We arrived in Barcelona and caught up with Mark and Cindi Lowe, Jason Lee and Lucia in the passport control queue as we watched our colourful bike boxes being transported to the terminal all were present relief all round!
Onto the coach and driven to Calella where the IronMan was taking place.
It was most unusual as after we had lunch we took a stroll around the town and nearly everywhere we went we saw Harriers, so stop, chat and catch up on the latest news and views and feelings for the big day!
Registration done and we were given the famous back packs which we saw everywhere.....
Pasta and welcome party was attended and a big cheer went up for the virgin IronMan competitors and we had Mark Lowe in that category.
Saturday was spent preparing our bikes, bags and kit and even some rest!
Sunday morning arrived and up early, into the bike park, food and drink loaded onto bikes, pump up the tyres and make sure transition bags had all the necessary kit in them.
Day break was coming through so back to the hotel, wet suits on and back to the swim start.
Alastair Fadden had the brilliant idea of getting some Harriers supporters black and yellow caps made and they were distributed to all the supporters, so wives, partners and parents all duly donned them. This was so easy to spot them for both other supporters and the competitors, it was fantastic to spot them out on the course.
The race started with a rolling start and 6 athletes started at 4 second intervals what an amazing start. Everybody had their own space and apart from the general nervousness of the race it went smoothly. The sea was calm with gentle rolling waves, clear and 2.4 miles to swim.
Out the water to loud music and cheering from all the crowds amazing atmosphere. Into transition and off with the wet suit on with helmet and bike shoes, then off to find bikes amongst the other 3,000 or so.... Fortunately for me I have pink tyres and tape on my bike so it is easy to spot in the row!!
Off we go 112 miles of a relatively flat bike course but the race organizers had put in a sneaky out and back that wasn't flat! It was quite frustrating as I was pedaling, changing down in gears and getting nowhere ah ha I had been here before in Nice a false flat so on the turnaround point it was lets get out of here.......... a fast decent, just what was needed to make up some time.
Back onto the real flat and fast course and coming into the turnaround point was amazing, lots of black and yellow caps, cheers and pom poms! The spectathletes were shouting and cheering us on so so appreciated!!
Back into transition, rack our bikes and then the marathon, only 26.2 miles to go. Shoes and hat on and onto the run course.
I think it was warm out there but we were shaded for a large part. It was my main aim to 'run' the whole marathon (except for walking through the aid stations need to take on food and liquid) and this I did.
The finish was after 3 laps of the run course and again this had been changed and there was a much longer out section and it felt like we were running on the moon! The last lap for me was much better as it was dark and I couldn't see the lonesome part!
It was such a lift seeing other Harriers taking part in the race, drawing support and encouragement from each other. So the finish called us one by one:-
What a race and would love to do it again!!