IM Barcelona by Tamara Maxantova

In News, Race Reports by Joe Johnson3 Comments

So many people are starting to do IM’s these days and maybe because athletes like Tamara make it look so easy. I’m not convinced, but it makes a great read anyway.. enjoy!

IM Barcelona – my #5 and first in 2 years. I trained hard and consistently for 10 months. I knew it is a fast course and the goal was to run a solid marathon and perhaps get my overall PB….with Kona being a bonus but not a main focus. 

Race day


The weather was perfect on the day and sea seemed to be calm. The wetsuits were optional for ag. as the water was quite warm. A beautiful sunrise appeared just before the start. ..what a treat! 


It was a rolling start and I positioned myself in the 60min slot. (Yes, that shark attitude appeared once again and I was happy to follow it). I love to start with strong swimmers. …it makes me to be more competitive. It was a 1 loop sea swim. The buoys were marked every 1000m which I found helpful. I drafted as much as I possibly could to save my energy for later. I got a bit overheated towards the end and I would compare it to a 4km pool swim in the wetsuit . A little stumble while getting out and off to T1…happy with 1.07



T1 went very smoothly as there weren’t many people there yet. I was unusually thirsty and drank a full bottle in the first 10 min on the bike. The cycle consisted of 2 loops, fairly flat, with an added out and back, graduated hill which was new this year. I felt good and tried to hold a consistent pace over the 180km. There was a tail wind out to the turn around point and I was flying! When I was on my  2nd loop the road got much more crowded  and there were big packs of men drafting and overtaking me…..I found it very hard in the terms of pacing. There were Marshalls around all the time but they didn’t seem to do that much about it. I guess its hard to fit 3000 athletes on 90 km flat course?Definitely something Ironman should focus on .I  feel like it’s getting worse each year as they trying to fit more and more athletes in the race….anyway I got off the bike in 5 hours….delighted! 



At the beginning of the run I felt ok but not great….holding sub 5 min pace until about 5km.  Then I started to feel very thirsty, overheated and low on energy. My body didn’t listen to me at all so I completely stopped at the next water station and drank 4 cups of any liquid I could put my hands on and I did the same for the next 7-8km until I recovered. Around 13k I gained my strength  back and was able to hold a steady pace feeling better and better until the end. ..finishing in 9h51min.

Only when I look back I realise that I didn’t drink enough on the cycle and I believe that I paid a toll for it on my run. I gulped in 5-6 iso, water bottles  but  it just wasn’t enough. I also didn’t take into consideration a warm wetsuit swim where I lost much more fluid than expected. Unfortunately I didn’t pay big attention to it and that was a mistake. 

 I will defo focus on in my next gig! 

I missed my pb goal time by 1 min and ran 3h36….not as I planned and I wish I could have run better but, more importantly….there is no doubt in my mind that I raced as best I could on the day. 

Next time I’ll nail it! 🙂

I fell in love with Calella and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking  of doing IM. It’s easy to get to and easy to get around. The town is big enough to accommodate all the athletes. The weather is perfect and they serve  huuuuge beers!

Thank you –  to coach Cat Morrison who has done an excellent job, Velorevolution for their super speedy, comfy tri-suits, Darren Kelly for getting my legs race ready, Bace2Race for the support and, also, my Swedish and Irish support crew …you were amazing and made my legs run again! 


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