UK Ironman 70.3 2009

June 16th, 2009 by

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch since Sunday, it’s been fantastic support!! With a couple days of reflection I can appreciate that getting through to the finish line on Sunday was a fair old achievement, as the body wasn’t playing very fair with me once the running shoes were added.  It’s a funny old game at times, this racing malarky.

Finally made it; it was touch and go at times

Finally made it; it was touch and go at times

The Sunday morning alarm sounded at 03:10 …. it’s a helluva time to be getting up, and as I poured my cereal I heard the thudding of a car stereo scream past the window on it’s way home from the night before. We’re a funny breed us triathletes thats for sure.

Fast forward to 06:00 and we should’ve been listening for the cannon to sound, however there was a bank of mist engulfing Lake Wimbleball which had other ideas. The water safety folk couldn’t let us go without being able to see at least 2 of the swim bouys, and it was gone 07:15 before that happened.  Sit and wait was the order of the day.

I felt fine though, and once we did get going I was chuffed to get to the front of the pack. I know that I should probably have sat in and tried to conserve some energy, but someone has to lead and I was happy to give it a go and stay out of trouble – you never know who can land a misplaced fist during the boxing match that is open water swimming.

The run out of the Lake is epic to say the least. Goodness knows exactly how far it is – it feels forever, and by the time you mount the bike your breathing rate is through the roof! I did all this pretty well – managing to stay with Dann Brook and Phil Graves into the change tent and then jumped onto the bike with the lead car. All good so far.

Early in the bike – like 3miles early – Phil Graves stated his intent by powering past me – as I toiled with my bike, out of the saddle and heaving from side to side … he glided by rock solid down in his tri bars; some things you just cannot do anything about! By 15miles he had torn 2 minutes out of myself, Stephen Bayliss, Dann Brook and Bjorn Andersson. That’s serious time loss! My pre race belief that Bjorn would tear the bike apart should’ve been dedicated to Phil. – Sure Bjorn rode past us hard when he caught us, and eventually Dann dropped away on the second lap, leaving the 3 of us to try and stem the deficit. It gave me plenty of time to remember that the hills really are never ending and it is by no means a race for the faint hearted.

By T2 we were the wrong side of 4 minutes in arrears, but I remained confident we would eat into his lead. – Surely someone riding that hard would have to suffer the consequences? You would think anyway.

starting the run felt great: then i got to 2 miles

starting the run felt great: then i got to 2 miles

Instantly I was running shoulder to shoulder with Stephen – just as we had a year prior. I almost made a comment, then thought better of it! The legs felt magic and I reckoned it was just going to be a matter of time till we saw Phil up ahead. I didn’t however factor in the ‘code brown element’  of racing (as Gavin later described it) – and in the end my tummy dictated how best I was going to get round the 13.1miles of grassy hills and trails.

– 5 scenic stops later (it is a huge relief to see so much foliage on a run course may I add!) and I had made it to the finish chute, more than content that I had emptied my tank on the day and given my all. – As my man Steve ‘Pre’ Prefontaine (i’m reading the book just now) says “to give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the Gift”.

There will be plenty more races to come.

Thanks to Jon Rainford for this pic