15th October 2018
On Sunday 7th October, our Recruitment Resourcer Andrew Schofield competed in the 10th edition of Barcelona Ironman.
The event, dubbed the hardest one-day endurance challenge in the world, pits competitors against a 2.4-mile swim, a 112mile bike ride finished off with a full 26.2 mile marathon.
Here’s how Andrew’s day unfolded…
The day started at around 4:30am, where our own Ironman of Recruitment was tasked with fuelling the long day ahead by eating as much as humanly possible. Describing his emotions, Andrew said…
I felt sick with nerves anyway, but add all of the food to this along with getting very little sleep due to a huge thunderstorm during the night and it made for a long morning.
As the morning progressed, Andrew – along with just over 3500 fellow competitors – dived into the sea to begin the challenge.
A 4ft swell in the water made the first 400 metres a little tricky, however he soon settled into a good rhythm and managed to complete the swim section of the course in just under 2hours.
The next stage saw Andrew faced with a bike ride for the 112-mile 2 loop course – the point of the race Andrew describes as his strongest and favourite.
Settling into a strong rhythm and taking on as much food / fluids as possible, Andrew was part way through his energy gels and isotonic drinks before a couple of the leading pro competitors sailed past.
The weather during his short time in Barcelona had been very mixed, however a couple of hours of sunshine provided a welcome respite before the final hour which saw the heavens open again. Andrew said…
“The weather conditions did make the course a little tricky, but training in and around Manchester means it’s something I’m actually very used to riding in!”.
As he rolled back into transition, Andrew’s total time during the race at this point clocked in at just under 9 hours, although he did still have a full marathon to run.
As I sat in the changing tent and put on my running shoes all I could hear was the rain and thunder. These aren’t conditions everyone enjoys but again it’s something I’ve trained in over the past 6 months, so I thought to myself it can’t be as bad as running across the Moor in 2ft of snow!”
The run course was a 3-loop track, which to his delight was covered in supporters screaming and shouting words of encouragement despite the adverse conditions. Describing his approach to the gruelling end to the challenge, Andrew said…
I soon settled down and before I knew it lap 1 had passed – I broke the run down into three 14 laps to give me something to focus on. As each lap passed we ran past the finish where you could hear the words “You are an Ironman!” – this spurred me on to run a fast-middle split. Before I knew it, I was on lap 3 and rolled down the red carpet to hear the famous words in a total time of 14hours and 41minutes- I was in absolute disbelief that this was over, and I’d completed it!
After the race, Andrew spent a couple of days in Barcelona recovering.
I was hobbling around!”, he said. “I was back in work on the Thursday, where I was greeted with a lovely card from my colleagues who have all been incredibly supportive throughout my 6month training period.