Race preview Strong Viking Fürstenau (Osnabrück), GER

Soon the OCR season is starting again. Titia is looking forward to the 3rd race of the Strong Viking OCR Series in Fürstenau close to Osnabrück, Germany.

Memories

Titia: ‘It’s almost in my backyard, since it’s approximately 80km from my city Enschede. Last years edition was actually not that promising for me, but mostly because I was ‘a bit’ stubborn. It all started 2 weeks prior the race: I felt a strange pain in my fibula, just above the ankle joint. So I asked a sports physician from Team Sunweb what it could be. He thought about a minor stress fracture (very tiny rip in the bone) due to a lot of running. So I asked him what I could do, but the one thing an athlete never wants to hear was his answer: take some rest.’

To start or not to start?

Titia continues: ‘So I did… for 2 weeks. But then the Strong Viking race came up and I really wanted to join the competition of the OCR series. And the pain was not too bad, was not more but also not less. So I decided to start anyways. That went alright until the obstacle with the elastics around your ankle came up: you have to bind a tight rubber band around your ankles and hop along over and under some beams. The rubber band was really pressing on the point were I felt the injury the most. ‘

Just keep going

‘However I was already at 1/3 of the race, and still the pain was not too bad so I just kept going. The terrain became all rough and hilly so I tried everything to not put too much pressure on the right side. At the final obstacles I skipped the flying monkey because I was afraid if I fell, my ankle would definitely snap (but mostly because I still have mental issues with this obstacle haha). And finally I finished the race! I think I was 13th or so, not even the worst possible place.’

Back home

‘After I drove back home from the race, I wanted to step outside the car but that seemed impossible! I was in so much pain I couldn’t even do one step anymore. But when I called the general practice center/first aid all they said was if I could finish a race like that, there’s no need to come in at a Saturday evening. (fair enough though) In the end it turned out there was indeed a stress fracture and I needed to walk on crutches for a few weeks and at least take 6-8 weeks rest. ‘

Impact

‘It took me way longer than I expected to recover from this and I believe my first race were the Finals of the Strong Viking in June. So that was a wise lesson I’ve learned. But from that point on I was fully focused on the World Championships in October, because I still had time to train! But for sure it had some impact on my season… Anyway: Long story short I’m really looking forward to this race to make it a better race compared to last year!’

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