On the way to the North American Championships
On Sunday, 13:30 CET, the North American Continental Championships start in a back bay of the Arkansas River in Keystone State Park. Swimming is expected to be with wetsuit with a water temperature of 20 degrees (cut off: 21.9 degrees Celsius). The athletes will be guided from the 1st transition area to the swim start by mandatory shuttle buses. Chances are good that Michi will catch a good group.
The bike course proves to be very challenging with many "rolling hills" as the Americans use to say. A technically demanding course with fast descents suits Michi very well. During the training it was a matter of "Watch out!", because in the backcountry of Oklahoma - the dogdy rednecks - sometimes dogs from the farms ran along and cars shot out of the driveways.
The first 90k are constantly up and down on narrow roads, hopefully preventing a group constellation. Followed by a wider highway, the hill terrain continues with climbs of 8-12% - no aerobar, but perfect to push.
The course continues past abandoned, old farms with rusty cars in sheds. To be able to explore this flair, however, there will be no time. On the "honest", rough and very demanding bike course there will be an elimination race. No mistakes are allowed here! Towards "T2", 300 meters of altitude will be reeled off as a grand finale before the second transition. The weather forecast for the race day predicts up to 25 degrees with dry conditions until the afternoon.
The showdown on the run course may be thunderous in an ambiguous way. From the second transition area at Oklahoma State University, the race heads to downtown Tulsa to the Arkansas River and back again. The difficulty becomes getting through the beginning of the run course muscularly, as it starts downhill, followed by some hills and real uphill sections. The finish is in downtown Tulsa.
The Covid-19 issue is exciting to follow here, as there is not much evidence of a general mask requirement. Lets assume that a majority of Americans are already vaccinated - or so ...
Michi is looking forward to a very strong competition in a battle with, among others, Patrick Lange, Sam Long and Chris Leiferman.
Supported by triathlon dinosaur, scene veteran and good old buddy Roman Lichal-Kratochvil, who was allowed to massage him every day, Michi feels top fit and is hot for the race - finally long distance again!
Day wake-up on Sunday is at 3am and one thing is for sure: Michi is ready to rock!
Race start: 06:30 Tulsa time / 13:30 CET - live on Facebook IRONMAN now