Race Update – Ironman Barcelona

Lewis Bruce November 8, 2016 Comments Off on Race Update – Ironman Barcelona
Race Update – Ironman Barcelona


On October 2nd 2016, in what is one of the biggest days for Monifieth Triathlon Club, 13 of its members crossed the finish line at Ironman Barcelona.

The long distance triathlon consisted of a 2.4 mile sea swim, 112 mile bike and a full 26.2 mile marathon, in all, 140.6 miles of grueling agony with one common goal, to get to the finish line in the best possible time.   Taking part in this event we had individuals from all walks of life, some veteran triathletes and some in their first year of competitive racing with ages ranging from mid twenties to early(very early) fifties.

A few days before the event we all descended on Calella, a few miles up the coast from Barcelona with our families and friends full of excitement, fear, panic and everything that comes with the culmination of 12 months worth of training and preparation.

The event marquees were set up and the town was buzzing with Ironman fever in the air. Bars, restaurants, hotels, street lights, everywhere you looked were adorned with banners, Ironman was in town and so were 3000 competitors all preparing for race day, it was a party atmosphere but no drinking for those racing…..

We all participated in swim, bike and run recces, to ensure we were prepared for everything come race day. We could not believe our luck with the road conditions, not  a pot hole in sight!


Pre Race Bike Recce with Race Force



Team M3 before race briefing.


Race day arrived with what felt like a lie in with an 8.20am start. This meant we were able to start the day watching the sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea – absolutely beautiful. This, coupled with motivational music became too much for some members as Michelle and Mark started to well up on the start line, a display of just how much this race meant to people, to feel years worth of work coming down to a start horn.



Counting down to race start


The swim start was a rolling start, no melee of thousands of people all trying to swim at once, instead it was safe and calm with people entering the water based on their estimated time similar to that of a marathon start line with all competitors corralled into pens based on their respective times.  The swim was one large 2.4 mile loop featuring a few jellyfish friends. Exiting the water it was either a jog or a walk to transition in front of hundreds of people cheering you on, this part is probably a blur to us all.



Lewis exiting swim


Dean leaving T1


Bike now collected, so time to head off on the two loop 112 mile ride down the coast.  The bike ride was mostly flat and fast with some extremely impressive times coming from members of the club.  We had a few sub 5hr bike times which means well over 20mph for 112 miles, pretty impressive! After being warned of the consequences of drafting the previous day at the briefing, it was frustrating to find that fellow competitors still felt the need to be hanging onto other peoples back wheels. Nothing a shot of pee won’t fix! Unfortunately Lewis had the worst puncture scenario known to any triathlete, but luckily a helpful athlete provided him with some much needed assistance in the form of a gas canister!



Alan out on the bike



Rory on the bike


As the day went on, conditions on the bike began to get a lot warmer which we were obviously well prepared for having done all of our training in Scotland….

With the course being 2 out and back loops of 90km, it meant we were all there to give each other encouragement while the M3  support crew were waiting on us returning to Calella.



Mark Does not recommend Berry flavoured GU gels . . . .


180km bike done, now time to get through transition and complete the marathon!


The run was an amazing experience with thousands of people lining the tree lined paths adjacent to the beach, families, friends and strangers cheering you on as you pass them on each of the three loops of the marathon. However, the furthest point of the run really was the quietest, You could just feel the mental battle everyone was experiencing. Walking through the aid stations was most people’s plan. Take on coke, oranges, gels, red bull, Licorice allsorts(!?), also an opportunity for other athletes to walk whilst breaking wind. Believe me, Ironman aint pretty at this point!

Again, the out and back loops meant our fellow M3 team mates could see each other and offer support, it made the exhaustion feel 100 times better when you saw someone you knew.




Julie during the run


Kenny on the Run!


Then comes the moment we all dreamt about in the months leading up to the race. The finish line.

Lined with grandstands, spectators, photographers and everything else that comes with an Ironman finish line, crossing that finish line is something that will stick with every competitor forever.



John Smith & Marc Smith Cross the line with Saltire flag



John Tonner finishing



Michelle post race 

You’d think that one Ironman is enough for most people in a lifetime but we’ve already starting discussing our next team race, watch this space.




Sub 10 hour finishers – Rory, Marc & John



The after party – no beer, champagne or wine left by the end


The support on the day from family and friends was overwhelming at times, with many folk putting in a long shift. You have no idea how much it was appreciated by us all, so thank you.

A few lessons learned . . . .

Always Keep your eyes on the bike

Always wear sun tan lotion

And if the portaloos have run out of toilet roll, use a sponge . . (Ask Mark H about that one 🙂 )


Overall Pos. Name Time Cat. Cat. Pos. Swim T1 Bike T2 Run
183 Mark Macintosh 9:44:50 40-44 30 1:00:47 4:11 4:45:11 5:33 3:49:08
238 Rory Fairbairn 9:53:03 40-44 40 1:02:44 5:40 4:55:53 3:02 3:45:44
274 John Wigham 9:58:22 40-44 48 1:01:37 3:58 4:51:19 2:26 3:59:02
419 Mark Hopkins 10:20:43 35-39 92 1:11:05 6:24 5:07:03 3:38 3:52:33
622 Kenny Ramsay 10:41:50 40-44 122 1:03:26 5:06 5:03:42 3:40 4:25:56
663 Michelle Mackay 10:46:11 25-29 5 1:15:23 6:19 5:32:39 5:16 3:46:34
810 John Smith 10:57:55 45-49 124 1:04:59 5:17 4:58:14 4:00 4:45:25
936 Dean Horton 11:12:07 45-49 142 1:07:46 7:28 5:27:29 4:49 4:24:35
1073 Dougal Adamson 11:24:38 50-54 84 1:17:47 7:42 5:40:16 4:48 4:17:05
1084 John Tonner 11:25:14 25-29 67 1:05:24 7:08 5:04:00 6:03 5:02:39
1257 Lewis Bruce 11:41:00 25-29 77 1:10:01 7:56 6:21:41 4:05 3:57:17
1418 Alan Rose 11:55:59 45-49 224 1:11:18 8:05 5:54:24 6:02 4:36:10
2268 Julie Wilson 14:31:43 50-54 33 1:32:16 11:31 7:10:17 11:45 5:25:54

Special mention to both East Fife members Sally and Jamie, plus Ex-president Marc Smith who also took part in the race.

Overall Pos. Name Time Cat. Cat. Pos. Swim T1 Bike T2 Run
806 Marc Smith 10:57:47 35-39 178 1:08:56 8:35 5:14:15 4:57 4:21:04
1790 Sally Newman-Carter 12:42:31 35-39 30 1:13:21 6:39 5:46:32 14:56 5:21:03
2118 Jamie Macdonald 13:41:27 35-39 368 1:15:15 9:01 5:48:42 15:17 6:13:27

To summarise, Ironman Barcelona was a fantastic venue in which to race your first ironman, the small town of Calella was ideal, the swim was lovely, the bike & run are flat, the support fantastic and the weather wasn’t too bad either!

More photos of the event can be found here

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