Dark Day in Mallorca
The omens were there from today. Bike issues before I brought the bike. Weather warnings for race day! Swim start changed to a rolling start and bike course changed with more roundabouts added. The last few days prior to race not sleeping well but diet good. Tri suit issues... And then when I go to register for the race - I am not on the entry list and Ironman say race is full 6 months "are you sure you entered"!!!??? After 4 hours I get in, when I find confirmation email.
While pumping and checking bike for racking before race front tyre blows up "arghhh"
Woke up at 4am "the rain that's falling". Up after 5am some porridge and boiled eggs, and down to check bike and set up transition, add rain jacket and shoe covers and nutrition for bike. Water is everywhere.
Mick and I decided to go in the wave after pros; not to be waiting around as it was lashing down and wind was getting up, the swim rolling start was based on your estimated time for 1.9km and our wave was 20-29 mins a bit fast for us but here's trying….. 4 people were set off on the whistle every couple seconds.
In the water it was a good start but as the swim is a 900metres straight out 100m across and 900m back in about half way out the sea was getting rougher and I was starting to wonder should I have taken travel tablets, got finally to the 1st right turn no issues or thumps then right turn back in and sea swell was now coming from my right and trying to push me away from the marking buoys. 100 metres or so back in the sea lit up !!! What the hell, my foot was on fire, jelly fish latched on, kicked it off with right foot suddenly left hand on fire "2 stings! And they are everywhere as they come by, lifting my head out so as face won't get stung.
I always say it's going to be the same for all on race day…. hmmm.
Into T1, slower than normal as a rain jacket, socks and shoe covers also surgical gloves required; 1st time for any triathlon anywhere I have worn even socks on bike...on bike out to Pollensa wind on right shoulder not too bad, settled in, started climb no issues holding power target, clouds down on us and rain continues. Lost bearings on 1st part of climb and thought it was longer than normal. As I got near the top chain jammed between front chain-ring and frame, off bike and pulled it out, didn't lose much time. Now the descent which we were warned about if wet…. "what about a river" switch back after switch back and a ginger start, some fallers, delayed reaction while breaking but got down safely but slower.. a lot slower than planned.
The rest of the bike was hard work seemed to be wind all directions and a massive fall in front making me take a round about on the wrong side to avoid. The rain and wind seems heavier now and for people that have done this before the last village "sa paulo" was almost submerged with inches of water on the bends and my power stopped working at this stage "enough is enough".
Back to T2 and dry socks for run, out of T2 …1st step into ankle deep water, 1st 8 km no issues and on target pace then lap band missed and dropped stopped to pick up …..ohh seized... Problems from here on but dug very deep and finished... Hardest 70.3 yet and this was planned to be my best in the heat which I love... No heat plenty of rain... A massive learning curve and this is a tough race at the best of times. Oh well another shot later in year hope it is warm... Better be.