It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
I'm working on mine ... it's going to be long!
The longer the better
The general rule is that it should take longer to read than it took you to do the event
IronScribe wrote (see)
I'm working on mine ... it's going to be long!
Will it include zombies?
IMUK 2013 race report Part 1
So, where to begin, I attended the race briefings, pasta party and refused to buy any ironman kit, not that I was being superstitious, oh no, just wanted to finish then buy some gear, my kids did the Ironkids on the Saturday, I had a quick chat with Tim and Andy Holgate and a phone call from the Silent Assassin, then off home to lie down and try to sleep.
My alarm went off at 2.58am, something about 2 minutes to that I like (Iron Maiden influence I think) got up ate porridge, loaded the car, drank coffee, toast and jam and set off for Leigh, I arrived at Transition at 4.10am and added a few things to my bike, food, gels, spares and drinks, inflated the tyres and re-racked my bike, 4.30am, had a look at the lake put my MP3 player on and some Stone Sour to liven me up, back into T1 and wetsuit was almost donned as I joined the queue for the toilet, hurrah, actually managed a loo break, then dressed and joined the queue to get wet, had a gel which sat in my throat till I spotted my wife and she handed me some water, gel gone, water drank, goggles rinsed and in I go, wide and right my mate said and swim a bit further, the water was lovely, off goes the horn and I set off, a few bumps and kicks and I collided with a few people, maybe wrongly if I felt someone at my feet I tried to avoid kicking them, first lap done, out and a little run and back in, lap 2 same pace as lap 1, out of the water after a 42 minute and 44 minute laps, 1.27 odd so broke the 1.30 I had targeted, job done so far, and with no major shoulder issues. 4.4 km, need to improve my sighting, muppet!
Into T1 for a full change, today was about comfort, dried off drank a little coke, dried my left leg, full compression tight onto my left leg (DVT from a spinal injury in 2006), mesh vest, bib shorts, bepanthen nappy cream applied, top, helmet shoes and glasses on, suck in the gut for the photographs and get on the bike, the plan was 1 hour to the loop, then 3 x 2 hour loops and blast into t2, I got to Babylon Lane on target and went through COLT alley, asked Ironholgs if he was actually a fat slipper wearing poof (SA had told me to do this), this was repeated to every COLT member I saw cheering, into the first feed station, grab water bottles and forget to grab powerbars, first lap was bang on target, had a laugh with the Hula Dancers on the top of SHL and my mate dressed a Lara Croft!! The onto the descent, blasted past the people that had passed me on the way up, down to Belmont and power up the hill for 100 yards, onto the motorway and spin up to Withnell, over to Chorley to Buckshaw Village and food, changed bottles and grabbed bars this time, eating every 20 minutes with a gel before Babylon Lane, 3 laps all within 4 minutes of each other, a big thanks to Team SA and Jordy for their support on a quiet part of the course, COLT alley was great and I actually rode the course as I had trained on it, hammered all of the descents and span up the hills, gained speed where I could, one note at the 3rd loop I got my special needs bag, drank the Power Horse that was in there and it was rocket fuel, I hammered into T2 after that. Notes to take, lose weight get quicker up the hills but as fit and as good as triathletes maybe they can’t descend on a bike to save their lives, I gained more places descending than at any other time. 7.13 odd on target again
IMUK Part 2
My nemesis, spinal issues mean my balance isn’t the best, and 9 operations on my left knee meant the run training was more about protecting my knee and building the distance than doing mile after mile, so full change again, calf guards, compression shorts, compression top and bike top over the top, compress everything and don’t wobble was my thoughts. Immodium onto the tongue and fingers crossed that it helps, So I set off, couple of gels in my pockets and downhill for the first mile, a slow pace unlike Outlaw half when I set off way to quickly, now I’d like say I settled into a nice pace and plodded home, but I didn’t had some issues with wind lots of farts and burps but this settled and I managed to run for a bit, caught up with a Pirate (Sumo Sue) had a chat I believe I interrupted her throwing up! We walked up from the river to Chorley Road and set of running, don’t get band envy, just plod up the hills and roll down the hills, and stick to water for a while, this I did and on the first loop into town I felt good, saw my family got kissed and headed out for my first band, grabbed gels and water at the turn point, downed gels and water and back down into town wearing a band and spotting people without any bands, missed my family this time and got a little low, headed out and coughed whilst running, do not cough whilst running, it hurts and you cramp, a lot, so I walked the next 2 miles increasing the pace steadily, collected band number 2, then ran for a bit, more gels and water and the running got better, had a chat with Chris Wild for a bit and talked music and this eased my legs further, set off running again, thanks Chris, that really helped, back into town and saw family and friends, hit the turnaround in town, and headed out for my final band and the sprint back into town. Run, walked out and grabbed my last band, headed to the feed station, 2 gels and water and started running and farting my way into town, wait, stop farting….. into town and got the time as 9:10pm, cool on for under 15½ hours, toilet break, deep breaths and run fat boy, strong run into town passed a friend got a kiss, my mate had already finished and he was there to meet me, round the corner and bumped into Tim (DNF with a nightmare bike day and a chest infection) run and milk the finish, 15 hours 21 minutes and 48 seconds, not too shabby for a fat bloke that had to learn to walk again in 2007.
