Time of year: August
Value for money: 4
Crowd support: 3
PB potential: 4
Course: 1-lap lake swim, flat 2-lap bike course and 2-lap run course
Locality: The race is held in Doksy, a small town about 2 hours from Prague. It is on the banks of Machovo Jezero, a huge lake where you can do watersports or just relax and sunbathe. You can also do triathlons there! There is quite a lot of nightlife around the lake too, probably better after the race!
Getting there: If you’re travelling from abroad I’d say you should fly to Prague and then take a train, bus or rent a car.
My experience: This year (2010) had so far been quite miserable as far as sport was concerned. I”d missed a number of races through a recurring achilles problem and this was to be only the second race of the season (the other was a sprint triathlon in mid July).
There had been a lot of rain and we were worrying whether the race would even go ahead. When we arrived in Doksy, my girlfriend was less than happy with the accommodation I’d booked – a small hut with no bathroom or toilet on a campsite (well, sort of 🙂 ). It was cheap, but for a few extra pennies we could’ve stayed in a hotel!
Anyway, back to the race. The weather was beautiful, the lake looked great and I was ready to go. The swim was great and the onto the bike. After about 30km, I realized that my aero-bar was loose, and wondered why I hadn’t checked it before. After another half an hour it almost completely fell off!! So I had to ride another 40-45km holding it on!!
And so the bike ride ended. The run continued on tracks around the lake and through some woods, providing a little shade but I think it was a bit longer than 21km. It was a nice run though, and there were Powerbar gels at the aid stations (an unusual luxury at Czech races).
Crossing the finishline was a great feeling, as only a few months earlier the doctors were telling me to stop running and start playing chess (more on that at another time). Ecstatic, I bought myself an Ironman cap, and my girlfriend a I sat and had a couple of beers and a pizza and enjoyed the evening in this beautiful place.