I rather foolishly dropped 200 euros on the entry fee for the Barcelona Maresme Half Challenge based on nothing more than the fact a lot of my friends were doing it and that in previous years the bike course had been pancake flat:
But, just as happened with the last minute change to the bike course in the ICAN Marbella Half Ironman I signed up to do last year, the course for Maresma has been modified to include several important puertos (bastard hills):
The Challenge organizers at least had the sense not to publish the route until it was officially approved, so I have no-one to blame but myself and, as a result, will probably only get half my money back (if I am lucky).
Are there not enough races with hills in Spain already? I still don't understand why there is so little interest in Time Trials and flat, non-drafting Triathlons (or Duathlons, for that matter). One thing that clearly makes this difficult is bureaucracy: in the case of Time Trials, the governing body only organizes them at elite level and, in the case of Triathlons, it seems as though they are at the mercy of those who govern the use of the roads and motorways.
Looks like I'll be doing Lisbon after all...