Alcudia beach transforms on race weekend, from a tourist’s haven to a Triathlete’s heaven. Announced as the world’s biggest 70.3 event with a claimed 4000 competitors and there’s a good reason why so many people choose to race Mallorca 70.3…
Race morning brought a mass of competitors with respective supporters all crowding on to Alcudia beach. Race start has you running at first – after an electronic beep start – in to the water through a funnel of spectators up to their calves in water, before diving in to clear blue, slightly fresh, 18C water.
The swim is a simple out about and back affair, with a 100m swim across the bay so you return to a different point on the beach. This sounds like a minor point, but this slight change in outward and return sections meant favourable currents. After telling my wife before the race, “… don’t bother looking out for me before 29 minutes…”, I then proceeded to have the (current assisted) swim of my life and was out of the water in 27 minutes making her miss my swim exit altogether. Luckily, due to the IM tracker app, she later saw me pop up safely on the bike course. Unluckily, IM added a minute to my Garmin recorded time L
The bike course in Mallorca is legendary. Barely 10k of relatively flat riding to Pollenca allows you time to get in to a nice rhythm after the swim then you watch your lovely opening average speed gradually erode km by km while you spend the next 25k climbing, at first during a false flat, then a proper climb until you reach Lluc. Although you’re pushing hard to get the climb out of the way, you have to remind yourself at times to take a few seconds to admire the beautiful views just over the shoulder.
Towards the end of the bike with the descent out of the way I was starting to become aware of the heat on my back and suddenly realised that the forecasted *perfect* race conditions – 21C, overcast – had been replaced with 27C, hot sun. Note to self: prepare for a long hot run! Off the bike in 2h 43m, in some ways happy to have the 900m or so elevation behind me, but also knowing that a punishing run was looming.
The 3-lap run course was part meandering in and out of the shaded back streets of Alcudia before hitting the long, sun-exposed highway, then back in along the beach promenade, back towards the crowds for a much needed lift of the spirits. Beyond a short stop to try and resolve cramping muscles (note to self: don’t forget to stretch out the legs towards the end of the bike next time), I actually had a fairly decent 1h 35m run, especially given the heat of the midday sun.
After post-race refuel (the only low point of the race organisation – poor quality food) and massage, I headed for the results sheets and – fantástico! – I made the top 10 in my Age Group! Target for the year already achieved in the first race!
In short if you want atmosphere, a beautiful race setting, gorgeous sea swim, stunning bike course, beach life before & after the race then head for Mallorca 70.3 next year.