4 July race reports

Nick & Mo & I decided to lump race reports together on a new thread, and to get Ironwolf's too when she gets back from holiday. That will be this then.


  • tease
  • <M settles head on paws and waits for fab ironman peeps reports>

    (he is a tease but you've got to like that in a man)
  • I have?



  • <<<<<don't men look funny when they try to type lots, really quickly, with just two fingers...>>>>
  • Where are the reports?
  • Right.

    On Thursday we registered and went down to the lake for the swim practice session. There were loads of ripped Americans getting changed on the pier, and Monique noted that they all looked like proper triathletes while we looked like numpties.

    "Don't worry, we'll kick their arses on Sunday" I said, as i pulled on my wettie. I thought that i must have the legs twisted, because the silver flashes that were usually at the back of the ankles were at the front. Then when i pulled it up i realised that it must be REALLY twisted, because the zip was also at the front when it was usually at the back. I realised it was on backwards when I fell over.

    At that moment Mo had got one of the Americans to take a photo of us, and i had to pose while rolling around on the floor trying to escape from my backwards wetsuit.

    The water was lovely though, about 20 degrees and pretty good visibility. We swam out to the first turnaround point, a floating cafe 900m out, and back. I zigzagged a bit.

    We rode the bike course that afternoon, one lap. I felt something wrong after 10k and i jumped off just before my tyre exploded. i'd cocked it up putting the bike back together after i unpacked it, so the ride out was pretty well timed.

    "Better today zan on zee race day" shouted a foreign johnnie who tore past as we had the wheel off at the side of the road.

    Half way round the loop we got into a race with two germans, and we whooped their asses. but unfortunately they weren't riding the cours, they were going back to their hotel, and we got pretty lost.

    Later I caught up with IronMan god Mark Allen and his group of people doing the 'organised' ride out (which with hindsight we should have gone on, as he knew the way round at least). I tore past them, never being one to miss the opportunity for a bit of pointless showboating. Then there was a downhill, and I decided to keep powering until i was out of sight of the big peloton behind. Unfortunately it lead to a t-junction on a busy road and i almost ended up under a truck. Managed to save it, but looked like an even bigger numpty than i had on the pier. Hey ho.

    We met with Nick and his clubmates in IronMan City (which was a bit of a grand name for a few tents) and had our last beer for the week. The subject of open water navigation croped up in conversation (we are obviously complete geeks). I said that i was useless at this but i didn't care - i just follow somebody's feet, and let them navigate for me. And get a bit of drafting off them too.

    Then we bought lots of uneccessary kit.
  • The bags were racked and transition bags stowed on Saturday. The transition area was miles away from the racking area, which was a bit of a pain. Well actually it was about 200 yards, but still a bit of a way to run in bike shoes.

    Sunday: My hotel wouldn't do breakfast at 4.30am, so I went down to Mo's youth hostel and we ate with two American surfers in their 40s, Don and Bill, who were really nice. Later that day Bill would take a nasty spill on the bike but still go on to finish in 11.30. Don would get a blocking penalty (accidental) and have to sit in the sin bin by the bike turnaround for 6 minutes to think about what he'd done.

    We got to transition at about 5.30, and made last minute checks. A bit of air in the tyres, energy drinks on board, pringles in my tribar mounted AeroPringles (trademark) dispenser, and loads of pro plus and ibuprofen tablets stuck along my crossbar using double sided sticky tape. (caffeine is off the banned list now, i'd point out).

    i also stuffed my face with spare pringles, and a couple of energy gels, and an energy bar. didn't want to get hungry.
  • [notes...'ripped Americans...photographs...]

    mmmhmmm. Carry on.
  • That's more like it.
    Keep it coming Candy.

    I have my first sprint tri on the 17th and your race report is as close as I intend getting to an IM for quite some time!
  • [pats sofa for Orca to come and share, and offers her a Pringle]
  • The pre-start was a bit chaotic as nobody had a clue where to go. I needed a wee, so i pulled up my wetsuit and did it in the middle of the crowd. ha ha ha. we found ourselves on the southern of the two start beaches, which was a bit annoying as this meant an extra 100m or so on the swim out to the first turnaround buoy. the crowd got noisier and noisier, stirred up by the loony on the PA, but the athletes were mostly pretty quiet. nervous faces everywhere.

    then a cannon went off, and we legged it into the lake.
  • i found the ideal person to draft straight away. there was a lot of tousling, as usual, and somebody tried to grab my ankle and climb over me so i kicked quite hard and they changed their mind.

    then about 1 minute in, i got a bit of cramp. probably all the crisps, sweets and fizzy pop i'd been scoffing all morning - my mum always said not to eat before a swim, but who listens to their mum? it wasn't bad at all, i swam across to the pier and stretched it out, and then it was gone. no problem.
  • [sits forward, munching...'this is the good bit']
  • Orca gladly accepts pringles and pulls out bottle of wine and pours both herself and JJ a VERY large glass. Sighs deeply at the belly she has resigned herself to never losing and settles down to hear more about Candy's escapades which she knows she can only dream about.
  • 8o)

