News 09.03.2008
Team Plätzer
#1 and #3 in IAAF Challenge in Chihuahua, Mexico!!!

We left Flagstaff after an early morning training on Friday to go to Chihuahua, Mexico, for the first IAAF Challenge of the year. Both Erik and I were looking forward to compete again, but we were also nervous and a little unsure about what we could achieve after three weeks with a lot of training at altitude.

Arriving in Chihuahua we were surprised how cold it was. In the internet it said that it would be nice and warm during the weekend. It was not, I left my warm jacket and sweaters in Flagstaff, but I shouldn't have. I was freezing!!! I was happy that it was warming up during Saturday morning and that it was nice and warm for our race at 2.20pm. It was a very hard course with really good new asphalt. It was sunny and windy. But we were lucky that we had a tailwind going upwards :-)

Like Stephan told me before the race I tried only to focus on myself, my heart rate, my feeling, and decide how to race from these factors. I started easy and tried to find a good rhythm. I felt controlled, but my legs were heavy from the beginning. It was very important for me just to continue working and let the other girls just walk away from me. I continued the race in my own pace and after some laps, the leaders didn't walk faster than me anymore. I started to catch up on Melanie Seeger/GER and Susana Feitor/POR who were leading the race from the beginning. I decided to be patient and continued in my own rhythm. This paid of, and I past first Melanie then Susana (who later dropped out of the race). I could continue on the same pace until 18km. Then I saw that I had to push the pace down a little to finish the race under the IAAF A standard which was required to get the Challenge points in this event. I walked fast enough and crossed the finnish line first in 1.33:19!! :-) Melanie was second and third was Susana's club mate from Rio Maior, Ines Henriques.

My victory was a big surprise for me. Both Melanie and Susana had already showed that they were in good shape and for me they were the two favorites.

After my race I had to leave the competition area to go to a doping test and I couldn't see the first part of the Men's race which started at 4.20pm. I was able to finish up the test procedure quick and was back to the competition course for the last 8 km of the Men's race. I was glad to see that Erik looked good in the leading group. He walked very smart and did a great job. At 18km, being in 5th position just behind Jefferson Perez/ECU, he was able to find some extra power and pushed his pace. At 19k he was 4th, but Saquipay/ECU was not far in front of him. At 19,5km he walked around the last turning point just 10m behind Saquipay. The last 500m to the finish line were uphill, but still he managed to walk fast and at 250m to go he was in 3rd position. He was able to keep it to the finnish line, just ahead of Saquipay.

It was a perfect start of the season for Team Plätzer!

Now we are back in Flagstaff/USA for ten more days of altitude training before we go back home.





©Kjersti Tysse Plätzer