Ironman Lanzarote 2013 (3rd weekend in May?)



  • rain didn't last too long but wind was blowing and progress was steady. I wont tell you what an awesome bike course it was, if you want to know, do the race!

    First 3 hours saw me do about 50 miles, next 2 hours I only managed 25 miles, but this contains climb at Haria and then quickly down then a nasty little climb at Guinate then onto to the Mirador, bugger I thought. it had taken me nearly 5 hours, surley I cant get back in under 2 hours. Well then the wind is in your back and long downhill, then a big wide road, here the aero wheels which I had dragged up the climbs now came into there own I really started to gain places and time. Then made an turn to Teguise, more headwind, then horrible bit of road from Nazareth which shakes the living daylights out of bike and rider for about 2 miles, drinks bottles all over the road, it was shite.

  • Then a bit more back wind, up to the top of last climb at around 100 miles, then down donkey track back into to town. I stopped the clock on the bike at around 6.53 ride time, I hadn't thrashed myself and felt ok. Overall my heart rate on bike averaged 136bpm. At the Outlaw last year I averaged 139bpm and recorded a  5.57 bike and was still able to run a 4.20 marathon, so I felt my effort was well paced.

    On with the run gear, sunscreen etc and off I jogged. I think I managed about half a mile before a sudden jolt up my calf bought me to a stand still. Bugger and bollox.

    I tried a little walk, sore but ok, tried jogging again, 1 stride told me all I needed to know. Game over. I still had nearly 9 hours left but did not fancy a 26 mile painful walk and my physio had told me not to force issue and risk a long term injury.

  • So, I went back to transition handed my chip and pulled out of race.

    It was the right decision to make and not as hard as I thought it might be. Had a shower etc and went back to see the finishers in. Well done one and all.

    Some great comedy moments on the trip, thanks for all the laughs.

    I got drunk sunday night and felt seedy all day Monday.

    Off to physio tonight to hopefully see way forward. Im putting no pressure on myself and wont enter another race until I can run again, although already down for Wensleydale in August. I need to go back to lanza to put record straight. Maybe next year. First dnf in 8 ironman distance starts, so its not the end of world, just feel a bit disappointed.

    It was a great pirate trip and real nice to meet up again.

  • Sorry for going on a bit.

  • Foggy

    25 miles is a long way to hobble in pain.........Understand the sensible option of avoiding long term damage........hopefully you will recover quickly.......

  • Nice 2/3 of a report image

    Heal well and see you on the start line somewhere else

  • Slagiatt wrote (see)

     It was somewhere around here that Foggy passed me, we exchanged a few words of encouragement and established that his quick release wetsuit had "gone off" somewhat prematurely and he had effectively towed a neoprene bag full of sea with him for about 3k of the swim.

    Sorry Foggy .. falsely accusing you of being behind me at some pointimage .. Think it was actually Symes that had wetsuit issues

  • Yes I believe it was Cupcake/Symes who was using his wetsuit as a trawler!

  • Slag, I've had tears running down my face reading your report.  Some because I just couldn't stop laughing and some because I was so upset for you after all the work you must have put in.  But bloody good for you for standing by your principles.  Not sure I could have in the same situation.  Huge respect.

    Foggy, much the same for you.  Hard decision to make.  But, as you say, better to cut your losses and live to fight another day.  

    It's stories like both of yours that 'gird the loins' for similar adventures and steel junior Pirates, like myself, to try harder in the future.  We can all learn by reading your reports.

    Well done both of you.  I'm sure there are many who would like to buy you a pint when the next see you.  I, for one, would like to be in that queue!  

  • image

  • You def made the right descision Foggy, who knows what damage you'd have done if you'd tried to keep going...

  • Well expressed Siggy image

  • Well done folks, it's great reading the reports!


  • Well ....  thats the thread read   image

    The 10 min bike challenge should happen every year !!!!

  • I apologise in advance if this is a tadge long........

