Wow what a way to end an absolutely incredible year! This event was just brilliant. I am now injured as a result but it was worth it! Loved it.
Guest blogger Vicki Grice summed the whole weekend up brilliantly.
Some time ago myself and Suzy hatched a plan for an end of season get away; and what better way to end the season than to enter a long course tri and split it over 3 days,otherwise known as the LCW Mallorca. Plus we’d seen that the medals interlock and we needed this on our medal rack, with 3 individual medals and a 4th for going long and getting through!!
It wasn’t the smoothest of starts with our airport car park looking like somewhere we could have easily been murdered, but after safely making it to the airport my eyes decided to read completely the wrong gate number meaning we had to be escorted to our actual gate by a lovely airport security man, then run to make our flight!! Think my heart rate was higher at this point than at anytime over the whole weekend!!
Anyway to the race… read on..
Swim Day; 2 x 1.9km laps of Alcudia bay, exactly the same course as Ironman 70.3 in May only this time the jellyfish had joined in the party. With a mass start and an Australian exit after the first lap we all bundled into the water. I loved the swim (Who’d have thought!) and was pleased to have got close to the 1 hour mark with 1..01.15 after having to run a stupid distance across the beach to get the the finish line.I didn’t have to wait long for Suz who smashed her Ironman swim time by 8 mins coming home in 1.25.36. She then went directly to the medical tent for ice after the jelly ‘bitches’ got her twice, once on each lap! Up shot of being done for the day was that we were back at the hotel by 11am after having a celebratory donut!
Bike Day; Having had our hire bikes delivered the day before we rode the short distance to the bike start. Over the whole weekend this was the only cut off we were worried about, we had to get to 86km by 12 noon (3hr 30mins from race start) which meant starting as high up the field as possible. The sportive was draft legal so our plan was to latch on to a group to make it easier for ourselves and save the legs. As I was sitting 5th in the female general classification I got called forward to start in a special bike pen – very surreal, surely never to be repeated but a great experience, hanging out with Lucy Gossage and a few other pros. Suz did a great job of muscling her way to the front which meant we could start together after all as this had been the plan from the start. Swim separately and bike/run together to make it more social. Well the gun went off and any thoughts of a social were well out of the window as we rode the first 50km at around a 36kph average hanging in with biggish group who were doing a great job of cutting through the headwind. After this the elastic snapped and we were a group of 3 taking turns rotating to keep momentum. We went through half way in 2hr 43 – what the hell were we worried about?! Suz was a powerhouse on the bike keeping me sheltered from the wind (I died badly between 100-110km) the euphoria of hitting the cut off was well and truely gone at this point and i was literally just peddling to get to the feed station. Our plan was not to stop atall on the first lap due to our cut off worries so i was glad to fill up my water bottle with ISO take some paracetamol and consume some additional calories, then it was back on the bike. We slowed on the second lap which wasn’t suprising, we did pick op a German man who just sat in and did no work, then a Spanish guy who just surged and died then finally within the last 20k a woman who was prepared to work after sitting in initially for some respite. We finished in 5.56.42 including the stop.. hugs and high 5’s all round – oh and obviously another donut, washed down with some Erdinger!!
Run Day; A mere marathon now stood between us for the coveted 4th medal. Our plan as with the bike was to stick together. Suz had been struggling with her knee during our last long run so we decided on a pace of 6.10/15 per km. The course was 4.5 loops of a 9km ish route – fairly dull and not much in the way of support until we hit the promenade. What I was not expecting was at 7km to hear what I thought was an injured animal behind me only to realise that the haunting feral sound actually was Suzy hobbling along telling me her knee had gone, after some limpy running she was back but clearly in a considerable amount of pain, we slowed and she gritted her teeth taking on paracetamol to aid her.The run was broken up by our favourite photographer who enjoyed our stupid poses (thumbs up, dabbing, muscles and a delirious Bruce Forsyth before we ended with a hug.. aaahh! Just in case you were wondering!!) We got lapped by the legend that is Lucy G chatting away and giving us encouragement as she passed to run a time of 3hr5mins. Suzy was holding it together well we saw friendly faces on the course during the switchbacks, earnt ourselves the nicknames ‘Beccles Beautiful Butterflies’ but some of the guys who had finished the half mara and enjoyed the over-enthusiastic teenagers manning the feed stations trying to pressure us into gel induced comas – although by lap 4 I think they were fairly bored of us!! Just before we got onto the final stretch it started to rain – great this will cool us down I thought, what was forecast to be a light rain shower turned into a torrential rain storm where the road literally turned into a river- we were absolutely soaked,but the rain stopped in time for us to cross the line in 4.45.18 another massive PB for Suzy compared to the Ironman run.
The finishers medal and ceremony was definitely worth our weekend efforts, we got cheered down the finishers chute, clapped and high 5’d the other competitors. The introduced everyone individually to recognise their efforts.. for a few minutes we were all winners!! Final standings I placed 16th in 11.43.15 combined time and Suz was 23rd 12.07.37
Things we learnt;
No – we didn’t eat the same as Lucy Gossage did for breakfast – she was staying in our hotel and we spied on her!
Yes – the bling is ALWAYS worth it
Sometimes – we break even our own expectations
I’m possibly immune to the initial impact of jellyfish stings
Suzy’s feet are worse than mine when it comes to blisters growing to the size of additional toes!