We left Cordoba and traveled to Madrid in the afternoon on Saturday where I had a bike waiting for me. I rented an aluminum Specialized roadie from Bike Spain. (It was the first time I ever rode a roadie!) When I was picking up the bike I saw a flyer for the race and asked about it. The guy at the Bike Shop told me to just go over and see if they would let me in being the race registration was closed. I rode over to the Village and tried to find someone who spoke English well enough to help me. The lady I found was actually the race director. She was absolutely awesome! She bent over backwards to make sure I got registered and got my packet. Great service! By the time I got registered and back to the hotel, it was 9:00 and I hadn't had any dinner yet!
The next problem was gear. I didn't have anything with me besides my TriSports bike jersey, a pair of bike shorts, a water bottle, and some junkie road shoes that I traveled with. I rented a helmet with the bike and tried to buy some nutrition for the race. I couldn't find the Gu Roctane that I wanted to use on the bike course, but with no luck. I couldn't even pronounce the stuff I went with. I know they say nothing new on race day, but pretty much everything was new! I had never rode the bike that I was racing on before, never raced in a bike jersey or had to put on a jersey after the swim, and of course the new nutrition. I also had to put socks on being I didn't have my racing shoes, just my trainers. To top it off the race was a dive in start, something I had never done or practiced! Needless to say, I was racing this for a fun experience!
|Pre Race Advice from Steve, one of the Faculty members I was traveling with!|
|Dive In Swim Start|
|Dismount Line...Or at least I think that is what they guy was saying!|
The run was pretty much as expected. I ran a 34 flat 10k, which was the fastest run of the field. It was different not being able to chit chat a bit as I was running with people, but I heard "muy rapido" a lot. I'll take it as a compliment. The run was completely flat and pretty well shaded from the sun. The bike and run took place in a beautiful park that is closed for traffic (it is where I did all of my training for the week after the race). I finished the race in 2:07, was 7th overall. All-in-all, it was a great experience. I am glad I was able to talk my way into my first International race and hope there are more in the near future!
|Finished! Big thanks to Bethany (another Faculty member) for taking all of these pics!|