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some really great reporting, I've really enjoyed catching up on the trials and tribulations...
Well done Everyone.
just managed to catch up. The reports are excellent. Well done to everyone, and some tough decisions out there for slag and foggy. Wish Lanza was during school holidays - I would love to go along and support
Ive loved reading all your race reports and had a fantastic time in Lanza J
I have thought long and hard about writing this race report because, having entered so many IM in the past, they all tend to merge into one and I feel I have nothing new to say. However, IMLanza was a little bit different for me this time.Build UpThe build up to Lanza had been far from ideal as ive been working long hours away from home and quite a few weekends this year. I thought id done enough to scrape through but them came an email from WTC acknowledging my failed entry for the Kona Legacy ballot but confirming a place in 2014 providing I finished at Lanzarote ($hit!!!). Three days later I pulled my shoulder when swimming and it pretty much curtailed any more training, 5 physio sessions later and im in Lanza and feeling a bit sheepish re my prospects.10 Minute ChallengeThe weekends entertainment commenced with the 10 minute challenge. Much to the amusement of the others around the pool I proceeded to assemble my bike in 10 minutes. Its seems my bike packing material (what was once wide sheets of thin furniture padding have over the years shredded) apparently looking like toilet paper.
But they are good for padding around the delicate bits of my bike
Pre-RaceLots of good fun and laughs around Club Oceana with the other pirates/supporters, big thanks to OC for giving me a lift to register. Practice 10 min swim on Friday further reinforced more positive thoughts about my arm, better still it didn’t seem that windy around Lanzarote.Swim
I was rudely awoken by the sound of my co-habitee’s alarm and so began the pre-IM ritual which basically consists of a 20 min lie-in before a bowl of Weetabix, a teeth clean, and other bathroom habits.Decided to man up and start near the front, things were fine until the first turn but the rest of lap 1 was pretty crowded, didn’t manage to string more than 10 clean strokes together. Lap 2 was better but I was tiring, probably on account of having swam only a handful of times this year. Came out of the water and turned round to see Pingu & Ferret next to me, exchanged a few works and headed into transition.
BikeMounted the bike, pedalled a bit, then gazed lovingly at the muffin I had stowed in my bottle cage and therefore ignored the Pirate Posse who were cheering me on at the bike exit.I knew Lanza bike course (well thought I did), seems ive suffered selective memory loss over the last 6 years as it was hillier than I remember, all those flat sections from 2007 had disappeared? I think mainly on account that the wind was coming from a different direction.First pirate I saw on the bike course was Ferret who overtook me briefly, I passed him again on account of probably taking it steadier down the hills. Around 20 miles my rear derailer wouldn’t move from the 27 ring, rather worried I pulled to a stop and manhandled it across, luckily this problem didn’t repeat itself (that said I spend a lot of time in the 27 over the next few hours)The course was windy and a little more than id expected, what got me was that it was unrelenting, from 20 miles to the top of Mirador del Rio it was unrelenting. The final stretches across the top of Haria and the base of Mirador put me a very low place, I came very close to getting off and walking a couple of times. The only thing that kept me going was having sussed the direction of the wind id convinced myself I only had to get to the top of Mirador then the last 30 miles home would be with the, luckily it was, completely the opposite of 2007 when the last 30 miles was just one long slog.Others I remember on the bike course were Dermot passing me on the start of Fire Mountain, Symes just before the turn towards Teguise, exchanging places with Ferret a few times before the end and best of all the wonderful Schmunks in Teguise
RunId fought hard on the bike to get to transition with 7 hours in the bank to complete the run, I knew I might need it as running not my best discipline.Plan was to target 1.30’s for each 10k but if possible to bank time on the first two laps in case I had to somehow limp home. Took me a couple of miles to manage to even shuffle but eventually got into my stride, met plenty of pirates on the run, and all were a welcome sight to help pass the hours id be out there. I was especially looking forward to seeing Mouse and Meldy who I knew would be only to pleased to hear those welcoming cries ‘Alan’ ‘Alan’ ‘Alan’ ‘Alan’ Was lovely to see all the other pirates on the run, Hokori, OC & Funkin close who were clearly close to finishing, Cupcake, Was good to see the other pirates on the course Finish and beyond After finishing IMWales last year I knew I was eligible to enter the ballot for a legacy slot at Kona, which I did. On Brighton Marathon day I found out I was unsuccessful in the 2013 ballot, but my mood was lifted on receipt of an email a couple of days later saying that if I completed my 2013 IM event, entered a 2014 IM event. Ive now met all the required criteria and providing I enter an Ironman next year will be booking my ticket at the Ironman World Championships 2014 (((((((((((( BEAM ))))))))))))Commiserations to Slag and Foggy. Slag – you whupped the ass of IMWales twice and you did the Lanza bike course. I am sure you will crack it next year!
