UK Ironman 70.3, Wimbleball Lake

June 10th, 2009 by

Fraser Cartmell Ironman 70.3 UK 2008 finish

I’m gearing up for my major goal race

of the first half of the racing season this w/e.

It’s been an up and down first few months of 2009 racing for me, but I am finally feeling confident about my prospects of being able to race to my potential on Sunday morning. I’m very motivated and generally excited about heading back to Wimbleball Lake in Exmoor to try and defend my title and win for the third successive year. – It’s a big task but one I am keen to try and make happen!

Fraser Cartmell Stephen Bayliss Ironman 70.3 UK run

It couldn't have been much closer last year - Stephen pushed me hard to the line

It is a small field, as has been the case each of the previous years I have raced the event. However, it is a small but strong field, and I am expecting a tough race without question. The race has been described as one of the toughest, if not the toughest race on the 70.3 circuit. I can certainly confirm it is up there as one of the toughest I have raced and I think that is what I like the most about it. – A normal swim (don’t be fooled!) A very tough bike. Maybe even a tougher run. – Hills, off road trails and yet more grassy hills all add up to make it a great test.

It is just a tremendously good effort in simply getting round, and I think that is one of the main reasons such a considerable numbers of folk don’t even end up racking their bikes on the Saturday – the reality suddenly dawns that the entry they submitted (and paid for!) way back in the winter time hasn’t been backed up with sufficient training volume. – Hopefully the majority of people who entered will be bursting with confidence come Sunday this year!

I am looking forward to catching up with Julie (Dibs) for the first time this year … we usually spend a week hanging out in April for the St Anthony’s Triathlon in Florida, however she went a cracked a rib around then… and also to see how my occasional San Diegan/Scottish training partner from my Californian trip is going to do. – It is Lesley Paterson’s first attempt at the 70.s distance after making a great start to the US Xterra series so far this year.

I have to make a note about the men’s race too. The big name that stands out on the men’s list is Björn Andersson. I have said it before – and after regular racing against him over the past 2 years can difinatively confirm – he is a monster on the bike. I raced him twice earlier this year in the States, and his riding didn’t seen to have quite the same impact as it has in the past, but I am not going to let that fool me. I believe he will be on the start line ready to create bike havoc, and being a very competent swimmer, he will be creating it very early on. My aim is to go with whatever he throws down! He has won a major Half Ironman distance event each of the past two season through crushing bike splits and hanging on during the run, so I can see where his intentions lie! – The lighter wheels have been added and the cassette has been changed.

There are a number of other guys on the start list ready to give it a good shot as well, and I am more than aware of all of them… I always do my research!

It’s going to be a busy w/e of racing all over the place to – what with there being not just one but three other Ironman 70.3 events being held all over the US, plus the world famous Alcatraz triathlon in addition to the racing that other online team members are up to in France and the US.