Pre-Race

I was excited in the run up to the race, I felt like I was resting up quite well and I felt like the course would work well to my strengths. I was looking for a minimum of top 10, but really top 7 was what I was aiming for.

I was very glad to have Tim come along for a bit of a holiday, as well as being official photographer and bag man. After playing hide the overweight giant bike box from everyone with a name badge (in your face Ryan Air), and a bus journey longer than the flight, we arrived in our rather nice hotel apartment only 500m from the race. The day before the race was taken up with a bit of training, a lot of eating, and puzzling over how this was ever considered a good idea....

Cervelo Bike pic

But come race morning I was feeling really ready to race.

Swim

Having found my ususal race prep swim easy on Wednesday I was hoping to lead out the swim or at least be in the top 3. Running in from the beach I did not have a great start and was a couple of rows back. Luckly I was fairly near the edge of the pack so swam around the outside to reach the first buoy in maybe 10th place.

For the rest of the swim I was feeling good and really pleased with my TRI 11 wetsuit. Definitely moving through the field fairly comfortably, but after such a shocking start I couldn't catch the leaders coming out in 4th place.

Score: -1 for terrible start and getting dropped, -1 for out of top 3, +1 for being in top 5 = 1/3

Bike

Onto the bike and I soon hit a stretch of road with a host of roundabouts on, about one, I was meant to make a 180 turn. As this section was not shown in sufficient detail on the map, or marked the day before, I played guess the roundabout, and when I reached the dual carriageway to Barcelona it became apparent I lost this game. I did an about turn and made it back onto the course in time to see swimmers 6-10 making the correct turn and squeezing ahead of me. Irritating.

This early section of the road was riddled with pot holes and speedbumps. I took this opportunity to despatch my gels all over the road. Luckly I still had my Cytomax drink and I knew there was an aid station after 3km, so it wasn't all bad. There were no gels at any of the stations which meant I was on the energy bars. It took me 10km to eat half a bar at which point it was making me feel too good. After 40km the bar came back up and along with most of my first bottle, went all over the road. There was little alternative but to keep pedalling, ensure I made the most of second bottle and hope to eat a lot early on the run.

The bike course was on a super fast coastal road and I felt okay consdiering. I am happy to report I didn't see any drafting amongst the pros, and not really any in the age group race either. Sure, people did sit in for the whole 80km, but I kept looking back to catch the bugger in the act, but he never got too close so fair enough. I myself made a few tactical errors, doing a long turn driving the pace on right up to the foot of the longest hill and then getting dropped, for example. Still my average speed was 26mph for 86km which is okay.

Bike Score; +1 for Av >26mph, -1 for tactical errors, -1 for being too slow = 1/3

Run

My legs didn't feel great at the start of the run. I grabbed some gels and some coke to try and kick start me but it didn't really work. The run was one of those horrible survival style expierences. My legs hurt and when I tried to lift my turnover I was sick again. Not much else to say. Not good enough.

Run Score; -1 for >1:17, -1 for >1:20, -1 for >1:25 = 0/3.

Overview Point; Too many mistakes, too slow, too far behind the winner = 0/1

Total Score = 2/10.

Post Race

We were on a flight back early the next morning, but thanks to some volcano action, our flight got cancelled. So we took the opportunity to stay a night in Girona. It is a pretty cool place. A mix of old and new. There were some fantastic sights along the old city, through the old stone streets and at the Cathedral. By far the best of the holiday and hopefully it will be courtesy of Ryan Air.....




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