It has now been a full week since I returned from Majorca where I raced the inaugural Ironman 70.3 race held in Alcudia.
My last post was written the night before the race, so I will start my Race Report from the point at which my alarm went off on Saturday morning, the 14th May 2011 at 04:30am!
We were picked up at 06:30am from the Hotel by RG Active Majorca based friend Harry picked us up to take us to Alcudia where the race was taking place. The day was looking good, the weather was calm and still and there was not a ripple on the water as we drove from Pollensa to Alcudia along the coast road.
The first port of call was transition where Stephen, Bob, Andy and myself had to pump our tyres up, hand in and check our swim, bike and run bags so that everything was exactly where we want it between each discipline. My nerves were starting to kick in and I quietly got myself together and started thinking about warming up and getting my Speedo wetsuit on before heading to the water.
With a kiss good luck from the Mrs (@Marsha_RGA) and Mum I was wetsuit’d up and took myself away to warm up and get comfortable as everyone watched the Pro wave start to signal the beginning of the mornings events.
The race was started in ‘waves’ and my 30-34 wave was the fourth wave of the day so there was going to be quite a few people on the roads and in the water when my wave started at 08:30am.
The gun went at 08:30am and I had managed to squeeze myself to the front left where I thought I could get away without too much bumping and fighting. I did get away well, and took a straight line to the furthest buoy on the out and back 1900m course. The group settled down quickly and in the crystal clear waters you could see everything and everyone around you so it was a lovely swim. I had a good swim, felt strong and held back enough to get out of the water in 27mins feeling good and ready to get on the bike.
The transition was quick but took a long time purely because it was sooooooo long, about 800m in total from swim in to bike out. I was riding my Rose TT Flyer bike and after the RG Active Majorca Camp in March was confident I knew the course and could have a strong bike. My plan was to ride strong, but not over do anything in the hope for a strong run. The bike started well, I felt comfortable and was passing loads of people as I headed through Pollensa and towards the major climb on the course. The climb and descent was awesome, felt strong on the climb but had ridden a smaller gear again thinking about the run as my priority for the race.
At about 50km it happened. My legs decided they had, had enough. It was like I had two dead legs and could get comfortable on my tri-bars, couldn’t get comfortable in any gears and every pedal stroke seemed such hard work. I was on target with my nutrition, I was hydrated and felt I had held back so this wouldn’t happen, but it had!
Sometimes it isn’t your day, and this day was not mine……… I arrived back in transition with a 2:43hour bike split but with the cramping already setting in as I dismounted I knew I had to re-think my plans for the run.
I took my time in T2 and put my sock on and made sure I had a drink before I started the run in what was becoming a very hot day. I had slight cramps in my quads, gluts, groin, calfs…. it was going to be a long half marathon so I took it slowly and got my head round the fact that it was just about soaking up the atmosphere and trying to enjoy the remainder of the race.
Enjoying it was harder than I thought but I walked, I ran and I took my time making sure I crossed the finish line and was greeted by my lovely girlfriend who had been shouting and screaming for me over the last 5:27hours in the roasting sunshine. The run course was tough and made up of three 5km loops around the seaside resort of Alcudia. It was a great run course for spectators, the beach lined a large part of each lap so holiday makers, other triathletes and friends, family and strangers all called your name and cheered for you as you ran past.
It was my first 70.3 finish after a DNF in Monaco 70.3 back in 2008. I was happy with my race and as an event, it was awesome. Well organised, great course and in a place that I have come to be very fond of over the last 3/4 years of RG Active holding our yearly training camp there.
My day was made more special when Stephen, Bob and Andy (three clients also racing with me) completed the event and exceeded all of their personal expectations which made me very proud as a friend and a Coach.
I also got me meet one of my heros in ‘Laurent Jalabert‘ who for years I watched in the Tour de France winning the green and polka-dot jerseys. He had come past me like a bullet during the run section and it was very cool to speak with him afterwards.
All in all, I had a great race, a great few days away and topped up my tan lines, can you ask for anything more?
I am already planning a return in 2012 to race again, not to put anything straight or improve what I did. I am going back because I love triathlon, I loved the race and I want to go back to enjoy the race all over again. I might go faster, I might go slower but either way I intend to enjoy it!
I am sorry it has taken me so long to write this report…….. I will be back again soon,