Having left Penzance after work on Thursday evening we stopped over near to the airport so that we had a good nights sleep before our early flight out of Bristol to Barcalona’s Girona airport. A 90 minute transfer by shuttle coach to Barcalona North bus terminal followed by 15min taxi ride in 2 Ford Galaxys (due to bike boxes) completed our trek to our Hotel on the sea front which was only a 10 min walk to the registration and start, perfect! After putting our bikes back together (took me ages) we took a ride, followed by a walk and a Speedos only sea swim to shake out the journey.
Saturday morning was registration, small expo and very enjoyable Citybus sight-seeing tour followed by a siesta on the beach and another sea swim. The weather was great!
Sunday was race day. Up at 6am for breakfast and packing bags and tweeking bikes etc. Over to the local sports stadium to join the queue into transition and racking. The race brief was like music to my ears; due to road works the bike was reduced by 5k! It took a while to get to our numbered racks due to the very good security checks on competitors, bikes and kit. 8.30am at swim muster point for 9am start. It was cool and sunny. There was time for a warm up that Shay and I took advantage of, but then found ourselves at the back of our heat. A bit of pushing in moved us up to the front ready for a 300 person beach start, but you should have seen the looks we got!! There were 6 heats for the Olympic distance, going off at 10 minute intervals with approx 300 in each.
The swim was a right-handed box course, say 300m out to the first large bouy, 1000m straight swim to the next one and about 350m back to the beach…Yep well over 1500m and with a reduced bike I was in Tri heaven! T1 was long, 400m to the stadium, 100m to bike and about 400m to mount. Shay had a great swim and came 11th out of 1800!! Me 64th, pleased with that!
The bike was 3 laps on a flat traffic-free course, draft legal! Lap one was very quiet, lap 2 busy because the other heats were now joining. By lap 3 it was manic, you had to draft!! A good temperature for cycling but it was now getting hot.
The run was a flat out and back 10k course along the prom, into the park, up to some historic arch and back to the prom where there was a spectator-lined blue carpeted finishing straight! High fives! It was hot come the end.
As planned we all met up for an offical team photo before recovering bikes etc. The next plan was to scrub up and sample Rambla night life, and that we did!!
Monday was recovery day, recovery from Tri and sunday night! We made a very slow start, but a full englsh with strong coffee picked us up and off sight seeing again.
Tuesday was the Jank back to PZ.
So how did we do?
Shay 2.13.10 (143rd)
Nick 2.19.58 (349th)
Des 2.28.0 (747th)
Gary 2. 58.07 (1656th)
One down side is that the results were not age grouped!
It was a great fun filled trip. The race was great and Barcalona is a beautiful city….. with a beach. Highly recommended event. the entry fee was cheaper than London Tri and you get a very nice technical T shirt thrown in! Would like to go again next year.