Just a few days before Christmas Stefan Gerngross inhaled world-class triathlon atmosphere at the Challenge Bahrain. Following his words it seemed to be a real experience:
It was an event I had never experienced before: the welcome at the airport, the preparation just before the race and especially the after race party with the Dire Straits – unbelievable what had happened here.
The swim in front of the World Trade Centre and the Four Seasons hotel was a perfect starter. My swim performance in the 20 degrees cold water was pretty much the same – after 33min I was in the transition area and 3min later I was already on the bike. The course on the highway, which were closed for the traffic (!), was pretty fast but also windy. With the last kilometres on the F1 track it was a great feeling. There I had some problems with my bike which took 5min. But after 2h33 I was in T2. My transition time was a little bit longer because I had to clean my fingers which were black from my bike problems. The run course leaded to the national park. Every 2km there were perfectly organized aid stations. Ice-cold drinks and sponges were handed out. So I could overcome the heat pretty well. The DJs, the spectators on the course and the wildlife animals in the national park made the run very short. After 1h47min I crossed the finish line overwhelmed of that event and more than happy that my end time was under 5 hours. In the end it did not matter that in the results the times were 2 min slower …