    Lanza 2013 – a newbie’s journey to popping his cherry with the Pirates

    So let’s go back 12 months, picture the scene – late at night, drunk, credit card and laptop…no, not a ‘specialised adult site’ ….. something much worse, Ironman! The arrow hovering over the ‘Confirm’ button, a simple click and that’s it! I’ve entered my first Ironman. Not the first to do something so stupid, and no doubt not the last. Guess I best learn to swim then, and maybe enter one of these triathlon things!

    A year later I’m sitting in a bar in Lanzarote with 14 other Pirates, nervously chatting about the upcoming adventure.  My now vast experience of two whole triathlons is showing as I know what they’re talking about when they refer to ‘wetties’, ‘aeros’ and ‘Z2’. I listen intently as I’m given advice on heart rate zones and nutrition, spinning and run tactics. My beer fuelled confidence grows; I can do this! The following morning we stroll down to the beach and look at the swim course, being set out with yellow buoys. I calmly say to one of my fellow Prates that I thought it was a two lap swim, but that course must be for a one lap swim. “Nope” I was informed that it was indeed a two lap course – I had to do that twice. My confidence left a lot quicker than my hangover!!

  • Race Day

    We all met, bleary eyed outside the hotel just before 6:00 as arranged and walked down to transition. There was strange buzz about the place, a subdued nervous energy as everyone was going about their final preparations. I found my trusty steed ‘Jill’, loaded her up with drinks and food, asked the very nice German man next to me if I could borrow his track pump, got the tyres up to pressure. And that was it, she was ready… I hoped. I headed off to the swim start and noticed the other Pirates were still busying round their bikes. What were they doing that I hadn’t? I went back to my bike three times to check it when I realised what they were doing – the ancient Pirate art of Faffing!! So off to the swim start. It started raining! Declining the offer to help squeeze Barley into his wet suit, I found a nice Spanish girl to help me into mine. Things were looking up. A quick dip to ‘warm up’, the sea was warm thankfully, but those buoys seemed have been moved further away! Back up the beach to the start line, and looked around into the faces of 4 Pirates – in amongst 1800 wet suited people I ended up next to 4 of my cohorts, what were the odds? Fairly good if you consider the fact we were all trying to get as far away from the water as possible! I looked to them for some final words of inspiration, but saw they were just as nervous as me!  Is that good or bad sign I thought as somewhere in the distance a gun went off.

    The swim had been the thing I had feared the most having taught myself to swim ‘properly’ less than a year ago. A brief swim a couple of days before with Pingu and Pingu Jnr, had been my first real sea swim and was actually a lot more pleasant than I thought it would be. So my intention was not to worry about swim times, just to stay out of trouble and get round, which I now knew I could. The first 1000m or so were rough, with arms and legs all over the place, but I managed to find some space and relaxed into the swim. The second lap was easier, I took a few smacks to the head, but I was told to expect this and that smacking them back was not the done thing (Pingu!!). The final 800m of the swim were spent trying to pee, which I failed to do, but it passed the time. The last 100m of the swim were more hectic than the start, with hundreds of relieved triathletes trying to get out the water across a 2m wide timing mat. A few more feet in the face and a couple of mouthfuls of the Atlantic, I was dragging myself to the afore mentioned mat. I had survived my first IM swim, which is all I had hoped for! A quick glance at the clock revealed I’d somehow taken 15 minutes of my swim PB. Always knew the course at my local lake was long – could be the only explanation! Now where the hell was T1.

    Grabbing my kit, I headed for the far end of the tent. I had gone for the comfort rather speed option, so stripped off completely, dried myself and slipped into my bike shorts, only to notice an increasing amount of black and yellow at the edge of my vision. Glancing up I saw Barley and Ferret; a quick greeting was returned by three voices. Looking behind me I saw Pingu – I hoped for her sake she wasn’t there 30 seconds before! Boyed by my good swim time and greetings from fellow Pirates, it was off to see Jill! It was still raining!

