Barcelona Challenge Race Report

Sun Oct 4th 2009 Barcelona 3.8k swim 180k cycle 42.2k run
It all started at 5.30am with the alarm clocks buzzing. I don’t think anybody was really asleep, just lying in bed waiting for the big moment to arrive. It was down to transition then to check on the bikes which had been racked the previous evening. Everything seemed ok and we departed to watch the first wave of swimmers enter the water at 7.30am. First up were the pro men followed by the pro women and the a break for the age groupers.
The Swim.
James was first in the water at 8.10am. We were assigned to waves of approx 200 swimmers except for Barry who was in the last wave with the relays which had only 27. Jim was next in at 8.50am with Barry 10 mins behind at 9.00am. The water was warm but a little salty and very calm which made for excellent swimming conditions. James was first out in 1:48 followed by Jim in 1:22 and Barry in 1:19. Very good performances all round and everybody had got off to a good start.
T1
James was first in and settled in to the ham sandwiches with Jim following behind to tuck into the porridge. Meanwhile Barry was handing over to David who was rarin to go.
The Cycle.
James was first out on the road followed by David and not far behind was Jim. After a short 3k spin to the course it was out on the first 66k lap. The first 10k was undulating and the flat to the turnaround. This was our first opportunity to see how we were positioned on the course and I was surprised to see that we wer all within a couple of km of each other with James out front followed by David and Jim. It was back to the turnaround at Calella then where the support crew was waiting. By this point David had edged in front of James with Jim still behind. Jim was flagging at this stage and gave some very short replies when asked “Where were you till now?”. Apologies to Ciara for the choice words given in reply. On again on lap 2 in the warm sunshine, what a beautiful day for a spin, with Jim just about catching James at the turnaround but then stopped at the aid station for a welcome break. Jim was back on the bike again then in hot pursuit catching up again at Calella in front of the big support crew. Suprisingly David had not steretched out any more advantage  at this stage and the 2 J’s set out after him. This third lap was a bit shorter at 42k and Jim met up with David at the aid station at the turnaround. They stuck together for about 5k with David reporting that he hadn’t eaten for a couple of hours. This could explain the lack of energy. Jim went on and was first into transition in 6:44 followed by David in 6:52 and James in 7:06. A good days cycling by all.
T2
Tony was chomping at the bit when Jim arrived in but had to wait a little longer to get away. Meanwhile Jim was getting on the running gear while James was coping with the last few undulations on the bike. More ham sandwiches for James and the we were all away running.
The Run.
Jim and Tony started off together at a nice steady pace. The conversation was flowing  early on but when the sweat started flowing the conversation dried up. First stop was at the aid station after 3k for light refreshments of gatorade,water,fruit and gels. This was to set the tone for the run with an aid station every 2.5k. The course consisted of a flat 10k lap to be run four times with a short run to and from the start line. Jim and Tony carried on and met James at the 7k mark ( James was at 4k). After the first 10k we had great encouragement from our large support crew who were very vocal whenever we passed. Jim and Tony continued on together for about 23k stopping to have a chat with James every time they met. At this point Tony had to call in the nurse (Nora) for a quick fix for sore nipples. Jim couldn’t watch and decided to push on on his own. Darkness was setting in and we all settled in for some nightime running which we are well used to from our winter training sessions in Bunclody golf club. We pushed on with the running with the rest stops coming more frequently as the km’s passed by. With midnight approaching the finish line loomed large with Jim coming home in 4:57 followed by Tony in 5:25 and James in 6:17. The reception at the finish line was like nothing we have experienced before with our band of weary supporters making a huge amount of noise.
The Finish.
After crossing the line we were all presented with our medals and finishers shirts and the it was straight to the food and recovery tents for massage and cold pizza. A great day was had by all made even better by the fantastic supporters, Ciara,Fiona,Joy,Lorraine,Nora,Yvonne and PJ. Thanks a million for all your encouragement and support.

Sun Oct 4th 2009 Barcelona 3.8k swim 180k cycle 42.2k run

Celebrations! L-R Tony, David, James, Jim, Barry

Celebrations! L-R Tony, David, James, Jim, Barry

It all started at 5.30am with the alarm clocks buzzing. I don’t think anybody was really asleep, just lying in bed waiting for the big moment to arrive. It was down to transition then to check on the bikes which had been racked the previous evening. Everything seemed ok and we departed to watch the first wave of swimmers enter the water at 7.30am. First up were the pro men followed by the pro women and the a break for the age groupers.

