I have now had a couple of days to reflect on the weekends race and thought I’d share my thoughts.

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The last few days of training leading up to Sunday went well but as usual once the tapering begin things don’t go so well!

Due to the withdrawal of my fellow National Team member Martin Jensen from the race, I received all the Danish media attention. But even with the extra attention and expectations I still managed to keep my feet well planted on the ground.

It was a bit daunting but nice to being interviewed on stage at the pasta party in front of my fellow competitors.

I tried to keep the 2 days before the race fairly standard, easy training, a lot of relaxing and eating, and mentally preparing for an amazing race on Sunday.

Surprisingly I actually had quite a good sleep the night before which rarely happens so when I woke on Sunday I felt fresh and as relaxed as I possibly could be.

The crew from Challenge had organised a shuttle from the hotel at 5am which was great. It meant we didn’t have to worry with our own transport to the race and got to swim start nice and early with lots of time to prepare.

I had a good start in the swim and got away without any issues. At the first buoy I was in 5th position and shortly after I passed Tim Berkel who wasn’t able to stay on my feet. After around 1km I was passed by female professional Jodie Swallow. I tried to stay with her but wasn’t able too. So the rest of the swim I was alone but was feeling good, I had a great rhythm. Since changing to Blueseventy this season, my swim has improved significantly and feeling much more conformable throughout.I exited the water in 47.40 with a new PB; I was the 4th male out of the water with a small gap to Tim Berkel in 5th and Keegan Williams in 11th.

It was good not having to chase either of them down which meant I could settle into my own pace.

 

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Tim caught me after 30km on the bike and a group formed behind us around 10km later including Keegan and 5 other major competitors. Stephen Bayliss was further ahead of us trying to chase down Bjorn Andersson who not surprisingly was smashing the bike course in 1st place.

The pack stayed together most of the bike course and after a spending a bit of time leading the group, I decided to settle in the back of the pack to steer clear of the drafting zone. The Head Official had made a point in the pro briefing that they would come down hard on any drafting incidents with a 4min penalty and would stop a group if need be. At the back I was not in risk of getting caught up in anything. I came off the bike in 7th position.

 

There were a few guys from our group who got penalties which meant they had to take there 4 min before entering the run course.

The run was definatly going to be a showdown with not much time between the top 8. Even though Bjorn Andersseon was 15min in front I was confident we would be able to chase him down. I tried to settle into a good pace and not too fast to make sure I didn’t blow up later on the marathon. I was running 3.44 per/km for the first 17km and was sitting in 4th place with Tim and Dejan 1.15min in front.

After 23km I had passed Bjorn and was in 3rd and only 1min to Tim in front.

My plan was to hold back until 30km and keep a solid pace. I managed to pass Dejan before then leaving me 12km to catch Tim.

Slowly I was closing the gap and with 8km to go I caught him and began to run shoulder to shoulder. I definitely had a

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home town advantage with 100 thousand spectators getting behind me which was insane!

We both tried to break away; on the up hill, on the down hill, on the flat parts, but neither could drop the other, both of us prepared to fight this out to the last few km’s.

With 2km to go Tim found his turbo boost and I tried to go with him but my inner thighs both blowup and wasn’t able to go with him.

 

I don’t remember much of the last 2km I was in a lot of pain but kept hope that I may be able to catch him even though he was now 20 sec in front of me.

I started to enjoy the last 200m when I realised I would not catch him and tried to take in all the cheering and support from the crowd.

I crossed the finish line in the time of 8.11.50 and 35 seconds behind Tim. And even though I didn’t come first over the line I still felt like a winner. I gave it everything I had and on the day but Tim was the best man in the end. At the finish line Tim and I hugged and congratulated each other on the good fight on the course. We had a great battle in those last 8km and gave the spectators a great show!

After the finish line there was a lot of TV and press who wanted interviews, which was a really nice feeling especially on home soil.

Dejan Patrcevic from Croatia finished off the podium and was only 28 seconds behind me making for a very exiting race.

Photo: © www.jorgenebbesen.com

Wrap Up:

I got 2 PB’s on the day, Swim (47.40) and finish (8.11.50) which is nice that I am again faster than Chrissie Wellington!!

I may not have been first in the Challenge Copenhagen race but it was also the Danish National Long Distance Championships which I took out, so I still got a gold medal for the day!

I am really happy with my overall performance especially the last 8km will be a highlight of mine for a very long time.

Thanks for Challenge Copenhagen for putting us up at the brand new and amazing Bella Sky Hotel. And once again putting on a spectacular event. I am already looking forward to the third addition of Denmark’s premier sport event.

A special thank you for all the spectators and friends who were out of course on Sunday, it definitely helped me have the amazing day that I had.

A big thank you to all my sponsors for their support, without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do and live my dream.

Also a huge thank you to my partner Aimee who was put up with me for the last 2 months of torture!

Already now I am working on my season plan for the remainder of 2011, so look out for updates on my web page, Twitter and Facebook!