Ironman Barcelona – 2 October 2016
by Tom Scott
I arrived in Calella friday evening after flying across to Barcelona and then taking the train up – just enough time in the evening to sort my bike out then continue carbo loading in a local restaurant with Julien, Rebecca and some friends that had come across from England to support me.
Saturday came along soon enough, the day to get all of my transition bags sorted then of course test the bike & drop everything off where it needed to be. Then came the pre race kilometre swim in what was a choppy sea (uh ho lets hope it’s not like that tomorrow!). I wanted to buy some wetsuit lube coming back from the swim however the guy at a sports stand sold me some wetsuit adhesive glue which I stupidly discovered back at the apartment (I got heavily taken the piss out of) – would have been a great T1 transition with that all over me 😉 – luckily I found some areas of my wetsuit that needed patching up.. so it did come in use after all!
Along came race day. Julien and myself strolled over at half past 6 in the morning to do a bike check and get a warmup swim in for 10 or so minutes. The sea was impressively calm with a beautiful sunrise. We both placed ourselves in the < 01:15 category for the swim. There was a rolling swim start of 6 people leaving every 6 seconds so it took a while to set off. Once I was in the water I felt good and got into a rhythm that suited me. My Garmin clocked 4km for the swim (my head actually bashed into a canoe near the end so that was probably one of the reasons for the extra distance.. whoops). Out I came in 01:15 which I was happy with.
Into T1. All went well, wetsuit off (I left the adhesive glue to the side) and onto the bike which took me around 9 minutes in total. The bike leg consisted of 2×90 km laps (Calella – Montgat). I did my first 15 minutes at a high cadence and low gear to warm the legs up after the swim. Speed was my estimate metric as my HR monitor decided not to work (typical), so I aimed to hover around 30 kilometres per hour. Although the course was pretty flat we did have some small areas of elevation and wind as the day went through. I followed my eating plan and all seemed to go well doing a time of 06:01.
Onto T2. I ran into the tent to change into my running shoes and got straight off to battle the marathon with a transition time of around 6 minutes. I didn’t know what was best to eat at this point, banana felt too heavy, I was fed up of gels so just took a handful of nuts and plenty of coke at each aid station. The course consisted of 3x14km laps along the front of Calella to Calella-Santa Susanna. I started off at 5:00+ for the first 10km then my speed started dropping as my legs became heavier. Fortunately as from 38km I was able to reverse this trend and improve my speed towards the end.
Then there it was, finishing lap 3, heading off onto the red carpet in 11:59:00 and crossing the Ironman finish line for the very first time! I would highly recommend this race as it was well organised and the surrounding areas are ones not to miss.