Foggy – tough times but you did the sensible thing. No point risking long term damage
I would like to thank the Pirate Posse who shared the week with me at Lanza. It’s easy to dismiss us as a virtual community, but it’s at times like this that real friendships are created and strengthened.
A special thanks to Meldy (Alan!, Alan!, Alan!) for putting up with me during our training rides.
To everyone out on the course, the camaraderie as we meet makes the day so much more than ‘just an IM’
To COLT – it took me ages to work out why you were supporting us so strongly , but thank you
To Holly, Mrs F, Baby Pingu, Shuffle, Mrs Cupcake, and Pop-up Schmunks, thank you for your tireless support on the day. It’s easy to forget the worry that we put our supporters to on the day and that they are out on the course just as long as we are. To stand for 16+ hours (ok, sub 11 in Mrs F’s case J) shows a friendship that goes far beyond a keyboard and a VDU
So ‘thank you’ everyone and roll on Nice
Loved it Barlos. Kona won't know what's hit it
Nice one Coach! We'll all be with you, virtually, at Kona, shouting you on!
Skillz Barley For me, I have to say one of my favourite bits of the whole day was (and beware, this is a bit soppy) seeing you have your very own Special Person in the form of Pop-up Schmunks cheering you on & gazing up the road for you. It made me very happy. The other awesome bit was hearing about your Kona place, we couldn't be more delighted for you. Roll on Nice indeed!
Sod "virtually", PS, I'm saving already
great report Barlos and brilliant about your Kona place. Well done
Fabulous report Barlos, and so happy for you with the Kona place
The Ultimate loyalty card scheme
M...eldy wrote (see)
Top reporting mate, it was a pleasure to sail with you.
Fab reports ladies and gents. It was great to be there and watch you all do so well. It has inspired me so much that I am into training already for IM Austria next year
Mrs Symes/Cupcake/Buttercupcake here, Just been reading Barleys report and I must say I get so much out of supporting you wonderful people. What a fab holiday I had! Roll on Nice...
Wonder what name my other half will be running as next year?!
Bouncing Barlist wrote (see)
...shows a friendship that goes far beyond a keyboard and a VDU
...shows a friendship that goes far beyond a keyboard and a VDU
F*** me Barlos, VDU! Showing your age eh?
So pleased for you Barley
VDU... loving that too. Barlos you are a legend mate... With your training/injury most would have seriously considered DNS'ing let along starting at the front! Dare I say it (and this is meant in a full on man-love sort of way) but you are the mutts-fecking-nuts mate!
VOTE COACH BARLOS indeed. Kona look out! They might have seen a few super speedy Pirate legends in the past (tugs forlock at Rosie) but you are going to blow them away!
Fantastic reports, I do not get tired of reading them. It is much more meaningful now that I have a better understanding of what goes on in the day.
