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Day 60: Sunday 29 November 2015

Day 60 of 60 marathons in 60 days. My last marathon is done (4:32 hours)! I'm so pleased as the winds were certainly blowing strong for us down the track.

A massive thank you to wonderful friends, my Daughter and many supporters for making my last day very special. It's been an epic journey, one I've had the pleasure of sharing with both old and new faces. I'm lucky to have made some fantastic friends too! I'm overwhelmed by the well wishes, running and good lucks but especia...lly Amy, Jacquie, Gina, John, Louilla, Aaron, Erin, Esther, Carolyn, Hammy, Justin and Shane. And my mum, Angelica, Matt and Chelsey for being a big help with Lois giving her a good routine for the 60 days!

Heartfelt thanks to Dimple's Cakes, Sweet, David Lloyd, Active Nation, Rees Leisure, Garmin and Scimitar Sports for support, advice and sometimes hugs! Most of all to Spana and the team!! I'm really hoping to raise a little more for this wonderful charity. Spana believed in me and had a lovely medal waiting for me at the finish 🏃🏅


I cannot believe it's all done now!! Phew!

Check out the papers tomorrow for full 60:60 coverage.

Dimple's cakes is running a great offer for your cake orders - limited time. £60 large celebration cake (wedding etc) plus 24 cupcakes (07530 419811).

#6060 ‪#‎believeinyourself‬ ‪#‎marathongirl‬

Time to put my feet up (for a little while anyway)!

Day 58: Friday 27 November 2015

Day 58 of my 60 marathons in 60 days finally finally family done!! Such a tough day and finished so late (11:02pm!!) so if anyone saw a girl running through Totton tonight in the rain looking weary (then limping along Woodlands Road almost teary), it was me!

With it being the last ever Friday of the challenge and very few days remaining, I was not expecting it to be so mentally challenging. I'm feeling completely fatigued and nauseous so cannot wait for a rest. I'm looking f...orward to work on Monday!!

Tomorrow I am in Woodlands/lyndhurst morning until mid afternoon so anyone wanting a run, I plan to pick a runner up from Ashurst train station (albeit by foot) 12:34pm.

Track and final marathon (60th): Southampton Athletics Track Thornhill Road SO16 7AY. Starting 09:30. For anyone wishing to run the full marathon, you must arrive 09:00-09:15am.


Day 57: Thursday 26 November 2015

A very long and tiring day 57 of my 60 marathons in 60 days challenge!!

I felt very tired after not sleeping very well and woke up a few times with discomfort in my hips, knees and legs generally. My ankle had also swollen up overnight from the past two days marathons hard road running and calves very tight so I was very slow going. John Collins kindly treated my calves early evening and could finish my miles thereafter (21:47pm latest finish !).

Just a long weekend of runni...ng left. 3 is the magic number!!!

See you all Sunday. Don't forget to join the Seamariner 60:60 Finale Marathon event!


Running with Garmin Forerunner 225 ‪#‎forerunner‬ ‪#‎beatyesterday‬ @GarminUK

Day 56: Wednesday 25 November 2015

Day 56 of my 60 marathons in 60 days challenge done (4:57 hours).

What a fantastic day with a lovely group of runners - Amy, Ben and Dan and Kris Temple and Doug from BBC South today!! Such great fun although my right ankle is really swollen again! Well done Ben who ran pretty much the whole marathon and Dan smashing over 16 miles (10 miles over his recent running distance). Great running as always from Amy.

I'm holding on until Sunday but it's tough going. The last 0.8 Mile ...I did with my daughter- she loved it!

Roll on Sunday!! 4 marathons to go!

Don't forget to tune into BBC South Today tonight from 18:30!! It will only be on iplayer for 24 hours!


Running with Garmin Forerunner 225 ‪#‎forerunner‬ ‪#‎beatyesterday‬ @GarminUK

Day 55: Tuesday 24 November 2015

Day 55 of 60 marathons in 60 days done!

