hail the armada!Ironman Barcelona Race day

Triathlon Training Blog, Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

So i could go on and regal you with the fun of driving to the airport the following day  changing hire cars at the airport as ‘someone ‘ was arriving with a credit card , dropping my hire car off picking up another only to find the offending person couldn’t remember the pin number for the card so we had to be extorted again to buy the hire companies insurance. So now i’m worse off. The drive across Barcelona in the dark, rain , getting lost in a car i’m now not insured to drive was fanfucking tastic. Mopeds whizzing passed at warp speed ,trying to drive the vehicle whilst trying to navigate as well as ‘someone ‘ has completely lost their head. Did i mention we were lost?That it was dark ,raining, the rush hour ,not insured!? What could go wrong?

I had visions of being pulled over ,arrested and missing race day.


All in a days work /race buildup. Regular followers will recognise this as ‘de riguer,’ ‘ modus operands’

Shit sucking normal.

Race day

Its pissing down, course it is. Hasn’t rained for a month. Screams one thing!  One thing only. Punctures!

Looking at the forecast and the timings  the wind was blowing you  down to the turn on the bike then was set to change almost at the exact time i expected to get there and blow you back.


Course THAT didn’t happen. It did the opposite. Of course it did.


8 am start ,way better. Choppy as all fuck and a 3 foot shore break. You know those moments before a race you spend ‘getting in the zone?’ focusing

I spend them thinking’ what the fuck do i want to do this for?’ I could just as easily go home now!


Flag goes up, flag goes down . And we are off.

The swim went quite well for me and without incident 1 hour 4 mins and puts me in the mix for a 9.15/910 . Onto the bike.

By some sheer stroke of luck the song stuck in my head today for 10 hours is ‘ i should be so lucky!’ by the queen of pop herself. Ah the time just flew by. Especially as i only knew the words of the chorus.

This is darker than it may first appear. As those of you old enough will remember that bit of uk tv gold ,it was in fact the tune Jimmy Corkhill sang as he threw himself off a building in Brookside.


Good bye Jimmy . Uk soap opera legend. No one delivered a morbid, defeatist, resolute ,resigned  one liner better than Jim.


I had a mate once, what a depressing time that was. Who while he was in Australia for 11 months got his mum to record on VHS every episode of brookside he missed. Which was all of them . It wasn’t big in Oz.  He then watched them all back to back as soon as he got home.


The same guy got done for jay walking in Brisbane. And reached legendary status when he went to the front desk of a hostel on the gold coast and asked if anyone had handed in his butter and milk. Yeah we still get on very well thankyou very much!!

As usual i didn’t really feel i got into the bike until 40 miles. Then hit a purple patch through 56 miles in 2hours 21. Feeling good. All good so far.

I’m sure we all recall the analogy about the man who throws himself off a 300 storey building and as he passes each floor he shouts ‘ all good so far!!’

Through 70 miles in the immortal words of Tommy Simpson whose final words were not’ put me back on my bike’ but ‘on !On !On.


All going tickety boo. 1st  in age group , going to kona

Then i heard and then i  felt a little psst ,psst . Remember the Schweppes adverts. ‘ psst you know who?!’ that was the noise.

I stopped my dance with the queen of pop.

i met Danielle once in a nightclub in Watsons bay Sydney. I was doing a lot of work for the berg brothers who were the northern beaches premiere builders at the time and every now and again they dragged me along to a vip night out.For comedy value.  They made the mistake of invited Charlie the brick layer. He was a damn fine looking chap and he disappeared about 2 hours later only to re appear the following morning . Turns out he had pulled one of the Macpherson sisters, not Elle or Mimi the other one. She begged him to keep it quiet  as she took him back to Elles flat in manly. So the only thing he could think of as he stole out the door the following morning, as clearly he needed ‘proof’ ‘for tha boys aint it!!??? That does remind me of the murder enquiry i got wrapped in out there but thats a story for another day.,So he decides to steal an a4 family photograph of the Macphersons in a frame as he crept out the front door.  Bragging rights for life.

Anyway back to the race.  ‘ i thought ‘  i just punctured then, back wheel! ‘But the stans has sorted it out.  I allowed myself a smug inward grin. I rolled on to the next incline and it was laborious so i figured i must’ve lost more air than I’d realised. So stop to gas the fucker up , I’ve got canisters.

Tricky with the back disc trying to get the canister on the valve. There’s about 20 psi in there so the stans has done its work .If i’m being honest i fucked the first canister up . But nailed the second. Up she went . But ….BUT the stans hadn’t done its job and i watched the air piss out the tire as it returned to what was now its happy resting point around 20 psi. Now is the time to panic. Nearest mechanical assistance? No idea but it may be at the top turn. I shout to a guy from cranc who goes passed . nothing. I ride on getting passed by all the guys  i’d passed 5 mins ago, 10 mins ago, 15 mins ago.


