All in a year with T3

Reflections on Mallorca 2022 by Ado Carton

A year ago, a friend suggested I join herself and her cycling crew for a Sunday spin. A year later we touched down in Mallorca for a ‘warm weather’ Triathlon training camp! Over the last year I have been welcomed to the T3 club and encouraged to also join the runs, the swim sessions, and of course to sign up to a few events. Each step has been rewarding, including the recent training camp.

Along with 22 others from the club (including 2 coaches) we arrived in Porto de Pollenca, our base for 4 nights/5 days. A great crew made up of well-established members (for whom warm weather training is now a “necessary” part of their annual training schedule) and those of us that had joined over the previous months/weeks. Any PLC Board would be delighted to have the ‘balance’ we had – 50:50 gender split, an age profile from the 20’s to the 50’s (+!), and from an array of locations in Dublin and beyond (including Spain, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, South Africa, and even two lads from Carlow & Kilkenny!). All there for sociable training.

On Day 1 the early arrivals stretched their legs with a run along the front, by the beach. Those of us on the later flight saved our energy for the beers & dinner.

With Day 2, we hit the road, in three separate groups taking varying routes/times/guides to arrive at our coffee spot within a few minutes of each other. The guides were great, experienced, and Mallorca does indeed embrace the cycling tourist. The afternoon was dedicated to R&R in the sea, the spa or in the Sea Bar – after a quick run on the front.

Day 3 was the ‘Big One’, Sa Calobra (described as “certainly the most famous climb in Mallorca which has captured the hearts of cyclists”). Again, in our respective groups, we set off to complete this spectacular ride at differing speeds – both on the ascent and descent! Irrespective of which group we were in we all climbed more than 2000m in just over a 100km of riding which included 26 hairpin bends (both up and down), breath-taking views and a day that delivered a great sense of achievement. Sa Calobra – “tick”!

Thankfully conditions on Day 4 afforded us a more leisurely morning – much appreciated after the day before. Saying that, across the day some did a sea swim, some ran, some cycled, and some did all – not me! That evening we all gathered at Stay, the impressive restaurant on the pier, for our farewell dinner and the (fun) awards ceremony.

As aspiring athletes, we hit the road again on Day 5, for another workout on the bikes. A well-earned lunch on the beachfront before our transfer bus took a tired, satisfied, and fitter crew back to the airport.

So, a lot can happen in a year with T3. I look forward to this summer’s events, the year ahead, and the next ‘warm weather’ training camp.