    [wonders if this will be the first time Candy has seen a li'l leopard a bit squiffy]
  • now i was at the back of the field by a little way, probably about 20 feet tops.

    given my complete inability to steer by myself, i changed my plan to just join the back markers, and move up the field by following peoples feet. put my head under water, and unfortunately visibility was only about 15 feet so the backmarkers' feet were just out of sight. i did 6 fast strokes to catch up, but still no feet, so i stopped and looked and i was facing the beach. facing the beach! oops.

    turned around, and put on a burst of speed, and this time almost crashed into the pier.

    i got quite worried now, as i was making negative progress and the backmarker swimmers were (gradually) getting away. not getting around was a real risk, as it doesn't matter how fast you swim if its in the wrong direction. DNF due to not having bothered to practice sighting. that would be no fun at all (except for the 1000 people on the pier who were all pointing to the turnaround bouy and shouting 'that way' in 47 languages.

    but ironman isn't about worrying about what might happen in 2 hours and 18 minutes when the swim cut-off comes around, so i started weaving erratically out into deep water...
  • This is genuine LOL stuff. You should put this act on the stage ! Brilliant!

    (not working wonders for my confidence in the water though)
  • oh no - got to go run 10k. will be back to read the rest later
  • i was right at the back, by a good 50 yards, and a rescue canoist decided to adopt me. she paddled over and shouted 'nein!!' every time i went off course by more than 90 degrees (which was about every 15 seconds)

    it took 35 minutes to get to the first turnaround - it had taken 15 in training!
  • OOoh a Germanic Fraulein canoeist. Did she have those buns on her head. Under her helmet - I guess it's hard to tell.
  • turned around and headed back to shore 'Weis Ballon!' shouted my canoist, 'White Balloon'

    even i can spot a giant hot air balloon on a beach, so i started swimming in a straight line for a bit and made some progress

    then an odd thing happened. it stopped getting larger as i got closer, and started shrinking instead. i had a bit of a Father Dougal moment and treaded water and took my goggles off to see what was going on.
  • [bites lip very hard. could be worry. could be mirth. Who knows]
  • they were letting the balloons down. all the swimmers had gone. tssk. back to crazy zigzagging and regular 'Nein!'s from my nice canoist.

    got back to the beach in a disgraceful 1:02, and pegged it down through the timing mat to the other side of the beach for the second half of the swim
  • now we had never practiced the second half of the swim, but i vaguely knew that you went out to the left somewhere and then up a canal for 1000 meters. but i didn't have a clue exactly where 'out to the left somewhere' was supposed to be.

    there were three blokes standing waist deep in water and i joined them. none of us knew where to go, and it didn't help that the conversation was being held simultaneously in dutch, italian, german and english.

    fortunately salvation paddled around the end of the pier in the form of my canoist, and she had brought some friends for the other clueless swim numpties. we all set off in random directions with various shouts of 'Nein' from our canoists. fortunately i had the only woman one, so i didn't respond to other peoples' 'Nein!'s
  • [ok. It's mirth]

  • I can't take any more of this, my sides are hurting. I'll read the rest in the morning.

    (Makes a mental note to avoid standing next to Andy at the start of the swim in November, maybe this illness is catching).
  • got to the turnaround and my canoist got bored and left. i found a little old lady breaststroking very very slowly, and i thought i'd follow her for a bit.

    i did three strokes, then waited for her to catch up, then three strokes, pause, etc. a good way to conserve energy, and i was making faster progress than i had been doing steaming around frenetically in random directions.

    i couple of times i got bored and decided to swim off, but there was always a hare and tortoise effect and i circled pointlessly, so i kept going back to her.

    i had the amusing thought that this was the best way to approach IronMan. Get a free ride off a little old lady, and have lots of nice rests. I laughed at this, and swallowed a lungful of water and sank. no more laughing until i hit dry land.
  • eventually reached the canal, and at last i could get a wriggle on. even i can steer in a straight canal (although i did crash into the bushes three times, i must admit). passed dozens of people.

    the canal is a famous part of the Austria swim course, as its usually lined with screaming spectators. but by the time i got there there were only a couple of kids gobbing on me off the bridge.

    i pegged it to the ramp, and just before the end i was joined by a frogman, swimming backwards, filming me. he backed up onto the ramp, still filming me as i crawled out, and i almost fell on him except the ramp women caught me and hauled me onto the path. i sprinted down to T1 to much cheering, horns, rattles and bangers.
  • the transition area was empty, and i had two helpers. one took off my wettie while the other pulled my cycling top over my head and loaded the back pockets with my 18 Go gels and 5 Boots energy bars. didn't want to get hungry.

    i legged it to the racks in my socks, and found my bike quite easily as it was the only one left in that row.
  • [tops up glass, and starts on the Twiglets...]

    <<Cougs - pass me another notebook, this one's full>>>
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