A Half-Iron distance that took place in Croatia for the first time. Both, Iztok and I, had great expectations but were a bit dissapointed at the end. It started at the registration point on Saturday where they ran out of backpacks with guidelines for athletes. Well, we did not mind but we were a bit more dissapointed in the evening at bike check in where we found out that our run gear should be given away on a different location… Ok, but how to get there. So we gave away our bikes and waited for a shuttle bus to take us there. According to timetable, the shuttle should be there every 15 minutes but after half an hour we gave up waiting and took a regular bus line instead.
We took a pasta dinner near the Arena and ice-cream for dessert since we did not have a meal during the day. We searched for a taxi back to the hotel and took some sleep till 6´o clock. Race morning was a bit cloudy, I was thinking about the water temperature-wet suit swim or no. Hillarious thing happened when we were just about to leave our room to take a breakfast. The water tap in the bathroom did not want to shut down anymore so the water was flowing and flowing… and we were helpless. I ran to the reception, they ordered a plumber and two hours before the race start we had to wait for a man to come and fix it… well eventually the plumber showed up and we were free to take a breakfast. There were some croissants, we took more that 10 of them, and some milk. Few minutes later we were in a cab to the race start. It was a relief to see that it will be a wet-suit swim, since the see was a bit cold already.
We started gathering in the start area…it should be a flowing start, meaning that you have to wait in a start box according to your estimated swim time. We experienced this for the first time and we really liked it since you had enough space to start swimming when it was your turn. One last good luck kiss and the 1,9 km swim started.
I was trying to keep track of swimers ahead but somewhere in the middle one half of swimmers started swimming directly to the shore and the others went right to pass by another signpost. I was confused. I was swimming for 25 minutes and I figured I probably have another 15-20 minutes of swimming. So I guessed that swimming to another signpost is the right way… well I was correct. Later we found out that because of the wind the signposts were translocated off the swim course so the group (us included) which tried to reach them probably did additional 500 metres. Anyway, swim times were not relevant so the organisers later deleted them all and started measuring time when the chip passed the check point at the swim finish.
Entering 90 km on the bike, I was enthusiastic about the landscape that I was about to see…but again I was a bit dissapointed since I spent 3 hours on the bike going uphill and downhill seeing only the bushes and narrow roads in the middle of nowhere. Well, last few minutes on the bike were spent by the sea. Anyway, it was ok. Strong Istrian wind caused some troubles but it was bearable.
I was encouraged when the 21 km run started. I was thrilled because the finish line was placed in the middle of the Pula area. Really nice. The two hour run went by and after few bananas and chocolate bars I got one of the nicest finisher medals. Iztok waas there waiting, he said that probably we will not get much to eat since they ran out of food. Yes they really did. No pizzas and pasta. Anyway, the bear was free and in a bulk.
We took our bikes and bages back and drove back to the hotel, packed our things and headed back to Slovenia. All in all, it was nice but the organisers could do it so much better. Maybe next year.