Deidre tri-ed Gexto M distance in Spain

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