My super special trip to Ironman Barcelona Part 1

Triathlon Training Blog, Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

After the Welsh hundred in early September tails were up and from a psychological point of view a bit of self belief crept in . Moving time 3 hours 52 mins and 13 seconds. Official time was 3.53. The discrepancy was  down to the cycling club who had offered to provide a feeding station failing to turn up.  So 50 miles in, with the one bottle i was carrying  empty and no food  i had to stop at a doggers car park ( according to LB)to fill up with water. That was all i stopped there for , didnt have time, there was no one about anyway.


Running around 7 min miles in training was a walk in the park


No injuries the swim which has been crap all year was piecing together .


All roads lead to Barcelona and another crushing defeat for the armada.  On  paper  sub 9 was an outside shot . In my head worst case scenario was a 110 swim 445 bike and 330 marathon. On a good day 1 05 swim 435 bike and 315/20 marathon . Still paper is only any good nowadays for wiping your arse.


Luckily 2 weeks before the race they changed the bike course. Putting a whacking great hill in at 36 k and 78 to break up the groups. This slowed the course by 10 mins and wasn’t in the brochure i signed up for. Sub 9 looked increasingly unlikely . But id be happy with anything below 920 so wasn’t too dismayed by that.


Within milli seconds of arriving just in the vicinity of Cardiff airport i remembered why i haven’t flown from here in years. Go to Bristol is my handy bite sized travel tip.  The fuel light had gone off 15 mins before on the T4 . I decided to ignore this as its good for 20 miles and i’m nearly there. School boy error.


I’d booked long stay carpark 4 on line . Followed the directions and ended up opposite a lay by next to some sort of construction site. Just the best news. I then put the postcode in the iphone (other makes of phone are available) This sped me off in the opposite direction , turn left , left again and then rather predictably left and again . And those not directionally challenged will not be surprised to hear i was back at the same layby opposite the same construction site. The only change being that my merriment was somewhat more subdued. As now instead of having 90 mins till flight time i had 70 fun packed minutes to fill. The t4 fuel situation was a bit like myself. Reaching critical Mass. I was fucking beaming. Like the proverbial Cheshire cat , grinning from ear to fucking ear having just had the best saucer of milk ever in the history of milk saucers.


Apoplectic is the catch phrase/ word of the day. I’m usually really really good in these situations. Actually thats a blatant lie . I am when someone else is in them and i’m a casual observer. Otherwise i go fucking bananas.

Breath , think. Fuck it drive to the only car park sign posted with is long stay 1 pay again there and worry later. On the way to long stay one i stumbled across long stay 4 nowhere near where the directions had left it. In i go. Park up 60 mins till flight time and still the bus ride to the airport.


On the bus . ‘Hi drive! yeah all good m8 off to Barcelona me well.’  In theory or shall we say again ‘on paper’ , refer to previous quote. Yeah i’d love to hear how your weekend went but i’d much rather you tell me on the way back and drive the bus to the airport pronto my good man. In fact i listened to his weekend stories and waited for other passengers to get to the bus. That great British reserve. In the end i did cut in to the story of the drives lawn cutting adventures of his weekend and asked ‘when we going to airport drive.?’ When the bus is full was the one reply ,although probably one of many, i really didn’t want to hear.


As a passing after thought he asked ‘why? whens your flight? ‘ ‘40 mins’  i replied.


To be fair he put the bus in gear and sped off . Not before he put his knock off carrera sunnies on ,leather driving gloves , Clarksons soft ballard drive time cd  and ride of the valkeries came on . Then we started singing the tune to Hawaii five o whilst all leaning out a window with imaginary paddles ,rowing our hearts out to get to the church on time. Oh what fun . No, no it wasn’t!  As he sped away my bike box on wheels didn’t and it shot passed me at 30 mph down the corridor where it smacked some jaky in the nuts almost spilling the contents of the brown paper bag he was drinking out of. Luckily it didn’t spill a precious drop of his buckfast /meths  elixir  otherwise his mute grumblings may have taken on more serious connotations. What motivates some!


The bus sped up , the bus sped down the bike case returned to its original starting point , sailed straight past that at a reasonably alarming speed to smash into a group of Estonian back packers of no consequence to this, or any other narrative !let’s be honest?


