Here we go again! As I’ve already promised in my post about the 2016 Amphiman, I was really looking forward to doing another swimrun. Well, it took more than a year, but on May 13, 2017 I could spend a couple of hours running and swimming in beautiful Belgium. Amphiman LLEH, here we come!
This year, I was part of the WOMENdurance team. My girlfriend is part of this all-female triathlon team and after the enthusiastic stories of last year and the year before, the whole team wanted to participate. And since more people is more fun, several of the men also joined, resulting in five teams divided over three distances: one long-distance team, and two mid-distance and short-distance teams.
I opted for the middle distance and thank god, Jonnemei was willing to join me on that mission. We (again) took the race fairly serious, with some proper preparation and practice sessions. Either alone, with almost everyone, or with just the two of us, the people that saw us running (or swimming) by probably always thought we were crazy. But that’s also part of the fun:-) Anyway, with about 30km of swimrun training done, I felt confident that we would do a good job. Maybe even a podium for the mixed teams?
Race day! Temperatures are expected to hit 18 degrees, cloudy with some sun, and water temperatures between 10 and 12 degrees. Compared to last year slightly colder on land, and warmer in the water. However, because the water temperature was still only 8 degrees at the start of the week, the organizers thought it wise to shorten the swims, which meant that we were left with “only” 24km of running and 2.4km of swimming (instead of 3.6km of swimming). A decision I can understand, but in hindsight not necessary. The water was agreeable, especially after the pretty warm runs.
The race was again amazing. The surroundings are awesome, the atmosphere is very relaxed, running tracks are narrow, winding, never flat, and very tough. Due to quite a bit of swimming in the pool during winter, the swims are much easier than last year. Before halfway we had already figured out that a podium finish was never an option, so we could simply enjoy the race without any pressure.
After almost 4 hours of exercise we made it to the finish line on position 23 out of 56 (and 5th mixed team). Not bad at all! It was once again an amazing adventure. Just in case you’re wondering, yes, the next swimrun is already scheduled: The SwimRun Urban Challenge Ruhr on September 17 in Essen, Germany. And hopefully I’ll return to the Amphiman next year once again.