The Tri Season is officially open: Race Force Travel to Mallorca 70.3
May 19, 2014
Mallorca is a pretty special event in the Calendar and this year it got even bigger with 3,800 competitors making it THE largest Ironman event in the world. A whopping 1000 (28%) of those competing were from the UK which is more than double the amount of other any other nations. There is a real mixture of serious athletes testing out their race strategies, first timers traveling with their families or clubs and lots of groups out on a Tri-cation. Its a great vibe!
The great things about this race are:
You start on the beach
You finish on the beach
The Expo is on the beach
The Race Briefing is on the ......beach!
The water is amazing, cool , clear and calm
The bike route takes you up & up into the mountains
The sun is out and the temperatures are generally reasonable
There is a really good atmosphere & the race is on a Saturday which means you get Sunday off!
The not so great things about this race:
That sun can sometimes be a bit too much
That climb can sometimes be a bit too much
The descent can sometimes be a bit too much
The sand gets everywhere and can sometimes be a bit too much
Transition is huge and can sometimes feel a bit too much
This was a special event for Race Force as we had the ladies representing “ Team Race Force”, Claire, Allie & myself as well as our team of mechanics out and on hand to help our athletes in any way they needed.
We had a great spot down at the Expo which made it easy for people to find us and to use us as a base while they swam and biked in the days leading up to the event. It also gave us a chance to meet lots more people and share information on what we do. We had a full workshop in operation and I can honestly say that most of the work our mechanics did were to fix problems that had occurred during bikes transport on the airlines.
Race day itself was a scorcher. The swim start is quite narrow so you do find yourself quickly in the middle of the pack but this was something I wanted to try out as I’d never took this approach before and after my initial panic attack (its part of my routine) I got into a rhythm and pulled off a very average 38 minutes. Was hoping for around 35 but this was a definite improvement on my position from previous races so I'll take that.
Transition is very long so its always advisable to give yourself location markers to help. I got out on the bike course without any problems and headed off for the first 10km along the coast which is flat and gets the legs spinning. Its not long before you see the mountains ahead and you know your going up it! Luckily for me I’ve spent my winters throwing myself up the climbs in North Wales with Chester road Club so I was ready for it and couldn’t wait to get stuck in. There were so many Brits out on the course I don’t think I stopped talking all the way around, even up the mountain which I’m sure was extremely annoying for some people but I love making new friends :)
The climb itself isn’t too bad and is absolutely stunning! The hardest part that catches you out is the false summits. There are at least two big ones that come up after some pretty good descending and possibly even a couple more smaller ones but that’s where you need your mind to be strong and to take it all in its stride. You know you’ve reached the top when you pass the petrol station and then it really is a great descent. The hairpins can be gnarly but it opens up on the really flat fast stretches which is my forte all over. The heat was pretty relentless and I didn’t really plan my nutrition right so was glad of the aid stations. I found the last 10km the hardest, even though it was mainly flat, there was a headwind that made it feel otherwise and you really had to dig deep to get back into Alcudia which was where my race did & had planned to end as I’ve managed to pick up another injury a couple weeks before which I’m hoping to find more about this week.
I racked up my bike after a very respectable 3hrs 7 minutes and headed out to meet with the Race Force mechanics who had been waiting on the Run course to spot our athletes and cheer them on. That is where we stayed, watching in awe as people completed their 3 laps in the blistering sun. The heat hit temperatures that Mallorca had not seen at this time of year for a long time and it really did impact the run times. We stayed out to cheer all our athletes across the line with huge admiration for everyone really giving it everything they had, even if I was fit I would have really struggled on the run.
Claire and Allie did Team Race Force proud and put in some great performances. They both ooked really strong out there and I'll let them tell you about their races in their blogs.
Overall it was a great opener to the Tri season and I'm really proud to have such inspiring athletes & phenomenal mechanics be a part of Team Race Force. Well done lads & ladies!!!
Our next event is the ITU Duathlon World Championships in Pontevedra in a couple of weeks where we will be supporting Team GB with their bike transport and event logistics. Very excited to be a part of such amazing journeys.