28/4/2018: Tine has finished ninth in today’s Ironman Texas. For Tine, it was a frustrating season opener that left no room for a better result. Melissa Hauschildt (Australia; 8:31:04) took the win. Jodie Robertson (US; 8:43:15) and Leslie Smith (US; 8:43:51) completed the podium. Tine’s final time was 8:57:33.

 

When former swimmer Lauren Brandon has signed up for a race, the other pro women know in advance that they will come out of the water trailing big time. Texas was no different. Brandon motored through the swim course, passing quite a few men. Meredith Kessler followed in second, more than five minutes behind. Tine ran into T1 in ninth position, trailing by 11 minutes. It set the tone for the rest of the race. While Brandon was overtaken by Morrison, Tine was unable to break through the drafting pack. She started the marathon in tenth position, still 11 minutes behind. Melissa Hauschildt quickly took the lead. Tine was able to maintain a steady rhythm in the first lap, but in the second she fell off her pace. In the end it was all about pushing through to ensure that ninth place finish.

 

The race was marred, but more importantly determined by extensive and unpunished drafting. It left a bitter aftertaste for Tine: “Usually I never bring this up post-race, but this was the worst drafting I have ever experienced. And not a referee in sight. Dozens of riders with zero meters in between just zoomed past me like a train. As a woman you can of course position yourself in such a group of men, but I just can’t. That is not our sport. So I fall back nicely. But you waste so much strength with the constant slowing down and trying to speed up again. Those who try to advance solo in the end are mercilessly passed by those who have been able to save their strength. I do not know what my result would have been in a non-drafting race. I did not have a super day, but I felt ok. My swim and run were decent and I felt good on the bike. Oh well, I will just focus on the positive. I have now collected a good number of Kona points. With my results from the upcoming half Ironman races, I should be able to secure my qualification for Hawaii fairly easily.”