Trying to choose an Ironman for 2019? Here is some information and tips about Ironman Barcelona.
The Ironman takes place in a town called Calella about 50km north of Barcelona. It’s relatively easy to get to with budget airlines flying to Barcelona or Girona followed by a 45min transfer by car, or slightly longer by train.
It takes place at the start of October. The advantage of this is that it means you have a long summer season of good weather to race and get fit. The disadvantage is that it can feel like a long season especially as the weather in the UK changes quite quickly in September.
Barcelona is a great city to visit if you or your family need something touristy before or after the race.
Calella is resort town with plenty of hotels, a lovely sandy beach and beautiful blue sea.
Usually the weather is sunny and warm – but there’s always the chance of storms/rain and in 2018 there was heavy rain in the last few hours of the race.
The expo, briefing and finish line is all on the beach at one end of the town, with bike transition about a mile away at the other end of the beach.
The downside of bike transition being a mile from the finish – is the walk at the end of the race to collect bags and your bike which can be draft after 140miles of racing (and if it’s pouring with rain).
It’s a 1 lap sea swim and the entrance via the beech is fairly steep. In 2018 there were storms overnight so the sea was lumpy with big surf on the beach making the swim a real challenge for a lot of swimmers.
The bike course is relatively flat and fast and the run is flat 3 laps along the sea front.
It’s a big field with 3300 athletes racing making it one of the biggest Ironman races. The downside of this is that there’s a lot of very blatant drafting on the bike.
In 2018 Enervit nutrition products were provided at the aid stations which hasn’t been widely available to purchase in the UK.
The cut off is only 15hrs and 40minutes.
The athlete awards were fun – but didn’t provide any vegetarian options which was very disappointing.
I deferred my entry for 2018 due to injury – So I’ll be there inn 2019!
If you’ve done Barcelona get in touch to share your thoughts and experiences or let me know what race you’re planning for next year and why.
Here are some thoughts after I raced in 2019.
The swim had a rolling start which made it a lot more spread out than my last Ironman at Copenhagen. This made it much faster and a better experience. We were lucky with the weather as the sea was pretty flat.
The bike course is flat and FAST! Seriously FAST.
But very congested. Ridiculously congested. It’s impossible to avoid drafting and difficult to deal with overtaking and finding space on the road. There were frequently groups bunched together mainly because it’s so difficult to avoid but of course plenty of people blatantly cheating.
The run course is flat with lots of spectators through the town and along the front. It gets a bit lonely and quiet at the far end of the lap but the supporters on the rest of the route made up for it.
Even though I’ve already spectated twice and raced once – I’d still go back and do it again because of the ease of getting there from the UK, especially from Birmingham. Also because there’s plenty of good value accommodation and of course its super fast!