How to prep for you first 70.3? A cup of chamomile tea!

Ironman Mallorca 70.3 12th of May 2018

Race Reporter: Bettina

Mallorca was my first 70.3 Ironman and the experience and location couldn’t have been better.

I spent a whole week on site which gave me plenty of time to check out the race course, relax and have some real vacation at the same time. I stayed in the Portblue Club Pollentia Resort, greatest place to be in my opinion to be on vacation and train for triathlon at the same time. The hotel offers a 25-m pool, very often I had the lane to myself. There is a bike rental on site (Huerzeler) which I used to rent a bike for the race. Other advantages I would like to point out is the food, very vegetarian friendly, a nice spa area and the hotel is very close to the race venue.

Now let’s talk a bit more about the race itself. For Ironman you will need to be there at least 1 day in advance to register, sort out your 3 gear bags and check in your bike. When I put my bike into the huge transition zone I felt dizzy, nervous and overwhelmed. All sorts of feelings were going through my head and my body starts hurting in places it never does, but now there was no going back. Why go for small when you can do the biggest 70.3 in the world😉? Early dinner and a cup of chamomile tea did its job and I managed to calm myself down and get a good night of sleep.

Race day started early with a 5:00 am breakfast organized by the hotel especially for the athletes, then we were picked up at 6:30 am from the Hotel to take us to Alcúdia 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. After checking my gear again, it was time to get into the wetsuit (first workout of the day) and go for the warmup swim.

7:55 am was the race start, but my race only started at 8:40 am as they do a rolling start (6 athletes every 6 seconds). This is quite good as it is less crowded and you go into the water with people that are more or less you pace. The swim start is located on a white sand beach and the bay is surrounded by mountains which makes it a fantastic spot for a race start. The 1.9 km swim went very smoothly for me and I got out of the water after 36.40 minutes, a very good time for me.

The 90 km on e-loop bike course takes the athletes up to the Lluc Sanctuary and across some of the inland emblematic towns such as Caimari, Sa Pobla and Muro heading back to Port d’Alcúdia. It is a very diverse bike course, starting with a rather flat part along the water then with a 7 km climb through beautiful landscapes (good I’ve done the recognition ride to take all the pictures before), a technical descent and then again, a rather flat ending. The bike was my favorite part and I had a lot of fun pushing it hard, difficult to think of the run afterwards. Nevertheless, I listened to the advice to take it easier on the last 10 km and I finished the course in 3:09 hours still feeling pretty good.

The run course is a flat 2,5 loop course along the Alcúdia Bay and the finish line is located on the beach. Lots of people were there to cheer us up and the water stations every 2.5 km were great in the heat (sun and about 25 C).  When I started my run I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be funny to run the same pace as I did in the Berlin Half Marathon just one month before. I knew it was a risk, but hey it’s a long race and you must find yourself some entertainment not to get bored 😉. Well and so I did it, looking at my watch every kilometer and managed a quite steady pace finishing at 2:00 hours, just 3 minutes slower than in Berlin where I was only running. I must say, the last loop seemed endless and there were times I was convinced they must have changed the course. Also, the boost you get on the last kilometer wouldn’t quite set in and my legs felt heavy. Somehow, I managed to push till the and getting over the finish line after a total of 5:55 hours, I felt over the moon.

When celebrating our victory at dinner we had another nice surprise. The winner of the race Tom Suetens from Belgium was actually staying at the same hotel and when he entered for dinner all the staff gave him a standing ovation. Couldn’t resist to get a picture with him, I think we will hear from him again.

So all in all, I would recommend this race and the location to anybody. If you ever go there let me know and I can give you plenty of other tips and contacts on site.