The Best Riding Time YetApril 23, 2006
Once more, Lebanese Edward Maalouf was on the international racers’ name list in yet another handbiking race: the open championship in Holland. Edward ranked first in this 14 km time trial, with an average speed of 33.7 km/ hr compared to his 29 km/ hr last year. Before receiving his medal on the podium, Edward was called for the doping control. “I was glad to take this test because I had never taken it before and I had nothing to hide,” says Edward.
After receiving his gold medal and bouquet of flowers on the podium, Edward directly took a 5 hour drive to the Hamburg marathon. Arriving in the hotel at 1 in the morning, he barely had 4 hours to sleep because he had to be at the race location at 6 a.m. “My friend had picked up my start number because I was in Holland. We woke up at 5 in the morning and left to the start at 6. I got my number and directly went to warm up because they had told me it was a hilly race.” After warming up for 15km, Edward gathered with the other racers at the start line; unlike other European handbike races, all divisions in German marathons start together.
“From the very beginning, the tempo was quite fast. After the first 10 km I felt more capable and energetic; and I tried to work my way to the front. My strategy was to pull away from my group which included 5 persons from my division. But at 35 km, quite a few top racers began accelerating and made it difficult for us to get by them.” But such strategies played by racers on the track are not new to Edward. He knew that the smartest thing to do is to always save some energy for the final sprint, which can turn race results upside down. “Before the finish line, one German guy began the sprint very fast; I followed him finished behind him as 3rd in my division and 8th in general.”
The Hamburg marathon was a great achievement for Edward, where in spite of his tiring travel and lack of sleep, he scored his best race time so far. “What makes me most proud of this race is that I scored a total time of 1:15:58, my best riding time yet. Certainly, I need to improve the weaknesses I had in the race, like the sprint and other things. In the meantime, I am looking forward for my next race this coming week in Dusseldorf, Germany.”
With the support and encouragement of NGO Act for Lebanon, Edward is developing his talent with better motivation and stronger drive to earn recognition for Lebanese talent around the globe, and fortify Lebanon’s image as a homeland of potentials and capacities.
You can see the Hamburg Marathon results by visiting the following link: http://126.96.36.199/2006/. Enter handbike, 5o km, then Ergebnisse and you will see the full rankings.
And here you may find the Certification given to Edward from the organizers of the race.
Donate for Edward Maalouf here