Cheers  drive and rushed to check in , which mercifully was completely devoid of any passengers / no queue, fuck all. Still with 20 mins to go they were probably all on the plane already. Sucking on sangria and breaking out the sombreros singing ‘ we’re all off to sunny spain a viva l’espana’

No they weren’t. Of course now i was right in the mood to be fucked about some more . And life, as ever didn’t disappoint. People sidle upto passport control /boarding card check and its like when they get there they just weren’t aware what they were queuing for? So they then ,only when they are at the front of the queue holding every fucker up start searching through their bag for their passports and boarding cards.  Should be shot there and then without mercy or compassion.


There is salvation however and at this point i was prepared to risk it. Something i never do . It was winner takes all and go for the automatic passport control machine.


Of course it didn’t fucking work, does it ever?


But life wasn’t done with me yet. Security and now a different set of fucktards . Oh belt off ? sorry didn’t realise! I’ve never left  my house before. How the hell do these people even make it, not to the airport, but reaching any age over 12?


At this point i may have been screaming .


On the plane . Made it. My seat yeah my fucking window seat has some blonde dimbo sitting in it and her perfectly manicured bf next to her. Its a proper bun fight for the mirror between these two in the morning.  This one on one scrap is only fought with more gutso and vehemence when the fight is over the brain cell they clearly share. I’m guessing they even leave that at home when they go on holiday.

Still they’ve fucked me over good and proper. The good thing about the window seat is not the window btw its the side of the plane u can lean your head against to go to sleep. I sat down and was more annoyed that i said fuck all. Because you do sound like a bit of a cunt when u ask the dimbo to move. Usually that doesn’t bother me at all, usually its a strength that i excel at .But i’d expended a lot of emotional energy this morning and unless , assuming they could conjure up any form of comprehension , their answer wasn’t the exact correct one i’d have started hitting everyone. So i sat down and sulked the whole way there.

I fell asleep and upon waking pretended to still be asleep just in the case the dimbo and her monkey wanted to go to the toilet and couldn’t. Because i was asleep and in the way.

You would’ve thought the flight and a little sleep would have improved things somewhat?

By fuck no i was hanging onto this black mood like a drowning man clinging to a flamingo lylo in a tempest.

So i growled at anyone who looked remotely Spanish.

After a good look most of them barely looked human. The basque run the Catalan a close third as the ugliest race i have ever encountered. The average abo in Oz tops the tree  however.

I suppose we are in Catalan now after all. You are part of Spain get fucking over it. Stop creating trouble, isn’t there enough?  If u lot had your way you’d be resurrecting Franco and starting yet another civil war. Still my recollection of history is that it was all too easy for the British privateers to send the greasy Diego’s to a watery grave as they clutched all that Toltec/Mayan/ Inca gold, which  they had bravely stolen with their muskets and cannons  from a vastly inferior force, weighing them down. Whenever Pedro has been in an equal fight they have failed miserably. History will bare me out on that one.



So your fucking bike bag doesn’t come out on the carousel does it? Nada. In this respect all airports are the same. Not one sign saying where outsized luggage turns up. So u wander around hoping to stumble across it ,over it. Luckily as these airports can be quite large this endeavour can take up some of your time

Which is just what the doctor ordered. (Prior to euthanasia)

Because it’s not 8 pm . u still have a hire car to get and your hotel is an hour up the donkey/goat track.

Out she pops unceremoniously onto the soft forgiving reinforced concrete floor.

You know u should check inside but u really can’t be arsed. You just want to put as much distance between u and here as possible in the shortest possible time. Like ministry said in that brilliant little after dinner ditty’ Jesus built my hot rod’ ‘ where u come from is gone! Where you thought u were going to weren’t never there! And where u are ain’t no use unless u can get away from it!’ Said in a Deep South Texan drawl. Wise words , wise words indeed!


The reality is u don’t want to check because u can’t face another problem right here right now. Uve been swimming in the primordial shit soup all day and can’t swim no more.


The hire car.

This is always.    Always a fiasco . It’s basically an international law. Get them tired, then fuck them about when the finish line is in sight.  Give em another shove. C who falls down.

You’ve booked, you have your bit of paper but it still takes the best part of an hour to get the keys. Like at the builders merchants u go to the counter with a sample pot of autumn gold gloss. Its like they are keying in some sort of essay! Are they writing to the manufacturer asking for release papers? Or just messing with you some more and playing back gammon on the screen with the equally grinning loon sat next to them? Anyway the joke is most definitely on you. Be under no misapprehension on that . Whilst all around you u can just, but not quite filter out the braying of a horde of wildebeest all of them a full blown example of a genetic dead end.



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"Excellent stay & great location, Freshwater West beach is amazing, would recommend...”
Jo, Scotland

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