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Israel's Gordon Bloch wins 2nd place in the Maccabiah Triathlon

After checking into the hotel in Tiberius, at about 1300, I went looking for the start of the race course, and drove over most of the bike course to check it out. I needed to see the state of the road, twists and turns and of course the hills.

At 1600 I walked from the hotel to the swim area as there was supposed to be a training swim. I and another couple were the only ones present, and due to high wind the lifesavers would only permit swimming parallel to the shore. The actual swim course was 700 meters out, across 100 meters,and 700 meters back to shore. All was marked with different colored buoys.

I swam and thereafter we checked out the transition area and the exit with the bike, return with the bike and the exit of the run course. One always finds the finish gate!

Friday at 0430 found me cycling to the race, and checked in, prepared for the race, followed by a short run to warm up. Not that it was needed, but it's always good to get the pulse up a bit, and it looks impressive! Then I took my swim cap and goggles and made my way to the start area, about a 150M from my bike. We had a wet start: we stand in waist-high water and start swimming from there. We were close to 200 competitors at the start. I swam out the 700M and turned the buoy to another 100M and back to the shore. Somehow, possibly looking at the wrong buoy, I was off course and the life savers in the rescue boats were shouting to me to go the correct way. I reached the shore, exited the water and when I looked at my stopwatch and saw it took me 41 minutes, instead of less than 30, I knew I was in trouble!

I took my bike, after putting on my shoes and helmet, and ran to the start of the bike course. My number was very loose, so I slowed down to tie a knot so it would be tighter around my waist. On the bike course I mounted the bike and to my dismay the chain had come off the rear toothed wheel! I dismounted and tried turning the wheel to get the chain back on, but it was off the rear cogs and this meant using my fingers to lift the oily chain back on. At this same time a judge was shouting at me to move off the course! Eventually it all came together and I started the course. It went easily and I managed to make up quite some time.

I finished cycling and started the run. To say it was an absolute disaster is an understatement... By far my worst run of a triathlon. I finished the race only to be told that they had shortened the course and stopped the race due to hot weather. I spoke to the race doctor who told me, after I told him the weather was not too bad, that the later starts were suffering, so he ordered the race stopped. His action is a direct result of the Tel Aviv marathon, held in hot weather, and which resulted in high numbers of runners being treated for dehydration.

I checked the results and: Surprise! I came in 3rd, behind 2 Israelis! The visitors fared even worse than meI, however, the second placed winner had done one loop of the run LESS than I! I was so pleased to have finished the race that I just let it go, although I should been place second place...

Back to the hotel with my equipment, I washed and dressed, and went to the race hotel for the award ceremony. When we were called up to be awarded our medal, I told the guy who came 1st that thiswas the last time for him, as I usually finish before him...

The bottom line is,s ince I was requested to be in the Israeli delegation and did not take part in the qualifying races, I am more than satisfied that I was able to do my share and "deliver the goods"!

More importantly,after my hospitilazation, I was just thankful that I was able to finish since I had no idea how my body was going to react.

Now I can get down to some serious training before the next race and the Half Ironman, in either September in Ceasarea, or October in Haifa, or both!!!!!

Gordon Bloch
Airline Retiree



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