Posted: 08/10/2014 at 21:06
After one of the shorter IM retirements, followed by a quick return - to retirement , I made a late entry to Barcelona as it suited me to have one more long day event in 2014.
I was initially pleased by the decision to have a wave start but realised quite soon after the start that it does have disadvantages as first a series of red hats swept by followed by green, white, blue and purple all of them keen to get past as quickly as possible and not too gentle about it in all cases. It probably works either with a smaller field or longer time gaps (the latter probably only works for 70.3 events, as at Majorca).
Anyway despite this close to par with a 1.26 swim.
As holder of the lost in transition aware it will not be a surprise to hear that I found a new way to waste time. I am shortsighted and wear prescription goggles for the swim and until I get to the bike bag when I put on my sunglasses with insert. Sadly they immediately fogged up and I had to take them off. I now cannot see my goggles and so have to sort the contents of my bag out effectively in the dark. (Must practice transition by feel).
Eventually on to the bike and I think as covered elsewhere this is a fast course with as good a road surface as you will get. Went off a bit fast and did slow a bit towards the end but still back in 5.46, my only ever sub 6hr bike. I was disappointed to see the number of large groups on the bike, particularly at the faster end. I do think it was difficult to avoid this as there was a big field on a lap course, but I still think they will need to address this for 2015 as I have not see this level of drafting before.
Into T2 and no problems there although I was surprised to see a time of 1.36 until I worked out that this was the time in he bike park as there was a beep when entering the change tent but none on exit. My garmin showed a faster run time than the result and the difference was about the time I spent sitting down in T2.
My HRM stopped working in T2 and so I ran on feel and decided to try to run at a pace I could hold for four laps and was pleased that I ran quite even splits, although I had a bit more left in he tank towards the end than was ideal. However finished in a total of 11.43.xx, a personal best for this distance, improving on IM Florida in 2007, despite a slower run.
Thanks to OC for encouragement on the run although he was clearly struggling and walking. Also good to see SB going well. I think also saw one other pirate going quite well the other way at some point but where course split. I though SB looked in great shape going down the finishing carpet and thought she did an excellent time.
Overall probably a good pirate venue. Easy to get to, not expensive for hotels, food or drink and beginner friendly.
I look forward to seeing some of you in Austria - from a spectators viewpoint