Thank you Richard Daish for your company for the day and stopping off having delicious treats at Cafe Nero! Yummy!

My daughter and I then treated ourselves to a milkshake at the lovely Sweet!

5 more days to go!!!! I can now count the days on one hand and cannot wait!!

This is all for charity so please do sponsor me if you can. Also please support the 60:60 challenge by attending my final run on Sunday: 09:30 Southampton Athletics Club Thornhill Road SO16 7AY. It's free and free cakes and ice cream!!! Sponsored by Dimple's Cakes and Sweet. You just need to accept on the FB event to secure your place!


Running with Garmin Forerunner 225 ‪#‎forerunner‬ ‪#‎beatyesterday‬ @GarminUK

Day 53: Sunday 22 November 2015

Day 53 of 60 marathons in 60 days completed!!!!

I'm very, very happy to reach day 53! This is because I have now equalled the current world record for the most consecutive run marathons (female). I remember reading when Amy Hughes finished her 53 marathons and she has been a big inspiration to me! So it doesn't feel real I've made it this far and it honestly has been the hardest and most emotionally draining thing I've ever done (and will do!). I really could not see past day... 5 but amazed I've made it this far!

Thank you to the lovely Hannah and Shane Renyard who split the day and both kept me company for just under half distance each. My calf is tender but better than yesterday. I'm feeling a loss of appetite or rather lack of domestic goddess proness to cook!

If anyone wants to join me this week, I will be:

Monday: Dibden 13:00
Tuesday-Thursday: Walhampton 08:30-15:00
Friday: Blackfield/Lepe/Exbury 11:00
Saturday: Woodlands 11:00
Sunday: Track LAST DAY!


Running with Garmin Forerunner 225

Day 52: Saturday 21 November 2015

Day 52 of 60 marathons in 60 days finally done! It's been a long slow marathon and coldest day by far. My right calf is swollen and knotted. I really was so cold today!!

The beautiful hearted Hannah Coombes from Southampton AC spent the day with me and we loved our pit stop at Sweet!

Thankfully John Collins treated my poor legs early evening which definitely put some warmth back into my muscles. Thank you John!!

My remaining 7 night miles were under the stars in a chilly 3•C!! Brrr. I dug out my North Pole thermals.

2 marathons to go until he new record and 8 to go to 60!!! So tired and everyday is absolutely epic.


Running with Garmin Forerunner 225

Day 51: Friday 20 November 2015

Marathon number 51 was with this awesome guy Rob from Lordshill RC who ran a whopping 20.85 miles, far exceeding his longest ever run! Go Rob, great running!!

The last 4 miles were tough going and I fear I have torn my calf muscle!! It's extremely sore and praying it heals overnight!!

9 days to go!! And just 3 marathons until I pass the current record (53 marathons) which will be on Monday!!!!

Running with Garmin Forerunner 225

Day 50: Thursday 19 November 2015

Day 50 done! 50 marathons in 50 days phew! 1,310 miles.

Day 50 was an early start, 06:15am with the lovely ladies, Jacquie, Amy, Gina and Rene where we ran up to BBC Radio Solent studios with the radio interview via mobile end route. Marathon finished with a couple of laps around the Woodlands.

10 marathons to go!!!

Day 47: Monday 16 November 2015

Day 47 #6060!!

Today was tough because I could hardly run with my jelly legs! Marchwood/Dibden/Forest loops.

I'm so excited to get my new watch! Garmin are kindly sponsoring the 60:60 Marathon Challenge whoop!!

13 days to go!!

I will be on BBC Radio Solent with Julian Clegg on Thursday 19 Nov at 07:25am. For anyone who wishes to join me on my radio adventure, meet woodlands road 5:45am sharp, pick up 06:20 Totton McDonalds then to Havalock Road and back before 9am. Please do let me know if you plan to come though.

Keep on running

Day 44: Friday 13 November 2015

Day 44 of the 60:60 Marathon Challenge 2015!

It turned out to be a lovely sunny day too so feeling lucky to live in the Forest.

I'm looking forward to the weekend.

