The day after Abu Dhabi

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Good morning, I just got back from my “day after the race brekkie”.  My legs are sore and my body aches as I pay some tribute to one of the greatest races of my career so far.

Let me start from the beginning:

I had been preparing for this race in the US this winter and I flew into Abu Dhabi 8 days before the race to get acclimatized—we were able to stay at the fancy five star race hotel.  It was a nice treat to get to relax a bit after all that training—I had over two and a half months of serious preparation for this race so I needed to take it seriously.

The race was an overall big success for me as well as for the organizers—and the crowed was amazing when we flew by.

When I exited the water, I found myself in a bigger group of around 10-12 guys and we formed the leading pack.  First transition was smooth and I was on my new Ceepo bike and took it out very controlled but with some good speed. Unfortunately we got led in the wrong direction and we rode an extra 1km, and by the time we got back on the racecourse, our pack consisted of more than 27 guys.  That was a big bummer and many of us were very upset—but stuff like that happens so we had to make the best of it.  Anyways, I tried to stay focused and got my mind set back for the rest of the race.  After maybe 45 km we turned into the Formula 1 racetrack and that was an amazing experience!  I felt so good and started to take to corners way harder than I needed to and passed some guys, making the Formula 1 car sound when I rode by and had a big smile on my face… I felt like a little kid playing racecar or something!  But no worries, I just played for a short time and then it was all back to serious business once we hit the lonely and long highway back to the center of Abu Dhabi.  The two and a half loops were very long, but we passed the Ironman mark at 4.12h… guess you know what that means—we were flying.  The group got smaller and smaller and I remember after 3h, I lost focus for a short time and lost the group, so I found myself about 100m behind the guys and since Bjoern Anderson was attacking it took me 15 minutes with a HR of 165 to make it back to the group.  That was my decisive move, if I would have given up at some point, I would not even be in the top 10 now.  So looking back, I am really glad that I saw the seriousness of the situation and put myself together at that point in time.  It was all or nothing.  Well, as you know I made it back and dealt with it pretty well.

So after a very long 200km bike leg, we rolled into transition 2 with a total time of only 4:45 minutes—which is about 43 km/h average.  Pretty cool, ey?  I still felt okay—my legs were feeling good and I had a very smooth second transition, running out in 4th behind newcomer Phil Graves (really nice guy, btw).  Some guys passed me and ran out too fast but I was confident and stuck to my plan.  When Rasmus Henning passed me I tried to go with him but it was too fast, 3 km later I started making up ground to the guys in front of me and by km 6-7 I was running in 3rd behind Mr. Superman Llanos and Rasmus Henning from Denmark.  Rasmus and I are good friends so we tried to work together to get to the front but we didn’t come much closer.  At the 10k turn around, the official fell asleep and didn’t  point me in the right direction and so I keep running, while Rasmus turned and opened up a 50m gap on me. It took me another 6km to catch him.  I was so upset with the lady out there but luckily I ended up making up that lost ground.

Once I caught Rasmus, I saw my chance to pass him and did so.  In the last 5km I opened up close to 45 seconds on him and ran into the finish in second place—just a minute behind the winner.  What an amazing day out there for me.

I did everything right, starting from the training with my amazing coach Michael Krueger and my good training partners in St. Augustine, FL.  I am very happy and blessed to have you guys all around me!

Thanks again for cheering and all the nice emails and Facebook messages I got from all of you!  It makes me very happy and proud!

Now I will enjoy 2 days of sightseeing over here and am staying with my friends in Dubai.  Then I will be back in Luxembourg for a few days before heading back to Florida for some more training and racing.  My next race is the New Orleans 70.3 next month where I will race Mr. Macca —I am really looking forward to the challenge!



27 Comments On “The day after Abu Dhabi”

  1. Pletschette Carlo

    meng Félicitatiounen Dirk!!!

  2. Congrats! VERY proud of my Ceepo brother 🙂

  3. congrats again dirk! 2nd place is even more amazing after the two snafu’s with the course. how frustrating! but way to overcome and put up an amazing race! we are all so proud of you, you are the talk of st. auggie!!! way to go!!

  4. congrats Dirk, great to see you smashing it, big season ahead!

