For the first time ever I have lead out a Pro Swim and it was fantastic race to do it at - in a prestine lake surrounded by snow capped mountains in Austria.

I had a good start and togther with another guy who started in the middle, we made our way over to a tri who started on the right. Once in that lead group I made every effort on conserve my energy (yes, I drafted off them!), slowly working my way into second position by the half way point. The way back to shore was less than obvious as we were 900m away and there was no lead canoe. With 400m to go, two swimmers broke left after citing a big red tent. Sadly for them, this was not that swim out. I took this opportunity to lift the pace and move to the front and to be the first out the swim.

I was delighted to lead out the swim at this race as my wetsuit sponsors TRI11 are a German company, and we were right on the border. It is a fantastic suit, the whole swim felt so easy that it really wasn't much of an effort to lift the pace and come to the front.

  Thanks to Christoph Raithel for the photo

I had a great T1 and was out onto the bike and managed to stay off the front of the main field for the first 20km before Cigana and Weiss came past. It was a fantastic morning to be racing, taking the valley road between the mountains, with the sun breaking through the low cloud, it is something I really remember for a long time.

I finished the bike in maybe 9th place, with freezing cold legs (but oddly my hands were fine). After 7km I felt like I had defrosted a little and could start running. Sadly after only a few more km I started having terrible stomach cramps, and well, I think you can guess what happens next. Race over. I finished but it was so bad I still haven't been able to bring myself to look, and it why it has taken me so long to do the write up.

I had a fantastic time in Germany staying with the Funk Family, an extremely generous and welcoming family. Not only that, it is not often you get beatten by your homestay. 1-0 Harald, but I will have my revenge. I also got to enjoy the company of Sascha and Linda who stayed with the Funk Family too, which all in all made for a great trip. Just shame about the last hour and a bit of the race. And incase you are wondering, and Sascha probably is, I give myself 4.5/10 - a new record. 3/3 for the swim. 1/3 for the bike and actually leading such a big race. 0/3 for the run. 0.5/1 for how well the race went over all.

And for a final thought;

"We are judges by what we finish, not by what we start" - Anonymus

So whilst I take a lot from this race, and I hope it is a sign of things to come, it means nothing until I see it through to the end