Saturday I will be at the Southampton Athletics Track from around 11.30 and going to play a bit of the Trojans Hockey game on the pitch next to the track!! Push back at noon. I will be running from woodlands at 3pm if anyone wishes to join me.

Sunday I am the running the Gosporth half Marathon with miles before (at Gosport) and after (a loop over the woodlands).

Keep on running !! #6060

2 weeks on Sunday until my finale run!

Day 43: Thursday 12 Novmber 2015

Day 43!!!!! Counting down! 16 to go.

Two forest runs with the second half with Jacquie Barlow. Well done girl strong as ever!

Knees are aching today!

43 marathons in 43 days!

Please do spare a few pennies.

Day 41: Tuesday 10 November 2015

Almost finished day 41 !!! Counting down the days... 19 days TO GO 😬😬😬

A lovely long run with Esther Wiley at lunchtime... Hopefully she'll do a full day very soon 😜

Shared the rest of the lovely cupcakes with the children and teachers at Walhampton School. Thank you again to Dimple's Cakes 😍🍰

Even managed to make a turkey and asparagus gluten free lasagne with Lois yummy!

I have very achey knees and lower back oh and feet. And bad ankle is niggling. Hoping they improve by tomorrow!

Keep on running

Day 40: Monday 9 November 2015

Milestone!!! Two thirds of my 60 marathons in 60 days done!! Thank god!

Day 40 part at the track and part on road (Woodlands to Lyndhurst loop)

A massive thank you Harriet at Dimple's cakes (sponsor) who kindly made the most delicious chocolate cupcakes for the big buggy run!!

The turnout to the track day was extremely disappointing but thank you to those that came including Rene, Stacey and the lovely journalist ladies from Winchester.

After having a low day, I had a very enjoyable night run with the wind (lots of it!) blowing through my hair, Eric Clapton/Eva Cassidy in my ears and my own company running in the darkness. Just perfect!

Only 20 days left!!!!!!

Day 39: Sunday 8 November 2015

Day 39 of my 60:60 Marathon Challenge in 5.02 hours. First half good, second part super slow.

I really hope to find more support to continue my challenge as it's becoming extremely tiring. Please let me know if you can come and run with me. I usually head out from my house (Woodlands) or Lymington (Tues/Wed). I work around my Daughter. We can run steady and sometimes stop off for ice cream !

I have organised the big buggy run with free cupcakes TOMORROW which is completely f...ree. It's from 10:30 at the track- Thornhill road Southampton SO16 7AY. Very few people have signed up so I would be very grateful if you can share with your running club and groups and friends.

I have 60:60 t shirts available to buy too!

Day 21: Wednesday 21 October 2015

Walhampton/Dibden/Marchwood Enclosure plus night miles!

Extremely tired from restless nights with my Daughter (bad timing back teeth!)

My hips are feeling very achey and fatigued legs. Severe plantar fasciitis on one foot which I actually had before from wearing heels at a wedding last month!!

I am hoping for a quicker time tomorrow for more recovery!

Video clips will be back but have an issue with You Tube.

I am looking to visit schools and local running clubs to promote my challenge to try and increase fundraising. If you work at a school or have an ideas, please shout. I can also visit big companies and do a lunchtime run in the local area to Totton or nearby.

Please do keep donating. I have raised just over £2k which is amazing but I'm trying to reach £60k. Please keep sharing and asking people to spare a few pennies. You can text too which is so easy.

So far I've run 21 Marathons for Spana

Day 18: Sunday 18 October 2015

Day 18: New Forest day - loop of Busketts Lawn and up to Ocknell to the Stinger race and back. Think it was a quick time but need to check watch which is charging. Nice to see the Totton Running Club, Kylie in Bramshaw for water and the Buis' in Brook in the car! Physically no problem but somedays are emotionally very draining, today is one of them.

Day 8: Thursday 8 October 2015

A track day!!! 6 hours 57 minutes for today's marathon with lovely Rachel (distance adjudicator) from Active Nation (pictured below at the finish of the marathon), Tony Lees, Erin Oliver and other new faces plus the giant spider!

