Where to start with My Barcelona Ironman story?
Just over a year ago two of my so called best friends agreed to sign up for their first IM race, apparently after years of looking at my discrete leg tattoo,that can be shown off in all weather with shorts and no socks.
We started training and I offered what knowledge and help I could. As you all know you can't just turn up to an Ironman hoping to get around on a good base fitness, you need to do the training both on the saddle and under foot. We used the Kent seaside to do most our open water swim as Barcelona is a sea swim. I believe this helped as neither of them were able to swim more than 1500m breaststroke, and they both came in under 90 mins on the day.
Apart from trying to balance your work family around training you also have the expense not just for the over priced branded race but the constant delivery from Wiggle!,that of course had to be hidden from the wife. I've never eaten so many packs of Haribos!
We arrived in Barcelona Friday midday going straight from the airport to registration with our bikes still packed in boxes.We made up our bikes by the side of the road in 26c +sun, cracking pre race prep.
Race day standing in my swim pen doing my best dad dance to AC/DC thunderstruck I suddenly realised I was wearing my loose wedding ring, I couldn't lose a 2nd one! So I decided to remove it and tie it with several knots to my swim suit zip cord. The swim went as per plan out in 70 mins as I wanted great transition and onto the bike. You don't want to rush this as it's a long ride if uncomfortable. I liked the bike route (as Ian's already mentioned )the course consisted of two large laps,these I pushed hard averaging 23mph keeping hydrated and feeding with gels every 40 mins. It was great to see Ian he was still smiling from his amazing swim, we had a short chat before I pushed on as didn't fancy, getting us done for drafting .it wasn't long after that I tucked into my uk pre made marmite sandwich that I froze in bite size pieces, they tasted like heaven! I remember closing my eyes slowly chewing and tasting the savoury soft bread, yummy life saver. I complete the final 3rd lap in my small ring spinning off the legs as recommended by Jon Munday .I hit T2 feeling great a time of 5hr23 perfect. I started the run slow ,as planed with the aim to increase from my 6 mim km to race pace to 5.15. 10 km done and in came the cramp left toe, bang!!! I loosened my over tight laces and tried stretching it out, but no good, I pushed on but couldn't get anywhere near the pace I Wanted. plan B get to finish line with least pain and quickest time possible. the good thing about jogging or walking is your able to have a good chat with others, you all know i like a good chat, I finished my run in 4,42hr crossing the line in 11hrs 23 . Luckily I was 7 mins ahead of my novice mate craig who was chasing me down the red carpet with his Sub 4hr run"how very dare he"What a day, you can't beat the atmosphere created from the finish line of an Ironman event, food shower, beer and celebrity, I collected my bike and luckily my wedding ring still tied to my wet suit, ( not a recommended method) we have a week here to enjoy the riots ,strikes ,and continued blue sky, whilst I plan next years 70.3 Age group races as I am not running anymore marathons! No kona beer mat for me Dean.well done lee and craig your both amazing ironman