes off the motorway
- The finish line is on the beach. So, those who have come to spend the weekend sunbathing quietly on the beach, are somewhat amazed by the ufo-like sprinters on the beach. But this is also the charm of the place itself, as there is space for all kind of people in a good place.
- We were 300 competitors – highly relaxed amount. Only 30 women though. Even so, the start was divided between men and women. I appreciated that.
There is no mass warming-up at triathlons. But there is an uplifting feeling at the start of the swimming session. If you have ever seen a swimming start from the Hawaii ironman competition, (the most mythical triathlons of all time), then you know what I am talking about. It is extremely exciting to say the least (you tube is full of them btw.), and this is what we feel each time we enter the water at these small competitions. It is quite possible, that every one of us is watching this particular video, or it’s possible that it’s only tradition, but it could also be, that the energy of all triathlon competitors connect like this at some point above the water, from all over the world.
The swimming field:
In triathlon, mass start at the swimming lane is a usual matter, as well as the fact that it is co-ed.
As long as the field is not divided, there is a lot of fight for space. Visibility is terrible in open water, and the field gets crowded with the swimmers. Look at it like digressive fish caught in the net. It is not at all unusual to get hit in the eye or jaw by a fellow competitor, or swimming on each other and other delicacies. And let’s be fair, the stronger sex is more efficient in this matter. Therefore, my personal opinion in this case is, that it is far better to let the women do it on their own, after all we are talking about the weaker sex here ladies.
It was windy, therefore there were a lot of waves. Of course it is part of the game. But the wind blew away the buoy, and there was risk of a grade two gale warning (which means, you have to cancel the start), so us girls had to wait 10 minutes in the water. Neoprene was not allowed, after all it was 24C in the water, so we were a little bit frozen, to say the least, but this is also the beauty of the game as said before.
Just take notes, there is no such thing as an ideal competition, or if there is, you have to be incredibly grateful for it afterwards.
I have to admit that I usually sip some water from the lakes I swim in, as I do get thirsty, and I believe, that a healthy gut should be able to deal with it….I like the spartan way of competing, this is also part of it! I can gladly report, that the quality of the water is adequate for drinking, in case somebody wished to question the quality of open water in general.
The bike lane:
Different levels, with a lot of turnabouts.
The organizers did a really good job with the signs at sharp turns, gravel and dust spots (these are particularly dangerous on highway bikes), with signs on the road itself! and with arrangers at critical spots. I always like to highlight personal direction, this is my special thing, as I think it makes a huge difference for the competitors.
Different levels here as well!!!!
Two rounds, which I think is ideal
Perfect amount of refreshment points
Conclusion is, that Velence is not your year best, but it is not advertised as such either. It is a preparation competition for the ironman of Nagyatád Ironman (long distance triathlon), and for that it is specifically perfect at the beginning of the season.
At this time of year, the hobby triathlon competitors have not reached their top power yet, which they normally do by midsummer or by the end of the summer.
For those who are not that experienced, and are somewhat embarrassed, this is a very good competition to start with.
I know the feeling, however unfounded, because beginners are not laughed at at big competitions either, but I know, that everyone has to reach an understanding on their own.
All in all, this competition was therefore perfect for what I wanted to achieve: basically test myself, to see where I am at, at the beginning of the season, while at the same time spend some time at a small, friendly, still challenging, correct, and with experienced organizers in a very good mood.
My result came in at 2:41, which means a third place in the women’s round, which also means that there was a bit of glory at the end of the day.