You cannot make this shit up . In the gutter i see a canister , ride passed it thinking it must be a used one , think better of it stop go get it, its only bloody full. Deja Vu here.  Now at this point i should’ve changed the tub, i had a spare. But figured its been 20 mins the stans is holding now it must be ok. How wrong can you fucking well be , although not absolutely.

Up she goes for a second time i’m back in the game it holds , think I !? How much time have you actually lost ? Its probably not as much as you think . Speeding back down the hill to the main drag now pinging them all back. Into the roundabout and bingo bongo . I realise something is wrong and unsalvageable as the back wheel has over taken the front .like a flamingo on ice skates  Down i go

Now i would like to say i exited the vehicle like Bruce Willis steps out of the moving car in RED firing his pistoliers as he does so with grace, poise and style . I land squarely on two feet, arch my back ,  click my heels together hands in the air and shout ‘Ole’ like a bull fighter in full control of my environment.

That is about as far from the truth as you can be. I went down like a rag doll and it was all arms and legs. Now when you are only 5 foot 7 and a half going down all arms and legs is a big ask.  No fucking problem pal . Watch me. Every time.

Nasty. Wheel is still not flat though which in some ways is worse. I ride on , gingerly , which when you are blonde and blue eyed ,clearly a member of the Aryan race is also a big ask.


But hey !? Its a big race. Pulling out all the stops

3 or 4 miles later at a snails pace there is mechanical assistance . Pull over , change the tub. This goes quite well , in spite of their insistence of them doing it and using a metal tyre level to get the flat tub off the carbon disc.NICE. But they have the pump so i take the opportunity to piss in the fountain next to the roundabout. GO ON ! Say something!!! I dare you!!??

Off i go 22 miles to go. I push it. Very pissed off now. Stuck in a pack which is difficult to get away from. When i was 30 mins up the road i was alone . I was alone from about 10 miles in all the way to the incidents(plural) . Now i’m battling it out with the dregs . But then you think all these boys are going under 10 hours, They aren’t shit. But it is a bitter pill when you were on for 9.10/15 and 30 mins up the road. Im just waiting for a penalty . For a full house like. Resting on the tri bars is difficult as my fore arm is torn to shreds. Pretty much had enough.

5 hours 4 for the bike .Difficult to say but i don’t think i would’ve held the bike for 4.40 split although the last 20 was with ,what little wind there was, the wind behind you.  But 4.44/5 was defo on . Actually moving time is 4 hours 49 mins. But the 10/12 miles riding with a rear tyre at 20 psi had taken its toll physically and mentally.

I had no interest in the run at all. And trudged out of t2 thoroughly dejected. Plodded through the first 20 k . stopped and walked at every feed station . I simply was not interested in anything other than a kona spot and a significant pb .Which had gone. Laps 1 and 2 slowly dripped by.


Going into lap 3 however a cheeky French man. Came up behind me . He  put his balled fist in the small of my back and with a no inch punch pushed me out of his way.

Now, i don’t know if you have been paying attention but i’m never in the mood for this and certainly not today. Not going to be too lucky today lucky Pierre. (google it) I didn’t think about it too much , at all, and just snapped out a left jab to his right jaw line. He didn’t like that at all. I pointed out to him that the French aren’t quick learners. And his great great great grandfathers made the mistake of under estimating short welsh men as we dispatched them in their droves on the field of Agincourt

I also made it quite clear ,so he was under no uncertainty, that if he didn’t stop mouthing off i would happily hit him again with a view to rendering him unconscious. That i had had a particularly trying day up till that point and had no problem being disqualified for violent conduct. I think , despite the language barrier he got the jist of it.


Well , fuck me after that i ran the next 10 k 4 mins faster than the previous 2 and the final 10 nearly 5 mins faster. Which , in a way is almost more annoying as a much better run than the 3.30 was clearly there. Even with just the time lost standing still on the bike would have got me 4th and a kona spot with the marathon i ran. Coming off the bike in contention for the podium who knows what race id have ran. Need to belt a French man coming out of t2 is the clear message there.

Again the top 3 in my age group were separated by 4 mins . 9 hours 7 to 9, 11. I don’t think even with no problems i could’ve run a 310 marathon .to hold on for the win  But who knows. I would ve come off the bike in first . But 915/920 was on on the day, doable  i think . But once again like the last 3 years , if, buts and maybes count for nothing. . 9. 51 i came in at . Dont think we got the taper quite right but weren’t a million miles away either.


Bummer said Dogal !

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