Loved the Pirate support, on the walk and during the event from the other competitors, COLT alley was superb, abusing Ironholgs was fun, now pass me my slippers. I’m booked into the Hard Rock in Manchester on Friday night, a couple of Ironmen and wives the place will now know what hit it.
Great report mate, it was a pleasure to mentor you.
abusing Holgs is always fun, only cause he knows we all love him really
Rock the slippers mate, cracking report and very well done on a fantastic achievement. Dead chuffed for you, and loved the abuse
The Silent Assassin wrote (see)
Great report mate, it was a pleasure to mentor you. abusing Holgs is always fun, only cause he knows we all love him really
I'm just glad that no one punched me on Sunday. Although one guy went to high five me on the bike, missed and got my shoulder, sent me flying to the floor - glad he didn't crash.
Great report Chris. I chatted to you briefly at the finish. I have to say that you looked and sounded pretty fresh to say you'd just come over the line!
Well done mate - top effort.
Pudge, Did I have a beer in my hand? If you had waited for 5 minutes and watched me try to get up into the seating area that would have made for great viewing!
Great report Chris, many congratulations
Here's mine:In February, whilst out riding my bike, a car driver pulled out and performed a U-turn in the road in front of me, without checking. Fortunately I wasn’t going particularly fast at the time, but still too fast to stop, and I collided with passenger side door. I fractured the little finger of my left hand, which doesn’t sound like a major issue, but involvement of the joint meant surgery, a cast, a lot of physiotherapy and 12 weeks of no swimming. On the plus side, I could turbo and run. Three weeks in Australia for my sister’s wedding was a fantastic break, but further disrupted bike training, although I did race a half marathon in Canberra right before we came back. I got the all clear from the Hand Physiotherapist to swim with 13 weeks to go till IMUK and training started in earnest.
I don’t enjoy swimming, particularly, and I am good at avoiding it (not so good as to orchestrate an RTA purely to get out of it though!) but I needed to put some serious hours in at the pool and in the following 12 weeks, I swam over 110kms and got my 400m time down to 7:02. I’m pretty pleased with that!
My mentor was superb. Without him, I would not have done the volume, or the quality of work that somehow got packed into 16 weeks of training. He provided exactly the right balance of whip-cracking and encouragement I needed, more than once told me to get my arse in gear and do some work, and didn’t let me rest too long on my laurels after a couple of good results in build-up races. Every time I did things his way, I got quicker, or faster, or stronger and he was there with answers to my dumb questions, encouragement in the big weeks and belief in my ability on the day. By the time I got to Bolton, I was in the best shape I have ever been; excited, a bit nervous – but ready!
I actually slept, the night before the race this year, which was an unexpected bonus. So was seeing Min officiating at the swim start, and finding Funkin as we lined up to go into the lake. I think we were both a little perturbed at the strange purple grey colour my dodgy finger went, but it gave us something different to worry about for a few minutes! The lake itself was lovely and warm (22 degrees!), still, calm and flat – but very murky. With a deep water start it’s harder to know where to line up, so I was towards the front on the right (counter-clockwise course) – this turned out to be a perfect location for me as I had one of the best swims I’ve ever had, both in terms of speed, and (lack of) congestion. The lack of in-water visibility meant people swum into each other a lot, but aside from a smack that dislodged my goggles and being whacked in the mouth by someone’s Garmin I think, it was great! At the end of the first lap, the clock said 35 minutes – yay! – and seeing Rosey and the Major as I ran round for the second lap was an extra bonus. Lap 2 was much the same – this strange sensation of actually enjoying swimming! The sun was up, and I could see trees and blue sky every time I breathed, I wasn’t cold, no-one had swum over me and I got out in a PB!
