I trained diligently for Ironman Zurich but the non-neoprene swim drained the energy reserves and also piled on the minutes.
I only took up swimming to do triathlon and I have only ever really been interested in wet-suit outdoor races. Hence, an effective leg-kick has not been developed. Lack of wetsuit did not seem to bother the top swimmers as they don't need the buoyancy.
The cycle went perfectly to plan with average pace of 20mph and heart rate average below 140 (only crept up to 145 very briefly on a couple of occasions). Terrific bike course with several spectacularly scenic sections. Combination of flats, hills and some sharp turns. Maximum speed 47 mph. This is the part that made it all worthwhile.
The run pace was conservative due to the conditions and resignation that the poor swim had destroyed Kona aspirations. Nevertheless, by mile 15 there was nothing left in the tank.
Personal best cycle of 5:31 (beating my Challenge Roth 2012 effort by 6 mins)
Worst ever swim of 1:55 (45 mins slower than expected)
Worst ever run of 5:43 (did London Marathon 3 months ago in 2:56)
Slowest ever overall finish time of 13:18
(These sentences are taken from an email sent to finishers after the event).
This year´s race goes down as the hardest competition ever realized in Zurich. Not only because of the heat but also because of the non-wetsuit swim which was an additional challenge for many athletes."
Ironman Switzerland is a good race that is highly recommended (Challenge Roth by contrast is a great race...just a bit better in all ways, especially crowd-support and race management).
Lake Zurich is beautiful with clean water. Probably a very pleasant swim under normal conditions.
The cycle is terrific but has a few sharp turns combined with steep descents that could prove tricky in the wet (and it often does rain in Zurich). Lots of rules and novel ways to get in the penalty box (such as non-aerobar sections and no-overtaking sections).
The run has several underpasses and switch-backs but lots of crowd support and feed-stations.