SABIC Long Distance – Stein, The Netherlands

June 22nd, 2009 by

Despite racing over the 70.3 distance last weekend I had a plan b for this weekend if the legs felt willing … thankfully by Saturday morning they had started to come around and by Sunday morning they felt like my own once again. Just.

Fraser Cartmell Sabic Triathlon 2009

A long, wet day. But a winning one.

I was really a little on the sceptical side as to whether this expedition to the lowlands was going to be entirely sensible, but the more adventurous side of me prevailed midweek and the flight to Amsterdam was booked. The total distance (3/110/30k) was longer than I had finished before, and the run was a good chunk longer than I had attempted in about a year (training and racing!) – but it would be ok I told myself, as everyone knows that Holland is flat, right? Em, yeah ….not this bit.

It was good to catch up with fellow T.R.I team mate Alun Woodward for the first time since late last year in Clearwater – he and the family had driven all the way from Hungary through the night – 16hours!! It made our trip to Wimbleball last week seem trivial.

We entered the canal as the heavens opened.

Always a pleasure to race in the rain. I knew that Alun would be swimming well, and he and I exited the water a good 2 minutes in front of the next group, which seemed an awful lot given I didn’t really kick during the swim. I had decided that, if possible and the legs obliged, I would try and push the second 2 laps of the bike. Thankfully Woody was riding well and he set a good pace for the first 55ks. Unfortunately just as the rain was really starting to pelt down he punctured and I was out front alone. – Well, not really alone, given the lead car and 2 or 3 motorbikes at any one time. – They really know how to organise top class, safe racing in Europe.

Fraser Cartmell Sabic Triathlon 2009

The bike course was really something, let me tell you!

I actually couldn’t quite believe it when my homestay drove me around the day before! – Twists, turns, ups, downs, cobbles, you name it – it was there. I really should’ve paid more attention to the course profile and info before I travelled. However, with 4 laps to negotiate, there was time to learn it as I went. Boredom was not an option thats for sure. By T2 I had somehow built a lead that approached 15 minutes which left me feeling confident that I could maintain my lead through to the finish line.

Fraser Cartmell Sabic Triathlon 2009

I managed to do just that.

The run was good for most of the way – 15ks or so, but then I had the opposite of a speed wobble! Not to worry, it had stopped raining, I could sense the finish, and seeing the 2nd place athlete almost 4k behind perks you up no end I can confirm!

Fraser Cartmell Sabic Triathlon 2009

Trophy, medal, flowers and comedy cheque. Job done!

A big thanks to my lovely homestay for the weekend – the Pieters Family. They looked after me really well. And of course to the race organisation, led by Rob de Hooge.

Results and race pics are online at