Ironman 70.3 Marbella race report - Johnny Phillips

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Having decided to take on Ironman Wales in September I figured doing a couple of smaller (they aren’t small) 70.3 triathlons would give me an idea of what I was 

taking on. Ironman Marbella 70.3 was my first ever triathlon and I chose it because of the location, having been there several times and because timing wise it would give me a solid idea of how the training is going.

I have to say I was bricking it, I arrived Wednesday and checked out the site and maybe that’s what set the nerves off. By the time my mate arrived I was a bit of a wreck and moaning about everything. The swim was and is my biggest fear and the day before the event the winds had picked up and the swell was pretty heafty, not impressed. I did a short reccie with Gavin (see Gavin's race report HERE) but even then I felt sick and decided to just wait it out and see what happens the next day.

We headed to site around 6.30 while many people were still drinking outside the bars or starting to stagger their way home. It was still dark but the wind had dropped which did little to settle me…the well wishes the day before from my mates was the only thing stopping me from bottling it…I couldn’t be that guy. I left it to the last minute to walk out and confront the sea. It was calmer than the day before but still pretty daunting. I walked about and jumped into the 45min swim pen, and spent about 15 minutes talking to a guy from London who was also bricking it. That actually settled me right down. It took a bloody eternity to get the the waters edge and be let through but I was there and no going back. The swim itself wasn’t great, I couldn’t sight well due to the swell, I took a few lovely kicks to the face but I got around. When I got out I checked my watch and saw 33 minutes…..WTF?? Can this be correct??? I later found out they had shortened the swim course but this really lifted me as I stumbled into transition…..

Screen Shot 2018 05 04 at 07.40.49It took longer than I anticipated to get sorted but on my way to the bike I was beaming, I had done the swim, the rest would be less terrifying (I thought), the route itself for the first 30k was amazing, I like the hills and it’s not a huge ball ache of a climb to be fair. The downhills, I’m a bit of a shithouse as I am still getting used to riding a tri bike and I like my body to be in one piece…the mid section of the ride on the motorways was a boring slog but I picked it up a little and if I hadn’t of needed to stop twice to wee I’d of been happy with my time. The last 10-12k back into Marbs were all downhill but the winds had picked up and passing one person who had come a cropper and seeing a bunch of smashed bottles and another cyclist sorting a puncture, I used the breaks more than I could of got away with but when I reached the flat I pushed on again feeling stoked I was actually going to finish this thing.

Transition 2 was much easier and I knew the run course so I was hoping to get a solid time of about 1hr40 to 1hr45 but I was more tired than I had anticipated and the heat didn’t help. The last 300 metres I just kicked on and tried to sprint but having seen the video my wife took it was more of a waddle than a sprint and I was smiling far too much…I have to say that red carpet moment feels incredible…loved it….

I did it, I did my first triathlon at 44 and loved it……banging!!!