Thank you Sweet for my delicious dark chocolate sorbet!! Now ice, rest and a chicken roast. Lois with nanny (thanks mum) so hopefully will get a full night's sleep.

Please keep sharing and donating if you can, every pound makes a difference.

Taking each day as it comes but so far done 209.6 miles in 8 days!!!

I will be down the track tomorrow from 9-10 am.

Day 7: Wednesday 7 October 2015

Hello all ... I'm still moving although no running just walking miles through the duration of the day.

I seem to have lost my mobile over Deerleap (white iphone) .. I'm hoping some kind person will find it and it will get back to me. This phone has a bit of a curse as it's the one I left in Longyerbyen in April but made its way back! !

More treatment tonight. Ankle feels much better but not done any running on it. Will see how things are later. If I can't run within a few days I don't think walking is the point of the challenge. I will keep going for as long as I can.

Further update later...

Please check here as I may be at the track tomorrow!

Day 6: Tuesday 6 October 2015

First of all, I am still moving, just!

Today's marathon miles were completed in 7 hrs 36 mins 31 secs. Majority of these were covered around Walhampton School grounds to give myself more time on drop off and pick up. The heavens opened early and I got completely drenched resulting in more rashes over my lowers legs, knees and feet from the wet clothes and friction. I started off with the aid of crutches to help warm up the ankle (3/4 miles). The scene...ry was lovely but wouldn't stop raining. Very annoying that my watch died and I lost over a mile on there!! Other miles finished around Woodlands where I live. I'm feeling really tired and finding it tough doing so many miles, trying to recover but spend time with/care for my daughter, cook etc.

I had some treatment again by the fantastic Louilla who assessed my muscle tear adjoining the right anchilles. The swelling was more severe although I had thought it was less painful. Unfortunately the tear is worse and borderline grade 2. This means I cannot run on the foot otherwise my anchilles will very soon go snap. This means I will have to rest 1-2 days with no weight on my right leg. However my left knee in particular is so sore now and calves feel solid rocks.

To keep my challenge going I am going to walk in the miles throughout the day/evening after my Daughter is asleep to get any remaining miles. I am going to use the crutches for these miles to allow the tear to heal and keep off the bad ankle so I can run again. I can only take each day as it comes and follow the preventative measures.

I'm going to stay on school grounds again tomorrow and see how I go (although my hands and elbows and back muscles have already had a big workout). If I can cover the miles and okay, I will go back to the track on Thursday.

Thank you again to everyone that has donated to this fantastic cause. Every penny counts!

6 marathons done in 6 days so far! Praying I will heal to run properly very soon

Day 5: Monday 5 October 2015

Well I have made it to here with day 5 being very stop/start with miles covered over whole day. It started off with a test run to see how my right ankle was after it felt strained and sore on Saturday. I strapped it all up for Bournemouth and painful to start with but seemed to ease off (then the left knee was sore!)

Last night/this morning the ankle was very swollen and woke up through the night throbbing and in pain. My 4.22 mile run was agony and de...cided I couldn't run the rest of the day.

I thought about making the miles up on other days but my mum said she had crutches so I decided to go back to the track and speed crutch for the rest of the day to make up the miles. So it's been very broken but made it through.

I've been assessed and treated tonight by Louilla which has been amazing thank you. Good news it doesn't appear to be Achilles but muscle damage around. Bad news I cannot run freely for another day so tomorrow will be a long day.

Thank you for your well wishes but I am okay. I am using crutches so my ankle heels and I can run again. My arms will just get a workout! I plan to continue my challenge covering the marathon miles through each day. I'm not interested in the Guiness record but to raise awareness for Spana and lots of donations to save the working animals of the world.

Given the time it is taking to cover the miles, I plan to vary my locations and weekends on track.

Monday/Friday either on track or new forest. Tues-Thurs on Walhampton school grounds as I do not have enough time to commute to the track or anywhere and do the miles to pick her up again. I am going to track everything on Strava/app.

