Mallorca: training & Ironman 70.3
May 20th, 2014 by Fraser
In mid May Ali was racing the Mallorca 70.3 and after my race in Elche I was keen to knuckle down with a good block of hard training. Luckily I was able to combine both my training and supporting requirements (!) by virtue of a training trip to C’an Picafort on the Mallorcan north coast. I flew directly from Alicante to Palma – a mere 50min hop – and had 12 days on the island before Ali flew in for the event on May the 10th.
I hadn’t been to Mallorca since 2002 when we last had a Scottish Junior training trip. A long time ago! I had vague memories and had heard plenty over the years from friends, but I was looking forward to exploring the area for myself. I had high expectations and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Put quite simply – Mallorca is a cycling mecca. There are people riding bikes everywhere, and people of all ages too. It really is a super place to go for riding your bike in the sunshine and through some stunning scenery. I couldn’t have gotten bored at all out there, it really was an endless network of unbelieveably smooth, safe and interesting roads to train on. There are also a lot of cycle paths to accomodate the extra wheels on the roads.
I was clearly lucky with the weather whilst I was there. Given it is an island, the pattern of weather was incredibly settled for virtually my entire stay and I did my best to make hay while the sun shined. I happily rode my bike every day and got some good miles under the belt to boot.
I wasn’t fooled though – somewhere does not become this green without ample rainfall! I was clearly lucky with my trip to not experience any of it. May must be a good time to visit the Balearic Islands, and I would love to return again.
Ali arrived on the Friday lunchtime before the race the following day, so we had a very flying weekend together whilst she raced, but thankfully RyanAir packed her bike bag and the flight was on time etc etc and she got herself registered, racked and ready by early evening without any issues. – We even were luckily staying far closer than we had anticipated to the race site (like, on top of it!) which made things very convenient when operating on a tighter schedule than normal.
The swim start was in a great little bay within port d’alcudia and coupled with the single loop bike course through the surrounding hills allowed for the biggest Ironman 70.3 anywhere in the world to happen – over 3800 athletes entered the water in various waves during the morning! That means a very large transition area I can assure you.
Ali nervously watching the swim start arch… just wondering/checking if it had moved over night 😉
While I was there on my own I did quite a lot of my riding on or including the actual bike course for the race – and it was a real cracker. It included a substantial climb towards Lluc and then dropped back down towards the coast. As I mentioned already – just an abslolutely superb road surface on the island – it makes a huge change from riding on Scottish roads.
Ali had a great race (and I must add that I also had a stellar supporter/spectator morning too), topping her age group and probably most encouraging had one of the quickest run splits in the whole girls race. Given there was a sea swim, hilly bike route finished with a flat beach/prom-side run, the event acted as a great little warm up before Ironman Nice in France next month.
I thought the whole event was excellent and would highly recommend a trip to race there next year, and hopefully the sunshine gets the memo then too!