Barcelona 70.3 Ironman – 22 May 2016
About a year ago, I underwent ACL surgery on my right knee and decided to end my all beloved passion for football and shift to other sports, less traumatic.
I always loved sport, competition, the taste of performance, so I had to find the “sport” that would tick all the boxes. A close friend of mine challenged me to engage in triathlon, but at that time, I was under physiotherapy but still, why not!
So, 6 months post-surgery, and moving to Paris (after a long expatriation in the Middle East), I joined the Paris Expatriates Triathlon Club for its Fun, Diversity, Friendliness and Performance. One big issue came up though: I did not know how to swim, even my breaststroke sucked.
4 months down the line of training with coaches Sylvain Dodet, Vincent and all club mates support, here I was in Barcelona for my first triathlon and half IM.
I traveled to Barcelona with 5 good friends travelling from Algiers, Dubai, Copenhagen and Madagascar, a little family reunion. We were well received in the charming city of Calella by local people’s sense of welcoming, good quality of housing and food, great infrastructure and roads. More than a tourist spot, Calella was branded a sport city as well. I came across a waiter at a local restaurant, who happened to be a trained cyclist providing valuable tips on the track the day before the race.
Barcelona IM 70.3 in 4 words: Great Organization, Amazing Location
The open water swim in the Mediterranean sea was an outstanding feature of the event. The sea was a bit wavy, and I certainly got carried away a couple of times, swimming more than the official distance, but that was fun anyway!
Then came the bike course, well, a little Tour de France in the alps or so! Quite steep for the first 45kms, then ups and downs until 68kms, and finally downhill until the end. Many suffered uphill, tri bikes the most, but all of it, in the beautiful mountainous countryside of Calella…a real pleasure.
The half marathon right next to the shore was delightful although a bit repetitive (2 loops), lots and lots of cheering from locals contributing to the overall great atmosphere; it really helped finish it in joy and smiles.
The challenge ended not far off from Sudeep, another clubmate and then Dani later on. The smiles on our faces told the whole story 🙂