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NEXT BEST THING TO RACING IRONMAN –SUPPORTING/VOLUNTEERING

NEXT BEST THING TO RACING IRONMAN –


SUPPORTING/VOLUNTEERING Ironman Mallorca 70.3 report by


Lindsay O'Connor 




Ironman 70.3 Mallorca, the biggest half-Ironman in the world; the best part of


4000 athletes sign-up for this race, its HUGE.



Registration – We arrived on the Thursday; Rob went down to register while


his ‘Race Team’ (that’s me!) unpacked. It’s only a few minutes’ walk away


from our hotel, Alcudia Garden, to the beach and the registration tent.


Expo – A well-stocked Ironman tent as usual. Rob was in his element


purchasing another technical T shirt, another Visor, another Mug and another


Fridge Magnet!! They also had ‘Support Crew’ tops on offer at 10 Euros, so


yes, I now have another T-Shirt to add to my fast-growing collection. I do


wish though that Ironman would come up with a technical support crew top


instead of cotton, it’s not very comfortable especially abroad in the heat.


Briefing – I like to attend the race briefing as they are always really good fun,


and it builds excitement for the next day of supporting. When its Paul Kaye,


the voice of Ironman, carrying out the briefing, it’s always fantastic. That


man’s voice is the best, it’s always a big tick for every Athlete to be


announced over the finish line by Mr Paul Kaye.



Racking – Again this was in a perfect location for Rob, with us staying so


close by. Transition is massive in Alcudia so be sure to look out for


something close to your bike that stands out, so you can easily identify it.


Race Day – Perfect again as we were so close. Rob was able to have


breakfast at 5.30am as the breakfast room had opened early for Ironman,


then go down to check the bike, pump the tyres and leave water and nutrition


etc. Then back to the hotel for a while (to get to race weight!) before heading


for the swim.



Swim – A leisurely start for me at 08:00. Athletes self-seed based on


expected finish time, Rob went in the sub-30-minute pen, along with Chris


and Coach Clark. They let six athletes go to the water every six seconds,


fastest first. Paul Kaye comes on the mic, ‘Thunderstruck’ fills the airwaves,


its show time!! It’s a great swim, simple out and back with buoys every 100m


and just two turns. It finishes with a 300m run up to transition. Spotting your


Athletes is hard work sometimes, Emily and I saw 2 or 3 Steve lookalikes


before 27 mins passed and here he is leading OTCF athletes out of the


water. Race face mode activated, he’s on it and flying out of the water into


T1. It’s now 28 mins since Rob went in, then a few minutes later, he’s here.


Being so tall I can usually spot him easily. He’s out on 29 mins! Sub-30,


happy with that.



Bike – The part where they are gone a good few hours, the part I don’t really


like as we can’t see them just a tracker to follow them on. Ironman, to be


fair, have a great tracker and makes it easier to follow the progress of your


athlete. But my heart stops when the tracker ‘hangs’ for any time. Has he


stopped? Is he OK? Thankfully, no such issues for Rob this time!


Time for support crew to go back to the hotel for breakfast. We are not long


before we are checking the tracker whilst enjoying our breakfast. It’s


important to get a good breakfast as it may be a while before we get


anything to eat or drink again. Emily, tracking Steve, has a little panic


moment as his tracker looks to have stopped and Rob is quickly catching


him, this shouldn’t be happening (no disrespect to Rob). Has Steve got a


puncture?? Rob soon catches up and his tracker also stops, has he stopped


to help Steve? Emily and I dream up so many scenarios at this point. Peter


soon catches them, and his tracker stops. That’s fine, we are now putting


this down to a tracker glitch as it quickly updates and we can see they are


moving again, all spread out just how they should be. Mini crisis over, back


to breakfast! The time goes so fast, and already they are starting to come off


the bike into T2.



Run – Support crew are back out on the course. It’s a 3-loop affair, with the


back half of the loop on the Alcudia promenade, great for supporters, but I do


think it’s a bit narrow, people were getting in the way, a bit, of the runners.


We soon saw Steve and he still had race face mode activated; that man’s


flying. Go Steve!! It’s 11.40 and time for me to go register to Volunteer.


Volunteering – Mallorca is the 4 th Ironman event that I’ve volunteered at. My


first was 70.3 Lanzarote, then Wales ‘full distance’ then Kona – the ‘Holy


Grail’. Now nothing in the volunteering triathlon world will top that day in


Kona, the Pro Tent, then swim parade, then putting medals on the OTCF


ladies at the end. So here I am at Mallorca 70.3, it started off well, we got a


lovely bag, T-shirt, Cap and Jumper!! I had signed up to Volunteer the finish


line then I heard those dreaded words ‘we have enough people at the finish,


so we are sending you ladies to Transition’. WHAT Transition!! Now that’s


not what I signed up for! How disappointing, don’t they know who I am!! But


I went on my way with a smile, slightly hiding the disappointment. The spell


in Transition was brief with nothing much to do, we were then allowed to go


to the finish line. But they hadn’t given us access bands so security wouldn’t


let us in to the finish area. Doh! Never mind, quick check of the tracker, Rob


is 10 mins away from finishing, so I got myself a good spot next to the


finishing funnel to watch him. He’s soon flying down the red-carpet, the third


OTCF Athlete back, and I am very proud of him.



Finish line experience is awesome. It’s buzzing, packed with supporters


cheering, tunes blaring out, the Athletes are loving it. Paul Kaye is on the


mic but I’m not there to give out the medals!!! Never mind, watch this space,


I’ll be back!



Special Support Crew Mentions:


Emily Clark our Queen supporter rocking up over 20 years’ experience.


Ali Schofield supporting out on the bike course this really helped as she


could update us that everything was going well on the bike. Great Videos as


well.



Emma Hunsley – on her Ironman supporting debut, you smashed it, fantastic


updates and brilliant finish line videos. Emma’s now a full support crew


OTCF family member. WHERE NEXT GIRLS??


GREAT LOCATION 9/10.

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