Challenge Barcelona 2011 race report
I have just recovered from an amazing race at Challenge Barcellona where I finished, a little disappointed, in 11th place with a 8hour 43min 13sec time. The race was won in style by Clemente Alonso McKernan from Spain with, Michelle Michell.
This race has a sensational party atmosphere right from the beech start which was at a sociable time of 8:30. I spent most of the swim jostling within the main bunch.
Out on the road the 12m drafting rule changed the dynamics somewhat in that no body wanted to put in the considerable effort required to pass the whole line, so when I found myself at the front of the pack at the end on lap 1 I was left there for pretty much the rest of the race. When at the 3rd turn I saw I was towing a line of ~10 guys I put in a dig and got a gap. I pushed on when I had 30sec or so at the next turn but blew it when I made a wrong turn at the last (shorter lap) and ended up back in the bunch.
I made my real mistake here though which was to finish of all my gell and water in one go thinking that because it would be easy to the finish now I would absorb it! WRONG!
I started the run and my stomach cramped immediately, I went backwards to a low point of ~20th. I was desperate and failing but pushed on through the pain walking to let my stomach ease off. Thankfully at around 21k it started to ease off and I stopped loosing time. Place by place i worked my way back up and was real pleased to finish strong in 11th. It reminded me of the mental strength it takes to make the best out of a bad situation and how disciplined you need to be sticking to your race plan when it comes to nutrition and pacing.
We sat around drinking beers till it got dark then I ate pizza and went for an amazing sleep. I very much look forward to racing there again.