Please please continue to donate. www.justgiving.com/Alice60Marathons60Days/

For everyone that donates until midnight tomorrow (06/10/15) I will match your donation.

For everyone that donates £11 and over, you will get a FREE 60:60 official t shirt. Please add £1 if you need it posted. All your need to do is screen shot your donation or send your details/size etc to events@spana.org

Day 4: Sunday 4 October 2015 - Bournmouth Marathon

Bournemouth Marathon completed (5:59) with fellow runner Mike Akers who was fantastic support.

Anchilles is very sore and swollen.

Day 5 marathon will be hobbling. I hope to cover the marathon miles today. Please, please keep donating.

You can also purchase official 60:60 t shirts. Email events@spana.org.

Adults £10.75
Kids £6.95

All proceeds to charity

Day 3: Saturday 3 October 2015

Extremely tough day but made marathon number 3. Amazing Paul Bullen 3:48 hrs. Great support from fellow TRC and Soph running so much with me and Rob at the end.

Please donate. Remember I'm just the same as you and everyday is a mammoth task. No tears but quite honestly in very much pain.

Bournemouth Marathon tomorrow. I might need a piggyback from Mike!

Anyone that wants to jog any laps please come down any day.

Day 2: Friday 2 October 2015

It was another glorious day, absolutely perfect weather and I'm pleased to have finished my 2nd marathon (time 5.39 hrs) with fellow runner Tony Kendrick and others. Notably Louilla ran over 20kms which is phenomenal and her furthest run ever by some margin. Great support from Tony, Gina, Sophie, Aaron and Louilla. As always Active Nation were fantastic (Rachel official timer).

Please keep donating. Each day is such a challenge.

Another day, another journey.

Day one: Thursday 1 October 2015 - Launch Day

It was an early rise and after a 1.5 hour school run commute, kicked off after launch logistics and photos by Paul and Richard (thank you very much).

Paul Bullen was the official race starter, Erin Oliver on clock and Spana on lap counting.

Running support from Virgina, Sam, Michael, Aaron and the great Dave Ransom. Virgina ran the first hour and Dave ran me home. Support from friends - Paul, Erin, Amy etc.

I am pleased to have completed day 1. Today's run was challenging like everyday will be no doubt. Track running is something else. I took it very steady and kept my heart rate right down. Muscles feel good although a little achey on my feet, knee and hips. Plan is to take it very easy for next two weeks to get my body used to the restlessness (if possible).

Feeling a bit tired so having a nice bath and a hearty meal ready for tomorrow.

Thank you to Rees Leisure and the lovely Chris Rees for providing water, Powerade and Powerbar nutrition. Also to Harriet De Costa of Dimple's who supplied the best cupcakes in the South! She is now running an amazing offer during my 60:60. £60 for a large celebration cake for any occasion plus 24 sumptuous cupcakes. Great for wedding, birthday and parties. Message here to order or contact her directly. I have ordered from her for 2 years for various occasions and events and highly recommended.

Spana - Jessie and Kirsty and Active Nation - Rachel and Zoe provided fantastic support throughout, again much appreciated.

The Daily Echo also came down around 20 miles in - look out for tomorrow's article.

Please keep donating, every penny goes a long way directly to the suffering animals and the families living in poverty. You can make a real difference and saves lives both animals and people. The money goes to the root problem. Spana is the only charity to help these animals. If you can spare the cost of a chocolate bar or packet of crisps everyday, we could reach the target together.https://www.justgiving.com/Alice60Marathons60Days/

Weekday races start 9am, subject to school run and weekends 10am. Feel free to come down any day (no race 04/10). This is a great opportunity to track train for free, run for the first time or just a gentle jog. Full facilities and hydration offered free to runners supporting my 60:60 marathon challenge. It is open to all and I hope to get the community involved. Don't be nervous about turning up, everyone is friendly. Come on your own or with others. You can sprint, run or even walk 1 lap or many more. Just give it a go!

