Time of year: July
Value for money: 5
Crowd support: 3
PB potential: 1
Course: 2-lap lake swim, fairly hilly 1-lap bike course and a very difficult offroad mountain run!
Locality: The race is held in the West Tatras in the Rohace mountains. It’s a very beautiful place and popular with hikers and other tourists in the summer. In the winter there is a lot of snow 🙂
Getting there: Perhaps the best way to come from abroad would be to fly to Krakov or Bratislava and then drive the rest of the way.
My experience (2014): This was my first time to an extreme triathlon and I was only really there because I won free entry the previous August at Slovakman. Pre-race I realized how perfectly the race is organised as all of our bikes were loaded into lorries for the next day. The weather had been perfect so far during our stay and I was hoping it would stay the same on race day! I started to worry at the race briefing when the compere told us that ‘noone in the world can run up that hill’ at the start of the run. The run is my strongest discipline and I was hoping he was exaggerating!
Anyway, I went to bed wondering what the following day would bring.
It was cold in the morning and it started raining quite hard. We took a bus out to the start and prepared our bikes when we arrived. It was dry now but it was very cold. Then I got into the water. It was freezing!
At the end of the swim I was glad to get on my bike but by now it was raining again. The bike ride was not too bad apart from the cold and I was looking forward to getting to the run and getting warm 🙂
But the last 8km were pretty hard, getting steeper and steeper as we went. Then I finally got off the bike and put on my running shoes. I ran about 600m and then it started – the trail was very steep and unmade and I was shocked at how hard it was! We ran across mountain tops and through streams and it was an amazing experience but SO hard! I can normally run a half marathon in 1h20-1h25, but this took me 1h56!
What an experience though – my toughest race in 2014! For a great video of the occasion, click here