Posted: 28/09/2016 at 20:29
I slept relatively well until the alarm went off at 5, and for once I managed to eat some breakfast, as I didn’t feel too sick with nerves. We headed off to transition, and just as I was about to go in, we hear the tannoy announcing that it was now a wetsuit optional swim, cue Mr Frag handing me the track pump and legging it back to our hotel. The superstar Sherpa re-appeared and passed my wetsuit and some bodyglide under the fence. Loaded my food (fig rolls and roast potatoes) and drinks onto the bike, had a rummage in my bike bag for my calf guards, then headed to the beach. Into the wetsuit, then I joined Trogs, L’il Sis, LC and Mrs D in the 1.20-1.30 pen.
There’s not much to say about the swim except that it was 5 mins slower than last year. I didn’t have any panic attacks, and I kept my breathing under control. I wont go as far as to say I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t bad J The first loop seemed to take forever, and I was beginning to lose the will to live when the turn buoy appeared, then back down to the beach, out round the Aussie exit and into the water for the shorter second loop. Out of the water in 1.36 which is a bit disappointing, must try harder next time.
Dried off as well as I could, put my ‘keep you cool’ jersey on, plus SPF 50 arm sleeves and I was off. (and it is a very long run through transition, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it J )
Bike : 7.51
It all started off so well….
The first 90k loop is fairly flat/rolling, and I really enjoyed it (apart from the wierd fishy smell near Ariany and the awful cabbagey smell at Sa Pobla). Roads were mostly smooth, the weather was perfect and I was eating/drinking regularly and keeping myself cool. I felt great as I went past Mr Frag at halfway at 3hrs31 (15 mins faster than last year), I knew the second loop would take me about 4 hrs, so I was on for a bike PB and to beat the cut-off by miles Then I headed along the coast towards Port de Pollenca and got a bit of a shock – the mountains I was going towards looked like Mordor, shrouded with heavy black clouds. 10 mins later it started to rain a little, and 5 mins after that Armageddon was unleashed. It got dark and I couldn’t see more than about 10 feet ahead of me the rain was so heavy. I was cycling though inches of standing water, there was flash flooding and all the while there was very loud, very close very scary thunder and lightning. It had eased off by the start of the climb proper, and I was hopeful that I’d be dry by the top, but alas it started again about 2/3rds of the way up. I have never been so cold and wet on a bike in all my life and I was dreaming of hot chocolate. I thought about getting off, but then gave myself a stiff talking to along the lines of ‘you’re British, we’re used to rain, get on with it’. Several times motorbike officials came alongside to ask if I was OK which was reassuring. I got to the top within the cut-off, and then started the descent. Luckily for me, I’ve done this route quite a few times, so I know roughly where the hairpins are, and where the faster sections are, so I was able to overtake quite a few people on the way down. Going up through Campanet I saw a fellow pirate ahead, who turned out to be Trogs. We had a brief conversation about the utter filth we’d ridden through, and whether we’d make the cut-off or not. By my reckoning I had 2 hours to do 38 miles, which was going to be very very tight indeed. From reading the race pack, I thought the bike course was a mile short, but not going to bank on it, so I had to push push pu