Ironman Wales 2013



  • Seriously BM.  We only do this for a laugh, don't we?  You're feeling down now.  But just imagine what it'll be like when you come back fitter and stronger and injury free and slay the beast!

    Like the others have said.  We'd all like a report and we'd like, even more, to see you back and beating it next time.

    Chin up!  

  • Just want to thank all you fantastic pirates out there for giving me a load of love thanks.

  • Now here comes my race report. Friday morning myself and slag took a nice slow drive up to Wales. Once we had arrived we went to Registration signed in and got our bits and pieces and then went back to our caravan. Walking around town in the afternoon we spotted a few pirates had a quick chat and then went and got some lunch. On Saturday morning myself slag and one of our friends went for a early morning bike ride just to loosen up our legs a bit . After that went to the Expo and bought some bits and pieces for ourselves. Race morning alarm clock goes off at 4 AM must of had about three hours sleep felt Like s;;t . Slags come bursting through the door buzzing all I hear from him is I'm ready for this I'm up for it. We both got our stuff ready and made our way to the Transition. It was a lovely fresh morning my nerves were kicking in at about 6:15 all 1600 men and women made our way down to the beach walking the 1 km through the town people clapping and cheering. 7 AM the gun goes off all I can remember was running with the heard of people into the water getting punched and kicked. Only got one problem I enjoyed it. Eventually found some open water and made my way around the first loop did it in 46 minutes on the second loop the water was quite wavy and I heard quite a few people were being sick so they pulled them out. Did the second loop in about one hour not a very good swim but I got through it. Ran my 1 km to transition and took about 15 minutes getting changed grabbed my bike and started to piddle the first 5 miles were very hard couldn't get into any sort of rhythm eventually found my grave and started doing well overtaking a few people the rain and the wind didn't help and if you know me I hate going down hills at one point I hit 54.2 mph down one of the hills  never been That's fast before very scary The only thing that stops me was the very big hills. Anybody that's done Wales knows what I'm talking about. I got up to 95.4 miles into the race and got stopped by the marshals run out of time. One word of advice if you are thinking of doing Ironman Wales Please train hard on the bike go up and down as many hills as you can I guarantee you it would help the bigger the hill there better.    Love button xx

  • great report BM

    take a bit of time off and when your ready to come back to training give me a bell and we will go through what you need to do.


  • Great report Button, really gutted for you but you'll hopefully be back stronger next time.

  • so true just need to do hills and hills..........I have deciuded that i will never tackle a hill course again unless I shed a fair few pounds...My legs aren't strong enough to get the extra pundage up the hills...

  • seren nos wrote (see)

    My legs aren't strong enough to get the extra pundage up the hills...


    Oh I *know* what you mean Seren!  I, too, have a 'power to weight' imbalance!!  image

    Nice report BM.  Fitter and stronger next time!  image  

  • The bike course is a bugger, no doubt about it.

  • I loved those hills image. I suppose the fact I cycle around Bath helps. Really happy to get around that course though.

  • Hi all,

    I've put my IMW story up on my blog

    Seren Nos - from reading your report I reckon we shadowed each other for the last couple of run laps. I was the one wrapped in a space blanket with a white cap on. We had a chat about whether the rain would/wouldn't last whilst walking up the big hill and we turned onto the Esplanade finish at about the same time too. I should have introduced myself but talking became quite a challenge towards the end!

  • Just  worked out that we chatted... I must have passed you on the bike at some stage.but you seem to keep on changing clothes from wearing a jacket to wearing a top and then to wearing a space blanketimage

  • The lengths people will go to to avoid you Seren    image

  • Button, you didn't let anyone down at all, and I'm sure you'll come back stronger.  

    Barlos, great quote, loads of people on here can take strength from that.

  • Ctp that was an incredible blog, congratulations on your amazing journey. I have just entered 2014 and am now a bit scared!!!

  • Good luck in 2014 Fairycakes, no need to be scared, just get out on them there hills and practice!

    Seren Nos - I did have a few wardrobe options available to me although the space blanket was a new one even for me!

  • fairycakes, what ctp said, don't be scared of it, it needs respect, all of it, the swim included.

  • Race report for IMW

    Pre-race, Arriving in Tenby I had heard that the local support was good for this race but was blown away by the amount of IM flags that seemed to hang off every house, registration was painless and my rented holiday home backed onto the bike racks. I brought my wife and two girls (both under 3) and was nice to return to home and have to deal with them and forget any nerves. In bed by 9 and sleep came easy.