  • The Bike

    The bike started slowly and precariously mainly because I had to avoid some idiot veering across the road in front of me, who in turn had veered to avoid a wobbling Barley, who was more intent on eating his muffin than anything else! But we survived. A couple of hundred yards later it was shouts of ‘Go Rafi! Go Pirates!’ from the Pirate support crew who had taken up residence in the Route 66. A little early for drinks I thought, but then Holly Golightly was there afterall! A few miles up the road, more black and yellow as I went passed Pingu, offering her words of encouragement and at no time made any derogatory remarks, whatsoever, about the size of anything! Honest! It was still raining.

    The bike course is what it is – long, windy, hilly, hot, windy, some amazing views, some fantastic descents, windy and some big climbs, oh and did I mention windy! But I had put the training in, I knew it was going to be my best discipline on the day, so I settled in and enjoyed it, and was pleased to Schmunkee a couple of times around the course. I don’t weigh much, so ascents are easier for me than for some people. I’ve ridden motorbikes for years, so fast downhills are exciting rather than petrifying. I was with a couple of British guys as we reached the top of Teguise . When I saw the switch backs which would make a Top Gear producer wet himself, I declared the previous 65 miles were worth it just for this. The guys I was with did shout “yes, but you’ve got to be really careful of the….”, their last words were lost by the sound of my chain clanging onto the small cog on the rear cassette and me screaming ‘wheeee….’ as I sped off towards the first blind corner at 35mph! The thought did briefly enter my mind that all the loss of height could only mean we’d have to climb again, but that thought was soon lost on the next switch back. It wasn’t till the next day when someone enquired if that part of the road was closed or not that I thought this might have been a little reckless! At the bottom there was nice left hander as we entered a village, when the thought about losing height finally caught up with me again and the up flat to Mirador began!

    You do get a ‘free’ 20 odd miles after Mirador as you speed back towards the coast, where I only hit the brakes once, when the Spaniard in front of me decided to pee whilst still riding, but without checking over his shoulder. Disaster avoided, it was back towards T2 and passed the Pirate support crew. The shout of ‘Go Pirates!’ were a little more slurred, which confirmed Holly was still there! I handed’ Jill’ over to a nice man, grabbed my bag and headed off to get naked again!

  • The Run

    In my mind, I knew the run was going to hurt. I have run several marathons and they are hard work normally, so god only knows what they would be like after already doing 8 hours hard exercise, but it’s not supposed to be a knitting club as they say! There’s a slight hill as you come out of T1 which I considered walking, just until my legs were working again, but the Pirate crew had positioned themselves two thirds of the way up this up flat, so I thought if they have gone to all the effort to sit in a bar and drink all day, the least I could do is run passed looking enthusiastic! After all, it doesn’t matter if you succeed or not, just as long as you look good doing it! So off I went.

    I’d decided on a ‘run between aid stations strategy’ which seemed to work well for the first half as I was making a big dent into this 26 miles of hell. In the first out leg I saw Funkin and OC coming back in, both looking strong. I was focusing on reaching the first turn around at 6.5 miles. There were markers along the run course that showed the distance to the start/finish line so you can gauge how far you had to go. According to these I was making progress. It wasn’t till I went passed the ‘5’ marker I realised they were km markers, not miles!! Doh!! But eventually I reached the turnaround and head back to the start. The amount of black and yellow on the course started to increase which lifted my spirits with the enthusiastic greetings and high fives, as well as news of others’ progress and whereabouts. The support for the Pirates from the crowd was also amazing and certainly helped. Things were going well until about mile 14 when my stomach decided it was tired and didn’t want to play anymore. I just could not take anything in and started craving coke and jaffa cakes (although the jaffa cake thing is normal). The next lap was more or less just walking between aid stations trying to eat. My legs felt OK, but I knew that if I was taking anything else in, trying to run the last 10 miles was not going to happen. I bumped into Pingu and Symes a couple of time who were going through the same thing, which in a strange way was a help. The infamous band envy was also beginning to materialise!! But in my addled brain, I was working out that even if I had to walk the last lap and a half, I would still make the cut off, so chances are I would get my free tshirt!

