Bilbao Triathlon 2012

June 14th, 2012 by

Nearly 4 weeks have passed since the event, but better late than never right?? Ali and I travelled to Bilbao in northern Spain for the 2nd annual Half Ironman distance event in the historic city. Despite perhaps the most miserable conditions for racing I think I canremember, I finished on the 3rd step of the podium and Ali was 6th. I think it is safe to say we were both simply glad to be done!

It was a shame the weather gods conspired against the event – it literally rained from the moment we stepped off the plane till the morning we left! The swim was in the river which ran right through the city centre, which provided great  ‘random’ spectator numbers lining the banks, but also gave all the nasty rain wash somewhere to end up … I suggested “don’t drink the water if you can help it” to Ali just before she jumped in, but unfortunately her tummy was stilly struggling a few days after we got back home! The bike course was, I am sure quite stunning, if you could see it – but given the cloud cover was so low, added to the heavy misty rain, I really wasn’t sure I could even see the next corner! Needless to say I was rather gingerly approaching the technical route with care, and as such my bike split wasn’t the greatest. Nonetheless, I was pleased I hung on well and climbed off the bike in 3rd after leading the swim out of the river.

I was pretty content with my run however. – I headed out of T2 with Marcel Zamora, a Spanish athlete who has won Ironman France many times, who has always had a strong run when I have raced him in the past. So I was pleasantly surprised to realise I was pulling away from him quite quickly and settling into 2nd place. The leader, Mikel Elgezabel was some 6 minutes in front and I held little hope of closing that gap.  However, as I approached the final mile of the run I was caught from a fast closing athlete and despite getting to less than 2 minutes to the leader, I had to settle for 3rd place. Slightly disappointing as I felt strong and didn’t really think I would be getting caught, which is a little frustrating when almost within sight of the finish chute, but that is racing and I was more than happy with the hit out once dry and warm back in the hotel!

Many many thanks go to the organisers of the event – it was a fantastic race which was superbly organised. I would highly suggest folk have a think about adding it to their schedules sometime in the future. A large thank you goes to the two Mikels for looking after Ali and I all w/e – from collecting us at the airport thro to driving us round the bike course and showing us around the city – much appreciated!

Results from my race can be found here.