    Race morning,

    Up at 4.30, ate my two tins of cold rice pudding and looked out of the window onto the racked bikes, could see that it had rained a lot but always thought the weather is one thing I can't control so try not to let it worry me.

    Loaded my drinks bottles onto the bike, one bottle of High5 mojito flavour and the other full of gels, I mix 2 x high5 gels with water up to 100ml for every hour, so my bottle had enough for 7 hours.

    On with the wettie and the 1km parade walk to the North beach, Loads of crowds out already, Found the Slag, Mouse and button mushroom on the way. Onto the beach, sand was freezing, didn't bother with the trial dip in the sea. Quick blast of the Welsh national anthem and we were off.

    Been in numerous swim starts before but this was chaotic, I actually felt people were deliberately kicking out at others and sure I watched elbows being thrown back by static swimmers as we came to a halt several times. By the time we reached the first buoy I don't think I had swum proper front crawl once. Easily sighted the second buoy with the lifeboat station above it and found some open water, Before I knew it I was turning to the beach and the Australian exit, quick run along the beach and back in, felt that the swell was more on this lap and had to put in more effort to swim straight. made the final turn and onto the beach.

    Swim 1.16.33

    The run off the beach is up the cliff ramp this is steep, found my trainer bag, stripped of the wettie and set of for the 1km run to T1. This was amazing, the route was packed. Into T1 tent (which was way too small) and bike gear on.

    T1 14.47 (inc run from beach)

  • come on FF.........I want to go to bed image

  • Bike

    Had thought about this course for most of my training, knew that the first 40 miles were the quickest out to Angle and back to Pembroke. Rode to HR and stuck to my nutrition plan of a bar on the hour and 50ml or gel/water mix every 20 mins. Going was good for first hour and was hard not to get too racey as I was passed by a lot of other bikers. Even though I had looked at the profile of this course a lot I was still surprised that this course just doesn't have any prolonged flat parts, nowhere to get into any rhythm.

    Then the rain started, this was cold and I was perhaps a bit envious of other better dressed riders and I had my Monaco, arm warmers and tri shorts to protect me but hey. 

    Still felt in good shape the first time up Wisemans bridge and then Saundersfoot, quick look at the garmin and it dawned on me the next time I would be coming up them would be at 105 miles.

    Second loop

    Was grateful when that rain stopped, knew the route now and it helped on the downs as the roads dried. Amazed how many riders seemed to be sitting by the side of the road with mechanical issues, even saw one bloke with a snapped disk wheel, passed a couple of ambulances loading a few causalities into the back too. this focused the mind on the descents.

    Now I started to pass those that had raced passed me in the first hour. Up Wisemans again and Saundersfoot without issues and then the long down into Tenby and T2. 

    The run seemed packed and this annoyed me, I had put a lot of training into the bike part and wanted better then I got, I now wonder if being the other side of 15 stone is my issue to address? Thoughts welcome.

    Bike 7.27.11

    Transition was carnage again, not enough seats and ended up sitting in a puddle to get my trainers and visor on.

    T2 5.45 

  • Out the tent and onto the run, now this run goes up for two miles and then you zig zag through Tenby on the way down till you do four x 6.5 mile laps.

    I planned to walk the ups and run the flats/downs, this course makes it impossible to get any sort of rhythm and this started to tell on my times as 10.xx miles became 12.xx became 14.xx miles. I swapped places with Broke But Trying  =before he moved into the distance at 15 miles. I now started to worry about the other pirates, never been happier to see Seren and Mouse but was totally gutted for Slag and BM, both are local to me and good mates and it knocked me for a while. Just after picking up my third band the rain came again and it started to get dark, that course is a real mind fuck in those conditions and takes real mental strength to keep going. The boost I got from seeing my wife and the Tenby crowd shouting for my Pirate vest was never more needed then that last lap.

    By now I knew this was my slowest iron distance race to date and my slowest marathon ever, but strangely this didn't matter to me and still doesn't. Making that turn left to the finishers chute instead of right for another lap is like no feeling I have ever felt before.

    Run 5.42.20

    Total Time 14.46.34

  • In summary I loved this race, Tenby needs a big slap on the back for how welcoming they make the IM feel. The swim is made by the run back to T1, the bike is hard but not impossible and run is a nasty sting in the tail.

    This race is regarded as one of the hardest, well I don't know about that but it does reward people that have put the training in, don't fear it but respect it.

    I will come back to Wales one day. thanks for reading.