  5. Excellent Dirk, Feliciatiounen fir deng super Leeschtung.
    Letzebuerg as houfreg op dech!
    Erhuel dech gudd!

  6. Hi Dirk,
    Will you have time for your Trilux ‘groupies’while in Luxembourg?

    congrats again,

  7. …and great to see how well you did on the final running leg. Look out Hawaii!

  8. Alessandro Muknicka


    Congratulations!!!!…..your performance in Abu Dhabi was very strong and you left a big footprint mark to an amazing race season year yet to unfold!!!!….

    Maybe next year????….I will be the one giving you awesome massage session to speed up your recovery time by flushing out the toxic waste in your muscles and detoxing your body functions…. then, applying ARC(active release technique) to restore your flexibility level….

    Best regards from your brazilian friend in Gainesville,

    Alex Muknicka

  9. congratulations!!!!!!2.nd place is great after the 2 upsetting rides in the wrong direction….think i´d killed someone for that…:-)))

    greetings from good old rainy germany

  10. Aloha Dirk,
    Great race man!! Congrats from Hawaii and good luck with the rest of your season looks like your off to a great start!
    Aloha Gary

  11. Heather in St Aug,FL

    WOOHOO, Dirk that is awesome! Sounds like you have an amazing ability to regroup while in the middle of a race! IMPRESSIVE. See you back in St Augustine(btw your coming back to beautiful weather)

  12. @all: Thanks to all of you for the kind words. I had a amazing day in the office here in Abu Dhabi. I am very happy to start my season with such a great performance and to always have your support! Thanks a million- it means a lot to me!

  13. Well done Dirk! You are a star!

  14. So proud of mein Schatzie 🙂

  15. Dirk

    Super Cool. Congratulations

    Super hero, great to 2 c its all comming together.

    Robin – Luxembourg

  16. Good job Durg. Very happy for you.

  17. Awesome job, Dirk! So proud of you. You are one of the hardest workers I know and you keep your eyes on your goals. You are well deserving of these successes. We’ll look forward to watching you continue to push through and to win more and more races. :o) london & hudson

  18. Good stuff Dirk! And happy recovering.

    I posted a quick update re your awesome race.

    All good things,

  19. Well done! You are super star!

  20. To my dear friends: Thanks so much again- your comments are a great inspiration for me to get going and keep rocking the LD tri scene around the world. It’s a dream start going into 2010 and after 22 years of doing triathlon- I am still improving, learning and having fun. You gotta love it! Thanks for believing in me and following me! All the best to you guys!

  21. Hi Dirk,
    what a result!!!Congratulations.I think you have to be most tested person nowadays becouse your progress is just unbelivable.I belive you are most adored sportsmen in Luxembourg now-not only my opinion.Thank for your reports and big ups.Weiter so.Phillippe-Lux

  22. Congratulations again on this amazing result. That is a great lesson in keeping yourself focused in the present after the technical challenges faced during what sounds like an epic race, especially the biking! You were for sure in the company of the greatest atheletes around the globe that day and surely this gives you confidence for goals further in the season as well. Hopefully the race organizers, media, or some roadside fans have some video that will make its way to youtube or your web site.

    Kudos also on the Ceepo sponsorship, can’t wait to see you riding the most technically advanced “futuristic” machine on some training rides in the United States oldest city.

    Cheers from Saint Augustine, Paul

  23. Fine Job Dirk!

    You have been training hard and it is easy to see it is paying off. Before you left you said you were ready and I am glad to hear of your success. Happy travels and hope to see you soon.

    Teeny Pellicer

  24. Congratulations Dirk, way to go! How are other things going – like the house? Got it all fixed up yet? Do you have your golf handicap down in the single digits yet? We’ll pass on your result to Karen and Bob. Their internet connection is too slow to see the video.

    Have fun.

    Jack K.

  25. @Teeny: Thanks so much for your comment- Yes, you saw me suffering before- it was worth it. The hard work really payed off. Thanks for following up on me buddy. see you soon

    @Jack: very nice to hear from you- it’s been a while.Hope all is well and the weather starts getting warmer in GJT. No golfing at the moment- I wish I would have time to play though. I will get in shape before we meet up again! Thanks for the support- hugs to both of you!

  26. who da man?
    you da man!
    pure inspiration…..
    schoene gruesse aus Mannebach

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