The day was going excellently so far!
T1 seemed long, as the weather forecast meant I needed socks and arm warmers (I’m a bit of a wuss in colder weather) and it seemed to take me ages to get them on. 4:37 apparently, which I’m putting down to copious use of wetsuit lubricant!!! Apologies to Rosey, who held out a hand for a High 5 just as I pulled my wetsuit down off my shoulders, thereby trapping both hands inside it, and leaving him hanging !
The plan for the bike was to ride to heart rate and keep a lid on it on the hills. I’d driven up Sheephouse Lane, so I knew it was a significant climb, considering we did it 3 times. Early on in training, in regard to this course, my mentor had said “Race number on; ego off” – you don’t get prizes or time bonuses for climbing it in a super-hard gear, you only get mashed legs. So – spin, spin, spin! The eastern half of the bike loop is beautiful – stunning views from the top of the climb. The western half less so, but it is flatter and faster, and 3 laps wasn’t too bad really. At about 50 or 60 miles, Tritalker “Toyota Crown” came past me. It took me a second or two to recognise him, since he wasn’t wearing the infamous denim shorts, but we exchanged pleasantries. I didn’t expect to see him again, but less than a mile later, I overtook him. When he came past the second time, we had a longer chat. It went something like this:
TC: I have two questions for you!Me: Go ahead...TC: Firstly – what’s your running like? Me: *with uncharacteristic modesty* Er... it’s ok?TC: And have you saved enough energy for the run today?Me: Well, I’ve been riding to HR, so in theory, yes....TC: Hmmm. Might have a race on my hands then! Secondly – are you married?!Me: *a bit surprised* Yes!TC: Ah well – can’t blame a guy for trying!!
At this point, I shipped my chain, annoyingly, and had to stop and hook it back on, so didn’t see TC for the rest of the bike...
What I did see, in plentiful supply, was Pirate support! There was COLT alley, which was superb, Silent Assassin, the lovely Mrs SA and supporter-extraordinaire Jordy in a layby, Rosey who popped up all over the course, and Mrs Funkin and the Major – not to mention random members of the public who soon cottoned on to the idea of “aaarrgghh!” It gave me such a lift seeing everyone – thank you all for coming out to cheer, I know it’s a long time to stand on the side of the road, for 20 second glimpses of sweaty cyclists. There were also some very strange people in mankinis on the top of the hill!
Before too long, it was time to turn off the loop and head to T2.
I left my shoes with my bike, which made the run across the tennis court a bit more painful than I had anticipated, but a swiftish change into trainers got me out onto the run course in 2:50. And oh – who’s that I see barely 50m ahead of me, now having donned his denim shorts...?
Me: Hello stranger. Fancy some company?TC: Oh, you bugger! I thought I’d lost you! Dammit, now I DO have a race on my hands!
A month or so before IMUK, I’d done the Outlaw swim and bike as part of a relay (with the superb Ultra-running UltraCaz shouldering the marathon portion of the day for me), riding to IM heart rate so I knew how I should feel on reaching T2. My instructions were again to keep a lid on the effort level until 20 miles at which point I could “unleash hell on an unsuspecting Bolton”. TC put on a bit of a spurt, and I let him go and settled into running. The run course starts with a 6ish mile section through some nice suburbs and along the canal path. A member of the public made me giggle when he told me I was looking “strong – and sexy, if I might say so!” – clearly not the highest of standards there, considering the sweat, lake water, rain, dirt, etc I was probably plastered in! I knew that mellifera, DrM, the Major, and MrsFunkin would be at the junction of this first leg, and the out-and-back hill that forms the rest of the course, so in my head I was running to see my friends. Rosey popped up again just in time to see me running past too.
