As a young boy he was here to encourage his father, in recent years he regularly helped as a volunteer but this year, on September 14th, he is one of the participants: Ryan Wesseling (27) is getting ready for CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM and his debut on his first Long Distance. At this point the first nerves are coming. “Not that much yet, but sometimes I feel the tension.”
Wesseling is really looking forward to the race. “Most of the trainings are done now. This week I’m going to do a little bit of cycling, especially some short work with a couple of intensive kilometres. Just pushing my muscles a bit. Next week I’ll swim along during the swim course reccy and then I’m really ready for it.”
It will certainly be exciting, because such a first Long Distance is of course quite impressive. “Everybody around me says that I’m really ready for it, but also that you shouldn’t set yourself a goal for your first LD. That’s how I try to race: just free of goals and then I’ll just see what time will be on the finish clock. I will be happy with every result.”
Nevertheless, Wesseling acknowledges of course that he have some goals in mind, very consciously. “If you look at how the season has gone so far and also my trainings, then of course you think about different race scenarios: small estimates of what might be possible. This resulted in three, maybe four race plans. We’ll have to wait for my shape of the day and whether I can – if necessary – switch quickly enough between the different scenarios.
Still Wesseling wants to finish around – or rather below – the 10:45 hours. “That is my father’s fastest time. It would be amazing if I could improve that time during my first Long Distance. But yes, my dad says I’m a bit crazy”, he laughs.
Wesseling is very much looking forward to September 14th, when he can finally race. “I’m happy when the start is done. It’s nice when you’ve just found your place in the water and you can really do your own race. It will be a whole new experience and I’m looking forward to it. And of course I’m looking forward to the spectacular finish in the stadium, full of people, as well!”