An amazing performance in torrid conditions
Well done Tom! Despite torrential rain, a very choppy sea and skittish riding conditions, Tom battled on to successfully complete the 2016 Edition of the Mallorca Ironman 70.3 on Saturday in an excellent time. True grit!
Friday was a great day on the bike (80 odd km) out to Formentor, with lunch back in P. Pollensa (pizza) by the sea, plum crumble at Bruce’s cycle café (great as always) and dinner at Can Dameto in the village where we had an excellent mix of tapas and hand-cut chips. A good set up, then, for the challenge the next day.
Saturday morning… the weather could not have been more foreboding, on what is already a demanding day for the competitors: 1.9km of swimming with waves lashing in the usually quiet Alcudia bay, followed by 90km on the bike in torrential rain and a half marathon to complete the course.
When the weather closes in on the Island, it is (usually) time to batten down the hatches and let it blow over. It rarely lasts long. On Saturday, though, it was unrelenting, at least until just after I met Tom at the end of what had become an epic day for him. I found a rightly jubilant athlete who had fought on to the end of the race (many did not start, others stopped after the bike section) to complete it in style. We celebrated his day with the food of the well-honed athlete – pizza and beers (obviously!).
Sunday, of course, the weather was far better. We set off on one of my favourite loops, Caimari to Lluc and onto Soller (skipping the ever busy Sa Calobra), with a lunch stop at the excellent Café Scholl, then over the Col de Soller onto Bunyola, and back to the Villa via Sta. Maria, Consell and Inca (102km). Tom proved once more how strong he is on the bike, never missing a beat even after the toil of the previous day. Steak and chips (plus pancake, Nutella and vanilla ice cream) re-fuelled the legs for our last day.
We managed a quick 2 ½ hour loop on Monday; Moscari to Pollensa and back (60 odd km) with some serious interval training on the hill (100’s sprints followed by 100’s in and out of the saddle). Bike packed and off the airport; home 5:15 after leaving the Villa.
Whatever training might manuals suggest about how to achieve peak performance, Tom proved that pure tenaciousness with good food is the secret to a great performance – energy bars are for the rest! We have hosted some remarkable athletes this year (some with World and National titles to their names in their sports); Tom deserves a place alongside them after what he had to contend with on Saturday. Congratulations.