So happy for you Barls and I am a bit proud of providing the means to have schmunks there for you at Teguise and other bits on the bike course, due to my Sherpa crew of one, Eduardo! Thanks to him as well
I know I only raced with the cap as pirate kit, well and the lovely tattoos but I support Action for Children and they did not allow me to have the pirate logo and the charity logo on me so for this race I opted for my custom double piece. This made me a bit of an outsider to the Pirate posse but I felt as part of the crew and spent the whole day spotting for you guys. I met PSOF through the RW IMW2012 forum and you will remain a source of inspiration for decades to come.
I am truly sorry my family situation kept me away from spending more quality time with you lot but I am sure there will be plenty of opportunities in the future to get you bored of my obnoxious spanish personality.
See you guys soon!
whoever thought that one day we would see Barlist at Kona ahead of The Count eh??
top bombing big fella
Barley.. TOP report matey! Well done.
Smashing reports - all of you
A race report from a supporter’s perpective
Flight day arrived and I was full of dread. I don’t *do* flights of more than 90 mins and so a 4 hour flight to Lanza caused me to summon all my steel, especially as I was going to be confined to a metal tube many thousand feet in the air with Barlos and no survivable means of escape. Plans to lace his drink with horse tranquiliser proved unnecessary as he was transfixed by the gadgets and dials he could see in the cockpit. Once this novelty wore off, he took great delight in playing with the Hello Kitty sticker book he had bought for me
Suffice to say, the flight passed without incident although there was a moment of dread when we realised Lanza was not part of the EU and my passport was within 6 months of expiry. Thoughts of newspaper headlines of ‘Schmunks denied entry to Lanza’ went through our minds, but passport control didn’t see an issue. They knew they were on to a good thing!
We arrived at Club Ocean Apartments and I thank OC for becoming Temporary Care Officer so that I could enjoy a peaceful afternoon’s sanctuary with a pint and Meldy.
As has been mentioned by so many already the highlight of the afternoon was the 10-minute challenge. Not only was this achieved with great dexterity, but he undertook a test ride around the children’s swimming pool. Only a deft turn of the handlebars at the last moment stopped him and his bike falling in.
Friday – Prep and Racking
My only previous moments of seeing Barlos prepare for an IM were at Wales the first year and this was performed from the boot of his car in a run-down garage. This time it was in the apartment and the floor was strewn with bits of kit, bike, nutrition, and running gear.
I sat silently reading my book but all the while keeping an eye on what was going on. To be fair, there was a minimal amount of faff here and soon kit was packed in the relevant bags and off we went to register
For any bike fetishists, transition is like nirvana. For any thigh fetishists, transition is like nirvana. Combine the two and I was transfixed
Saturday – Race Day
My alarm went off at 5am and I stayed out of the way whilst Barley got ready. At 5:45 we made our way down to the swim start. He entered the race area and I waited for the sea of calm to wash over me, however this was not to be. A shout of ‘missing you already, Schmunks’ in a Midland accent rang out through the transition area and for once I regretted wearing my supporters kit with my name on as all eyes seemed to hunt me out.
I watched through the railings as people faffed and farted with their bikes. Air in, air out, bento box on, bento box off, air in, bento box on and so on and so forth. Families were kissing each other through the railings and photo’s were taken of loved ones holding their bikes and their race numbers. It suddenly occurred to me that this means a helluva lot to some people.
Soon the rumblings in my tummy got too much and I found a toasted bacon sandwich, coffee, a Holly, and a Baby Pingu. With stomach satisfied, we made our way to the beach. At the top I suddenly felt a lump come to my throat. ‘What the feck is wrong with me?’, I thought. Barley is seasoned at this, he’s not worried and therefore I should not be worried, so why am I feeling like this?
Anyway, with 15 mins to go we are on the beach and waiting. And waiting. And waiting. We had the 4 minute warning. And the 2 minute warning. And then 5-4-3-2-1, pfft! Was that it? One single solitary gun-shot barely audible through the wind and rain? Where was the OTT start? Where was the mahoosive air horn that called the swimmers out to sea like a mermaid calling sailors to their death?