  • Flat Footed wrote (see)

    In summary I loved this race, Tenby needs a big slap on the back for how welcoming they make the IM feel. The swim is made by the run back to T1, the bike is hard but not impossible and run is a nasty sting in the tail.

    This race is regarded as one of the hardest, well I don't know about that but it does reward people that have put the training in, don't fear it but respect it.

    I will come back to Wales one day. thanks for reading.



    well put.......and great read.i can go to bed now image


  • Flatfooted, lovely report there matey! Was lovely to see your wife and little ones too. Well done you! 

  • Nice one Foo.  Congrats on finishing a tough course!  Good summary too!  It's interesting that the locals embrace it so much and yet they are still not sure it'll be there for too long!  Whereas the 'locals' at Henley couldn't care less!

  • Nice report you big jessie   image

    I will echo the comments about the flags, I have never seen so many even in Europe, Tenby really welcomes the whole bandwagon 

  • Don't fear it respect it bang on the nail FF IMW is a great race image

  • Brilliant reports. Should hear on Tuesday if I've got a Macmillan place for 2014 and those reports have got me nervous in a good way. Going to have my breakfast now and then head out on the road bike in search of some hills to climb...

  • Great report FF.

     not sure is this will ever be on my to-do list, the sea swim cares me too much image

  • Ok so here is my race report, I know it is a little late but I have only just got back home, so here we go.

    Having t work on Friday I travelled down to Tenby early on Saturday morning, I was camping at Kiln Park for the weekend but couldn’t put my tent up until after 1 pm. So I walked into Tenby to register while I was waiting, because I wasn't able t put my tent up I had to get my bike and transition bags ready in the car park, not ideal but it wasn't to bad.

    With transition bags ready and bike ready I wandered over to Tenby again to rack my bike. After racking I wandered around the town a bit to see if I could find any friendly faces, or lacking that any pirates, and bumped into Hope, Meldy, Mat and Seren. I popped back to their rented house to relax where I was met Mouse in only a towel.

    I woke up at 5 on Sunday morning and got ready and wandered over to Tenby to the race start. After going for a quick toilet break I saw Seren in the middle of a group of men.

    The walk down to the beech seemed to take a long time, and by the time I got down there it was about 1 min to 7 and the anthem was playing, so no time to get into the water before hand.

    Before I knew what was going on the horn blew and we were off, I was on the right hand side, so would be on the inside for all of the turns. I wanted to take it easy in the swim, and the first lap went without any incident, I was on the right hand side of most of the pack so didn't have many people around me apart from the turns. Exited the water for the first lap in 39 minutes, so I was taking it a little to easy for the first lap, so the second lap I concentrated a little more and again with no incident the second lap was 36 minutes for a total of 1:15:46, a little slower than I would have liked but still not to bad.

    Wet suit quickly off before the run back to transition, the run back was great, no chance to walk with all the crowd cheering so much, the atmosphere the tremendous and this would be the same throughout the day.

    Sitting down in transition, with loads of helpers coming over asking if I wanted any help to change, I was just wondering what to wear, with the weather not looking to bad I considered just going out in my tri top, luckily I put my arm warmers on the stuffed my gillet into my back pocket and off I went. T1 14:31 with the 1 k run.

  • The bike was going quite well averaging about 18 mph for the first 15 miles, on a up hill there was a loud metallic noise from my drive train, my chain had come off and a screw had dropped out from the bottom of my derailler. I quickly stopped, popped the chain back on and made a quick fix, but did not do a very good job as I could not change from the big cog to the small cog. Although I was going up the hills pretty quickly in the big ring by mile 40 my legs were screaming on the hills and felt empty, so I stopped again to try and sort out the derailler, doing a better job this time I now had use of my little ring, but by this time the legs felt empty and after every hill I felt like being sick.

    Going up the hill after Wisemans was agony and I think most of it the speedo was reading 1.5 mph. The atmosphere going through Saundersfoot was incredible with crowds on the road ala Le Tour, but still that hill went on for ages. At mile 60 at the last aid station of the first loop I felt like crap and thought about quitting, but I popped into the toilets, and got a few bananas down me and suddenly felt great. From now on at every aid station I would grab a few bananans, and this got me through the rest of the bike. It's no wonder that Eric turns into Banana man after eating bananas. The second time up the big hills after Wisemans Bridge and Saundersfoot seemed pretty easy the second time round. Finishing the bike in 7:33:35. A time I was really happy with.

    Nothing of note in T2, 5:45.

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