The three laps in Bolton itself are up and down a long, dragging hill. It’s not steep, really, except for one small section, but its noticeable. Again, loads of support – I love wearing Pirate kit, it makes you so easy to spot. Kids like cheering for you, and they remember you, and I always showboat a bit in the early stages, with big “aarrgghhs!”, and build up some goodwill for the last lap, when I know I’ll need that support. It also helps me stay happy, and once again, I never went through a “dark patch”. It seemed like a long time till I got my first band though. The laps passed, and it was great to see Funkin and TC at the turnarounds and exchange a few high 5s. As I’d started the laps, the melli and James told me I was 10th woman and that there were 5 in my AG ahead. Slowly but surely, I started passing girls in my AG. I was passed at about 18 miles by the eventual winner of my AG, but I couldn’t stay with her – talking to her afterwards, she is an ultra runner.
So, I stuck to the plan, kept running, and was feeling ok. Mile 20 and I started an internal dialogue with my mentor – time to think about upping the pace? But we were at the bottom of the hill; I think hell might have to wait till we get back up it. I got my final band, turned around at the top of the hill and looked at my garmin – 23 miles. I looked at my watch – 10:30. Thirty minutes to run 3 miles and I can come in under 11 hours – easy, right? That’s 10m/m. It’s hard to explain how at the end of an IM, this sort of maths is not obvious and it was not easy. I know I was running much faster than 10m/m, but it wasn’t much of a buffer and your mind plays tricks on you – what if my garmin has under-read the distance? What if the finish chute is ridiculously long?! But I wanted that sub-11. Very badly! So I ran, and I told my screaming quads to shut up, and I told my wheezing lungs to shut up and in my head I told my mentor that even if hell was now more damp squib than furious maelstrom, this was it, I was going all in.
There is nothing like that feeling of running onto the magic carpet, knowing you’ve given it your all, and having smashed your time targets, and hearing your friends and family going ballistic for you in the stands.
I tell a lie.
There is finding out you were second in your age group and that there are two slots for Kona.
I’m going to the World Championships! In Hawaii!
I’m not going to stop grinning for a VERY long time.
Age group placing: 2
Gender (inc pro women) placing: 6
Overall placing (inc men and pro men): 129
No race report is complete without the thank yous, and I couldn’t have done this on my own:
Mouse – thank you for your friendship, company, the occasional text message (!), cake, your belief in me and for laughing at my jokes. Melli, DrM, Rosey, SA & family – thank you for giving up your weekend to cheer me home, it makes SO much difference having you thereFunkin, MrsF – thanks for your pre-race company and on-course support. See you in Hawaii!!The Girls – thank you for your friendship and support and daily inspiration to keep workingMajor Disaster – there’s too much to thank you for to list it all – Sherpa duties, driving, keeping me calm, supporting my training, listening when all I have to talk about is training, putting up with me being tired, stinky, sweaty, grumpy and absent and for being my Number 1 fan.
I would thank my mentor too, but that means putting him on a list.Ah well. He’ll get over it.CRAB – thanks, mate.
Superb report and KONA, even better
Brilliant report Flyaway
I can still remembering you catching me up at the Chilern Hundred maybe 3-4 years ago, I was having a bad day and think we were both near the back of the field.Just shows what a lot of effort and hard work returns, congratulations, so pleased for you.
Reasonable effort despite wilful refusal to unleash hell at the bottom of the hill I suppose.As you are.
Great report - very well done Flyaway.
Flyaway - you made me cry. Bitch.
What a fantastic report, massive congratulations on on Kona
d'ya know what Flyers - knowing your folks I have no bloody idea where you get the go bloody quick genes from , but, allowing for that, both Petal and I are amazed, stunned and fucking pleased to buggery to see how you have come on since that bike ride we had before IMCH in 2009 when neither of us thought you would even see the bike cut off finish, let alone an IM finish.
you're pretty good now eh?.....
all down to solid application and hard work - chapeau
absolutely chuffed for you
stonking effort! well done!
Wot Waffy said.
Plus an extra *sniffle* for good measure. x
FB - my sister's marathon PB is 2:56:53, so the genes are decent!
Oh, and to be fair, we rode in 2008 (post-IMF) and I did IMCH'09 with a heavy cold. Other than that though, thanks!
Fantastic report, random marriage proposal half way round the bike, I bet there's been fewer of those than Kona slots!
Thanks for the inspiration to, it really is a help to read these fantastic reports and I know it takes time and effort to write them especially just after completing the race itself.
So Kona prep next?
Great reports guys ... and flyaway, major congrats!!!
Gyraffe wrote (see)
Yep ... what she said KONA BABY