The spider-like advances of neoprene-clad arms in the water were proof that the race had indeed started. And suddenly it happened. A tear or two ran down my cheek. I tried to hide them but it was witnessed by Holly who chased them away with a warm hug. But actually, I don’t reckon it was a tear: I reckon a grain of sand got caught in my eye.
We watched the first lap, but to be honest, you can’t tell Tom from Dick from Harry so it’s a little bit pointless. We walked along the beach (thanks for the calf workout Holly) and waited to see our troops exit onto the bike course.
All I can say here (as so many have already mentioned The Muffin) is ‘I counted them out’.
Hokori’s mate, Eduardo, had offered to take me on the bike course and so we met up and made our way to Teguise. Just by chance, we parked at La Museo Di Pirata (Pirate Museum) and plonked the pirate flag on the bonnet. I saw the majority of the Pirate Crew at approx. half way. Then we drove to Tahiche (approx. 13 miles further into bike course) and I caught most of them again.
One thing that struck me whilst out on the bike course was how recognised the Pirates are. A lot of the cyclists were ‘arghhing’ me and shouting ‘Go Pirate’. That really took my breath away as I had no idea this would happen. I was there to cheer them, not the other way round.
At each point on the bike course I reported back that ‘I had counted them out and I had counted them back in again’. I felt a bit like a mother hen worrying about her chicks; it’s amazing how much you care about the Pirate Posse.
I returned to the apartments and then made my way to Route 66 on the run. It was good having been out on the bike as I roughly knew the order the Pirates were in and so knew who to expect in and when. However, it is remarkable how quickly you forget who is still racing, who has finished and what lap each person was on. Here I apologise to everyone if I kept repeating the same question all the time about people’s position in the race
Then Barlos loomed large on the horizon and I witnessed him crossing the finish line. I knew that, for him, this wasn’t just about finishing IMLanza. There was a bigger prize for him that day. And that was it…the tears came again as I walked to our pre-arranged rendez-vous in Tropicana where he had an Hawaiin pizza. And I am ashamed to say, but it took me til Sunday afternoon to recognise the significance of the pizza toppings he chose.
Sunday – Beers
In typical Pirate fashion, there were beers, beers, an escapade on an elephant, food, then more beers.
Near to Route 66 there was a perfumerie which had a fibreglass elephant outside and lead on by Pingu and Baby Pingu, we decided to see if we were drunk enough to ride the elephant. First round passed without incident, but I believe the dare was enlarged to include the likes of Raf and Slag (I may be falsely accusing these people, so I apologise up front). At this point, the store manager came over to act as Elephant Guardian and our feats of high jinks and merriment were curtailed. However, over the dinner a plot was hatched to remove the elephant from his shackles and find him a new home in Route 66. The fact that this deed did not happen lends itself to the fact alcohol continued to be consumed more than any lack of bravado.
I do however have to take Cupcake to task over something. On Saturday we noticed Route 66 had a tiny locomotive that ran circuits around the pub ceiling. He was under exceedingly strict instructions not to point this out to Barley. So why oh why was the latter half of my Sunday night spent being poked in the arm and listening to ‘choo choo, choo choo’ from Barley? I guess ‘Choo choo, choo choo’ is to me what ‘Alan, Alan, Alan’ is to Meldy
So, there it is. My first real experience of the Pirates On Tour. Would I do it again? Let’s see
Pre-race – most definitelyRace Day – For Barlos, no; he can do this with or without me, so I feel no pressure to be there for him. For everyone else and the sheer craic, most definitelyPost-race – most definitely
I don’t wish to upset anyone with no direct mentions but each of you contributed to make me feel so special, welcome, and part of the posse, Hugs and words can seem so little but they can, and do, meand so much. You may not have been aware of what you did, but that's always a good thing in my book as it shows it's natural to you.
And I hope that, at times, I was able to repay the kindness and thoughts you showed me (in my own unique way).
It was truly a week to remember and for all the right reasons.
So, to all PIrates and Supporters of IMLanza 2013, I thank you for some wonderful memories
(I'm signing off now. i think I have sand in my eye again )