The Swim.

James was first in the water at 8.10am. We were assigned to waves of approx 200 swimmers except for Barry who was in the last wave with the relays which had only 27. Jim was next in at 8.50am with Barry 10 mins behind at 9.00am. The water was warm but a little salty and very calm which made for excellent swimming conditions. James was first out in 1:48 followed by Jim in 1:22 and Barry in 1:19. Very good performances all round and everybody had got off to a good start.

T1

James was first in and settled in to the ham sandwiches with Jim following behind to tuck into the porridge. Meanwhile Barry was handing over to David who was rarin to go.

The Cycle.

James was first out on the road followed by David and not far behind was Jim. After a short 3k spin to the course it was out on the first 66k lap. The first 10k was undulating and the flat to the turnaround. This was our first opportunity to see how we were positioned on the course and I was surprised to see that we wer all within a couple of km of each other with James out front followed by David and Jim. It was back to the turnaround at Calella then where the support crew was waiting. By this point David had edged in front of James with Jim still behind. Jim was flagging at this stage and gave some very short replies when asked “Where were you till now?”. Apologies to Ciara for the choice words given in reply. On again on lap 2 in the warm sunshine, what a beautiful day for a spin, with Jim just about catching James at the turnaround but then stopped at the aid station for a welcome break. Jim was back on the bike again then in hot pursuit catching up again at Calella in front of the big support crew. Suprisingly David had not steretched out any more advantage at this stage and the 2 J’s set out after him. This third lap was a bit shorter at 42k and Jim met up with David at the aid station at the turnaround. They stuck together for about 5k with David reporting that he hadn’t eaten for a couple of hours. This could explain the lack of energy. Jim went on and was first into transition in 6:44 followed by David in 6:52 and James in 7:06. A good days cycling by all.

T2

Tony was chomping at the bit when Jim arrived in but had to wait a little longer to get away. Meanwhile Jim was getting on the running gear while James was coping with the last few undulations on the bike. More ham sandwiches for James and the we were all away running.

The Run.

Jim and Tony started off together at a nice steady pace. The conversation was flowing early on but when the sweat started flowing the conversation dried up. First stop was at the aid station after 3k for light refreshments of gatorade,water,fruit and gels. This was to set the tone for the run with an aid station every 2.5k. The course consisted of a flat 10k lap to be run four times with a short run to and from the start line. Jim and Tony carried on and met James at the 7k mark ( James was at 4k). After the first 10k we had great encouragement from our large support crew who were very vocal whenever we passed. Jim and Tony continued on together for about 23k stopping to have a chat with James every time they met. At this point Tony had to call in the nurse (Nora) for a quick fix for sore nipples. Jim couldn’t watch and decided to push on on his own. Darkness was setting in and we all settled in for some nightime running which we are well used to from our winter training sessions in Bunclody golf club. We pushed on with the running with the rest stops coming more frequently as the km’s passed by. With midnight approaching the finish line loomed large with Jim coming home in 4:57 followed by Tony in 5:25 and James in 6:17. The reception at the finish line was like nothing we have experienced before with our band of weary supporters making a huge amount of noise.

The Finish.

After crossing the line we were all presented with our medals and finishers shirts and the it was straight to the food and recovery tents for massage and cold pizza. A great day was had by all made even better by the fantastic supporters, Ciara,Fiona,Joy,Lorraine,Nora,Yvonne and PJ. Thanks a million for all your encouragement and support.

More pictures…

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3 Responses

  1. A fantastic bunch to be abroad with. A credit to club and country – even though they can get a little boisterous in the beer tent! And by the way, just how much did they want to charge for that last round of drinks!!

    Enjoy the winter break, all the best for 2010.

    Conal

    • Many thanks Conal.

      A memorable weekend, especially the celebrations in the tent with yourself, Paddy and the girls. Hope to meet on the road again sometime soon!

    • Hi Conal

      We left your name and address for the tab…..
      So no worries there..!

      James

      Seriously thanks for the kind comments, and say hello to Paddy and the ladies for me.

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