1 down, 59 to go!!

24th August 2015 - My Ironman Journey

It all started in the sand pit!

I had just joined Totton Running Club and met the lovely Lucy Buis when I spotted this "M" looking tattoo on her calf. Mmm what was that I wondered so we got chatting and I found out what it stood for. For those that don't know, it's 2.4 mile swim (equivalent to 160 pool lengths), 112 mile bike and a marathon 26.2 miles.

So it got me thinking, this girl is pretty cool how epic would it be to try that. For those that know me, I like little challenges and adventures. At this point, I couldn't swim and had a fear of the whole front crawl swimming so definitely a challenge.

A year ago, when registration for Ironman Copenhagen opened I signed up. I had very recently started road biking. I did the Lymington sprint tri and Weymouth Challenge both around August 2014 then the Ironman 70.3 Barcelona in May this year.

I worked really hard on my front crawl and started to learn in January. Unfortunately I ended up breaststroking over half of the sea swim in Barcelona as I got knocked in the face at the start and went into panic mode.

My ironman training began in January where I'd spend hours and hours each week swimming, biking, running or taking a class at David Lloyd Southampton (my 60:60 sponsor). The training in itself has been really quite epic with everyday life and my daughter Lois. Thank you to my mum in particular for helping with Lois, hour here, hour there so I can run around the forest or cycling somewhere and my babysitter, aunty Chelsey and sister in law Angelica.

Most of my shopping has been for Lyrca and tri bits - it really is another world of kit, people etc. I've learn how to change a tyre, dismantle and reassemble for bike and more. I can almost run and cycle to pace without a watch!

My car was often filled with a run bag or bike or swimming costume "just in case".

I had become more and more nervous since signing up (a year's worth) when the training increased and reality started to set in; maybe slightly obsessional dreaming of stats, going over the day (and fears!).

The reality of it, it was probably the first event I was genuinely uncertain whether or not I could physically do. The task seemed enormous.

The Day

On 23 August, the Ironman Copenhagen begun with a very early rise and little sleep from excitement, trepidation and serious amounts of anxiety. There were nearly 3,000 competitors also embarking on the challenge from various ages but lots looking like they are being papped for a tri magazine or some sporting ad.

The Swim

The swim was the most feared section because there were so many people and you were going to get knocked no matter what. It was a case of how many times and how bad. It was a rolling start in groups which was designed to spread people out a little. I had tried to prepare myself for this and it actually wasn't too bad in terms of freaking out panic and kept moving along all front crawl other than a very tiny bit where I was following a guy who swam to the other side of the lagoon ha so I quickly moved back into pack and sighting where I was. It was particularly windy despite being calm all week, lucky us! So there was a bit of a drag. Sighting could have been improved or rather get prescription goggles! I didn't feel knackered though and physically was relatively easy. I had done quite a bit of long distance swimming. My time of 1.38 hours was not the fastest (Jimmy's was 1.08!) but I said I'd be happy with 1.40.

The Bike

The sun was shining the whole of the bike leg and the scenery was fantastic. The bike leg consisted of 2 laps along the coast and coming round through the rolling hills in the countryside. Again there were some head winds and cross winds. The roads were good other than the cobbled section where everything shook. I had only trained up to 93 miles (with stops) so there was an element of the unknown whether I'd make the cut off time. They warned us of flint on parts of the course so I was paranoid about where I placed my tyres in case of a puncture. I had got my first flat tyre when assembling my bike on arrival and the spare had a split so I was desperate not to get a flat. I carried 2 spare inners on the bike.

I was advised by a very experienced Ironman to aim for 3 wees on the bike and I stopped 3 times for this.

I was quite relieved when I got off the bike, my wrists, soles and back/neck were aching. During the ride, my feet started to burn and it became quite intense but lucky after some wiggling and miles it faded somewhat. I came in with a time of 6.31 hours (17.2 mph) which I was so pleased with; my target was 7-7.5.

When I first got off the bike, my left foot was burning so bad I had to take my bike shoes off and hobbled into T2.

