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News Report

Ironman Barcelona Race Report

Author: Steve Blakemore, 12/10/18

Last weekend I competed in my first full distance triathlon at Ironman Barcelona. After starting triathlon in 2010 I have focussed on shorter distance races from sprint to middle distance every year claiming the next year I would have a go at the full distance. Towards the end of last year a few out the club were talking of entering Barcelona so I thought I’d give it a go and join them.

After following Steve Lumley’s 40 week training plan, which conveniently started on January 1st, I finally packed my bike up and headed off to Barcelona on Thursday 4th October with family in tow.

Also racing from the club were: Lee Moreton, Dave Hathaway, Neil Howells and Paul Gamston. Paul Silk unfortunately having to pull out due to injury in the weeks before the race.

The two days before the race were spent relaxing and registering with the odd swim, bike and run to look at the course and conditions. Friday night was spent in a panic trying to fix my front derailleur which had had somehow bent and was catching the large chain ring. Following seeking professional help on Saturday morning all was sorted and ready to race.

Following two days of glorious sunshine and worrying about the heat. We were woken up race morning to thunder and lighting. Walking to the start in torrential rain dodging rivers of water running through the streets.

The swim start is self-seeded where you get yourself in a pen based on your expected swim time and are let in to the water 8 athletes every few seconds. This has replaced the mass start and means you are swimming with athletes of a similar ability and eliminates having to swim over others or being swum over by others. That’s the idea anyway. Due to the storm the sea was extremely choppy. The course was an L shape. Out, parallel to the shore, turn, back parallel and in. Coming back you were constantly being pushed in to shore and had to swim diagonally to avoid missing the last turn buoy.

Swim time: 58:31.

The bike course is sold as one of the flattest in Ironman. Having rode the first few miles out of Calella (the race is based here not actually Barcelona) it didn’t seem that flat. However after this first 15km and even with the change to the course in the week before the race from a 2.5 lap course to a 2 lap course with an inland loop added up a slight hill, similar to six ashes, it was still pretty flat. However the flat course did lead to large groups forming and coming past me a great speed. There was a little rain on the bike but all in all good conditions and a great road surface for the majority.

Bike time: 5:21:01

The run was a 3.5 lap course which took you first down to the finish before going out and back along the sea front. I went off a little fast, as I was feeling good, so had to rein myself in and slow the pace down. I was glad I did this as the third time I got to the finish and had to turn away again for the last lap I was struggling a bit. However at the last turn at the farthest point out I looked at my watch and realised I only had ‘a park run left’ so spirits, and therefore pace, picked up to the finish.

Run time: 3:44:57.

Total time: 10:12:41.

A much better time than I had ever hoped for.

All in all a great experience made better with having club mates and family to share the highs and lows with. And also a few beers on the night and day after.

 Other results:

Lee: 9:57:37 (1:03:31 – 5:01:54 – 3:43:24)

Dave: 11:10:59 (1:13:07 – 5:30:30 – 4:17:14)

Neil: 11:30:23 (1:18:26 – 5:41:55 – 4:17:53)

Paul 11:54:53 (1:21:19 – 5:41:06 – 4:33:44)

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