Getxo Triathlon – M distance – 16 October 2016
by Deidre Derworiz
The Getxo triathlon is part of the Santander race series in Spain and includes both M and S distances.
I did the M (‘Olympico’) distance. The most difficult part of the race was figuring out how to sign up in Spanish. 🙂
I’d never heard of Getxo before but it is a tranquil beach side town located a short distance from Bilbao, to which there are direct flights from Paris.
Getxo itself is a sleepy, uncommercialised town with few accommodations. A weekend was sufficient to explore the area.
The swimming area was somewhat sheltered within a bay and included a wide, sandy beach. There were perhaps 200 triathletes starting in 3 different waves, which made for a relatively relaxed, uncrowded swim.
I noticed at one point I was breathing only every 4 strokes, clearly too relaxed and not working hard enough. However, the water was still cold and choppy which made for a challenging 2-loop swim.
Although the area is very hilly, the cycle and run routes were pancake flat.
The 4-loop, 39km cycle course was draft legal. I was grateful for this given I hadn’t been on my bike since the Chantilly tri. The road was smooth and fast other than the occasional speed bump, resulting in an unexpectedly speedy 34km/hr cycle for me.
It’s unfortunate that they didn’t use some of the hilly roads in the area to create a more interesting bike course. The run consisted of 2 loops along a scenic, paved, harbor-side walkway. I struggled with some tightness in my legs following last week’s 20km de Paris, but managed to keep a consistent pace, finishing the 10k run in just under 50 minutes.
A finish time of 2h30 resulted in a 2nd place in my AG, although there were only 6 of us.
The weather was perfect for racing, around 20°C and overcast to start, with a bit of drizzle on the run. The day before had been 25°C and sunny.
To summarize the pros and cons of this race:
– good weather for an October race
– short direct flight from Paris
– ocean swim off a beautiful beach
– fast, draft legal bike course
– flat waterfront run course
– not crowded
– cold, choppy swim
– boring 4-loop bike course
– a local’s race, making it a bit lonely for a foreigner
– an unremarkable medal
– not many female participants