Both Transitions zone were very long so you had to run some distance just to get through these. I wanted to move through T2 (bike to run) as quickly as possible and it went relatively smooth and didn't sit and hang about.

The Run

Well I like running so I was most confident about this element. I wanted to get into a steady pace and run like metronome until the end. The run consisted of 4 laps in the city and part along the city river. It was particularly hot 25-27C I heard people say. You collected a coloured band on each lap and I was desperate to collect 2 so it was half way then mentally it was "downhill". I kept myself cool by wearing sponges on my shoulders and neck and stopped at every aid station for a guzzle of coke (for some strange reason it was "coca please, coca please" ha!) I had a few clif shot bloks towards the end of the run. Walking was not an option because if I gave in and walked any, I think it would have made the run harder as I would think about walking all the time. It was a marathon so it certainly was not easy but managing the pace and laps for me was key. My ankle turned slightly on a curb on the last lap but thankfully it was fine just a wobble. The crowds were amazing and loved the music sections (not quite dancing mode but really helped with rhythm). It felt like the world's quickest sprint approaching the finish and really fantastic to get there! My feet were falling off and the first time all day I was a little peckish. My time was 4.09, my target was 4.30.

Finished with a time of 12 hours 29 minutes 09 seconds. I can't believe its done, I am aching but mainly feel nauseous. I actually completed the whole race without knowing any pace or distance only a clock because of watch replacement issues.

My "Ironman buddy" James Dean was amazing and came in 10.54!!! Great to see him 4 times on the run.

A really great experience and on par with the North Pole Marathon for difficulty.

Going to enjoy the last 2 days left of holiday with a smile on my face.

18th May 2015 - Barcelona Ironman

After being so shattered to write yesterday (sunbathing and food were priority!), I can now share my experience of the Barcelona Ironman 70.3 2015.

Well I finished in just over 4 minutes faster than the Weymouth Challenge (6.44 hours) which was my target as well as coming here for experience and confidence in the run up to the full IM in August. So a PB for me (athough it's only my second).

I didn't expect to be as overwhelmed and nervous but there were 2200+ triathetes in this international event and I'm still a novice at tri so guess that's normal.

Starting with the swim part: well within 8 or so strokes I got knocked in the face and my goggles came off / filled with water so I just wanted to jump out at that point and considering I was pretty much on the shoreside it seemed an appealing option. However I sorted those out and swam on but it was so crowded and being little as well it was awful so I decided to breaststroke for a bit but keep moving until it wasn't such a washing machine. It was disappointing as I can easily swim the distance front crawl and been working hard on that. I felt uncomfortable the way so glad to get out. I did swim a bit faster than at weymouth though but hopefully that was that was my front crawl sections.

Transitions: I found this much better although really busy on T1 and it was quite wet around.

One funny story in the race briefing they said there were male and female changing so naturally after the swim I stripped off completely in T1 to get going as quickly as possible to realise it was all mixed and guys and male officials squeezing past me .. completely starkers haha!!

Bike: Loved my new bike, rode like a dream. I found this element good. I wore a two piece with no padding believe it or not I actually found it better during and post race if you know what I mean! Happy with my time considering there was nearly 1500 m of vertical ascent!! I didn't realise there were 3 huge hills. I think I climbed standing on the bike for maybe 15 miles. There were very steep descents and sharp turns which I found tricky and given my lack of experience held back on speed. It was scary! There were a couple of terrible crashes where people had come off. The course was lush and smelt floral and so beautiful. It was a lovely ride.

Transition into my run was around a minute so got that done!

Run: This was fine but took a few miles to get into it as my legs were feeling in from the bike climbs but splits got quicker and felt good. It was 30°c though and there was a section over the back which we did twice that was roasting as there was no breeze and on hard sand/gravel (plus no supporters).

Post race: massage, sunbathing and lots of food.

Overall a really good trip!

Thank you for all your messages too.

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With thanks to Paul Hammond for providing the images above.


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