This Sunday I had my last race of the season, Croatian championship at half-ironman distance in Porec. Given the course of the season, this was one of those races where anything except a win would be considered a failure. Competition was quite good so I knew that it won’t be easy to win, but I was prepared to go full gas one more time this season.
We started from the beach and I finally had a good reaction at the start. My happiness lasted for about a second, because in the next second my goggles filled with water while jumping in. I couldn’t see anything and after few hundred meters I took few seconds to adjust them. Now I could see again, but first thing I saw was that the group I usually swim with had a small gap.
We had 4 out and back loops on the bike. At the first turnaround I saw that Beijing Olympian, Pavel Simko, was alone in the front with a group of 4 not far behind him. I was another minute behind the group and it took me 2 laps to catch them. They covered all my breakaway attempts, so we rolled in T2 together.
At the start of the run Simko was 2 minutes ahead. Run was also four loop affair. After first lap the gap remained intact and I only got 15’’ closer in the second lap. However, I knew I can gain much more time in the second half if I keep the pressure high. By the end of third lap the gap went down to 45’’. Initially it was supposed to be 3-loop run course, but because of road works the course was changed to 4 smaller loops. Simko didn’t know about the course change and it must have been unpleasant surprise when he found out there’s one more lap left. He slowed down considerably, so I took the lead soon after entering the last lap and held it until the finish.
This was my longest and my most successful season so far. Porec was my 10th race of the season (4 ironmans and 6 halfs). It didn’t start well, but the second half of the season was really good. I’m happy that I managed to close it in style.