    Things improved on the last lap and I managed to run most of it, the thought of becoming an Ironman after this 12 month journey (although it’s been a lot longer in the making!) kept me going, with the support of my fellow Pirates. For those of you that have seen the headset on my bike ‘Finishing is my only f***ing option’. So 13 hours and 40 minutes after I heard that distant gun on the beach, I passed the Pirate support crew one final time, proudly showed my hairbands to the girl at the top of the finishers shoot and headed down towards that all important photo and t-shirt!

    As tradition dictates, it was back to the hotel, quick shower, proudly donned my finisher’s shirt and headed back to Route 66 to cheer the others home.

    I had done it….. and found it strangely enjoyable! Would I have done it without the support of the Pirates? I like to think probably yes. Would it have been as much fun? Definitely not!! So a big thank you to all the Pirates, racing and supporting in Lanza, as well as all the others that welcomed me on board over the 12 months and have always been there to offer support and advice…. as well getting the next round in!!

    And looking forward to the next time the ship sails image

  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭

    Whoop Whoop!

    Well done Raf.  You made it look so easy!


  • Slag - agree totally about finishing in the time allowed or not at all but it must still take a lot to make that decision for yourself on the day. Hope you get your reward at IMW.

    Foggy - really sorry the calf wouldn't play but it really wasn't worth the possibility of a long term injury. The right call. Hope it heals quickly.

    Rafi - Excellent debut and report. Like the headset motto too. 

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • image well its all about the look!! image



  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭

    woohoo Rafi image

  • Hi All, sorry for the delay in writing this but only got back late last night.

    Firstly, congratulations to all who finished what was a tough day out there, the wind was relentless throughout and thanks to all the pirates who shouted support for me out on the course. 

    My race went dreadful image Following the illness at IMSA, my energy levels had been low and training inconsistent, but I felt as if I had enough in the tank to finish the course.

    The swim is my worst and so I started at the back of the field on the right hand side to avoid all the hassle.  The swim went great, I was only hit once and spent time counting the fish underneath as the water was so clear.  The only slight problem was coming around the final turnaround buoy to exit the water but by then I was thinking of the bike.

    Changed into the pirate kit (mixed changing tent!) and set off along the front to shouts of encouragement (thanks everyone).  The roads were very wet and slippery at this point so took it easy - my excuse for going slow image  Loved going down the section to El Golfo but have to admit it was hard at times coming back up towards Fire Mountain.  Fire Mountain itself I got up ok but not great, legs felt heavy and energy levels low, so took loads of energy drink and food on board knowing that there was a decent downhill section virtually all the way now to Club La Santa.  However, the descent was the slowest I've ever done partly due to the wind and partly due to my body saying enough is enough. Thanks to the pirate who overtook me at this stage and offered support.

    I cycled past club la santa and got up the hill towards Soo but coming down to Famara my legs didn't even have anything on the downhill stretch so I chose to pull out then. Not happy, the season has started with the worst possible results (DNS and DNF), but feel that if I'd have carried on further the whole season could have been jeopardised, I had absolutely nothing in me.

    Decided to take a couple of weeks off everything to try and get myself right - entered IMUK 70.3 but will see how things go.

    Congratulations again to everyone who finished and have a drink on me - I'm tee-total which I know I shouldn't admit to being a pirate.


  • Rafi

    An honor to sail with you.


  • Excellent report Rafi, see you soon


  • Sue - bads news!! Hasn't been your year! I think the tea-total bit might be the problem image

    Cheers OC! NIce? Without a doubt mate!

  • The booze seems to work for you Rafi so maybe you're right - I won't tell my coach that one though.

    Great race Rafi - well done.

  • M..o.useM..o.use ✭✭✭

    Don't worry, Sue.  You're time will come again.


  • Hope so M..o.use, your determination to finish was unbelieveable.

  • Good Pirating Rafi!  Excellent report too!  

    Chin up Sue!  Rest, and come back stronger!  But I agree with Raf, get a Guinness down you!  image

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