Sunday 6th October 2019
Event: Ironman Barcelona
Date: Sunday 6th October 2019
Barcelona needs no introduction; a haven for artists, culture-lovers and sports enthusiasts alike, Catalonia’s capital city on Spain’s eastern coastline is one of Europe’s most famous cities. Less well-known but just as charming is Calella, an up-and-coming sports hotspot just 50 kilometres from Barcelona itself. Easily identifiable by its distinctive lighthouse landmark, Calella is perfectly primed to be a dynamic and characterful IRONMAN host.
IRONMAN Barcelona is one of the top IRONMAN events in Europe. Much of that is down to the swim course which won the Best Overall Swim in the 2017 Athletes’ Choice Awards. The beachside swim has a rolling start based on expected swim time and takes the frantic rush out of the start as only 6 athletes are allowed to enter the water at any one time. As far as we’re concerned, anything that reduces stress on race day is definitely a good thing! The single-loop swim is well-marked and the water in Calella is a pleasant 22.5 degrees – balmy!
The IRONMAN Barcelona bike course is mostly flat and designed for speed. The first 3km section after T1 is slow and aero bars are not allowed as the roads are narrow and twisty with multiple speed bumps. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though as it gives athletes time to settle into the saddle and get the legs properly warmed up before kicking into a higher cadence on the national roads. The bike route is largely straight with relatively few technical challenges so this the time to stay aggressive and keep the pressure on, particularly during the long, slow drags that crop up here and there. The support from the crowd in Calella is fantastic and can be the thing that keeps athletes going as they push through those difficult stretches. We’ve all ended up in dark places in during endurance events and there’s nothing like that moral support to lift you up and push you on!
The 42.2 km run from Calella to Calella-Santa Susanna follows the Mediterranean Sea. As always, this is when the real fatigue sets in but the final stretch into the finish line makes all the pain fade away as the IRONMAN Barcelona’s after-party gets ready to kick off in true Catalonian style!
There are plenty of other things to see and do in and around Calella too; from Barcelona’s Romanesque, Gothic and Modernist buildings to its museums, cathedrals, beaches and markets, there’s plenty for supporters and athletes to do on non-race days. And while you’re doing that, you can rest easy in the knowledge that your bike is being well looked after by Bring My Bike’s qualified mechanics and bike crew – it’s a no-brainer.