Well, if you are looking for a challenge and some beautiful scenery along the way let me recommend this IM race. WOW!
I'm doing some sightseeing in the alps after the race this past Sunday, so I haven't had time to get my whole race report put together. I'll work on it on my fligth back to the states on Sat.
We had 15 people from our tri club in MN come over here to participate, plus a friend from AL and one other person that participated in the Zuri Triathlon (olympic distance) the day before. I'm happy to state that all of us conquered the IM challenge. We had 10 IM newbies here and they all finished, which was amazing.
The swim was tough, trying to sigth the first turn bouy was tough, it was directly in the sun. The swim was just like a washing machine, very agressive. The hill they call "The Beast" was long, it just kept going and going and going, it takes about 20 minutes to climb. You get a little down hill break before tackling the next climb, which was didn't have many turns, but it was still tough. The down hill from this climb was fast, I hit at least 42 mph all 3 times I went down. Even with my brakes on I was going over 35 mph. Going around Lake Zurich was flat and it gave to time to relax your legs before tackling the climb they call "Heartbreak Hill" This climb is shorter in distance but the grade is much higher. It was cool but different with all of the people lined up on both sides of the road cheering you up the hill, like they do in the Tour de France. It was fun to hear everyone scream "oop oop opp" in a german accent as you tried to climb the hill, again we did this 3 times. The run looks confusing on the course map but it was very easy and flat. You saw a lot of different views, each time I went by the beach I wanted to stop and jump in because it was hot out.
Overall it was a good experince. I will do a race report on my flight home.