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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


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??


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