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Ironman UK 2007 race report
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fruit thief




Joined: 18 May 2006
Posts: 2686

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:27 am    Post subject: Ironman UK 2007 race report Reply with quote

Starting at the beginning

Channel surfing one blustery Christmas Eve quite a few years ago I saw 30 minutes of coverage of Hawaii Ironman. I was young and impressionable (now I’m just impressionable) and the moment is fixed firmly in my mind- seeing Mark Allen riding the space age bike through the Lava Fields, and then running so fast and smoothly- it seemed impossible, superhuman. Immediately I knew I had to do one!

But life is complicated, and I was not at all fit. So, cutting a long story short, a lot of years went past accompanied by Uni, a marriage, a few arduous and time-consuming jobs all around the country, three little boys. I did a few races and got into tri, but juggling all the plates meant that the dream of doing an Ironman race stayed just that.

Until last October. Don’t know exactly what made me click that button on www.ironmanuk.com but the gauntlet was down.

I trained quite hard over the winter and Spring, entering the Taunton Marathon (16th, 3h05) and fitness-wise was probably about at my peak back then in April. Then the wet summer and a house move all conspired to derail my training build and peak, but I did what I could & living nearby was lucky enough to be able to train on the course sometimes.

before the race

So Saturday night saw the 5 of us at Sherborne camping in the rain & I was feeling calm yet excited if that makes sense.

I had a simple plan for the race:

1. swim for an hour
2. split the bike into 6 x 1 hour chunks
3. split the run into 4 x 1 hour chunks

obviously I had no idea if it was going to work out like this, and told my family & friends who were planning to watch at different points that I could well be an hour or two slower towards the end.

I had a simple nutrition plan too. It was quite easy because I know from experience that gels make me vomit, and I cannot eat while running. I was targeting 400 Kcal per hout, 750mls per hour.

1. big food day on Saturday & carby breakfast Sunday
2. on the bike: eat 1 powerbar and drink 750mls Gatorade per hour
3. on the run: drink 750mls coke and Gatorade per hour

Secret weapon: a Batchelors cup-a-soup sachet, added to cold water & stirred with finger, mile 13 of the run!

The Swim

Got a bit cold in the water waiting for the start, but then we were off. I never really found a good pair of feet to draft for more than a minute or two but I concentrated on keeping it smooth and steady. It was all over before I knew it. 57 mins



Transition 1

Was OK, took it steady.

The Bike

I knew from training laps of this course that it could be pretty punishing, but that it was important to get off the bike feeling that you could still run. So I had another simple plan:

1. HR limited to 135 bpm first lap, 140 second lap, 145 third lap
2. Except on the hills: sit at 150bpm
3. no standing

What I didn’t plan for was my right aero bar gradually wriggling its way loose, finally coming clean off the cross bar at mile 50. I got off and spent a few minutes bashing it about but could not make it secure as it seemed to have some sort of internal fixing which had failed.With bar-end shifters, and the right bar lever being the important one, I had a sinking feeling that I was in trouble. However I found that I could still ride if I gripped the bar firmly and maintained a backwards pressure so that it didn’t fall off. But I couldn’t ride on the hoods at all from that moment on. So I might have been that guy you passed on lap 3, crawling up Lyons Gate in the aero position! The descent from Cerne Abbas was a little hair raising but I stayed on OK.

Every cloud has a silver lining though, and in this case it was that I really held back on the 3rd lap concentrating on safety not speed. This was probably the main factor in preventing a messy self-destruction later on. I think my bike split was a shade under 6 hours.

Speaking of Lyons Gate, the TT presence at the top was inspiring, there is something so encouraging about having your name called out- thankyou! Felt really sorry for all the racers who punctured- there were many, perhaps becuase of the rough roads & wet surface. That must have been tough.



Transition 2

“Sit down on that chair to change your shoes” said the volunteer. So I did- big mistake. After 50 miles mostly in the aero position, then 62 mile entirely in the aero position, my back did not like being asked to move about. I swear I nearly couldn’t get up off that chair.

The Run

Boy did that first mile feel weird. I was a penguin. It took about 6 miles to feel more comfortable, people going past me the whole time while I jogged awkwardly. Then my back settled down and I was able to find a stride. I actually felt better and better from that point in, and felt best of all in the final 5 miles! Running through Sherborne out onto the dual carriageway I saw Hywel returning, and also crossed paths with OB1, tinman and Kev a couple of times. Run split was about 3 hours 50, for a time on the finish clock of 10 hours and 49 minutes!

The FINISH Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy



Afterwards

Photos with family, then my body immediately felt stiff as a board. Tried to drink a celebratory tin of lager- but one sip was enough to confirm that no way was my stomach having any of that. Had a massage and got dry. Spoke to a few TTers & clubmates.. Then Heidi drove me home. Slept like a baby, albeit a sore one. What a fantastic day. I don't think I'll do another one, but the memory will be there forever. Do it, you know you want to!



Thankyou so much to my family and friends who have supported me in this, to everyone on TT- a vast repository of knowledge triathletic- and to everyone who has generously given sponsorship for the Gnana Deepam school and orphanage in India. Very Happy

A tired and emotional... Fruit Thief


Last edited by fruit thief on Tue May 19, 2015 10:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Redraj




Joined: 15 Jun 2007
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Location: Leicester

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inspiring stuff Nick and a massive well done.
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Drifting




Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:45 am    Post subject: Well done Reply with quote

Well done, great report Nick, and what a fantastic achievment to finish in under 11 hours for your first IronMan, superb, hope you start to recover pretty soon!
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Legs of Jelly




Joined: 09 Feb 2005
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Location: Cheltenham, I believe I have my mojo back!!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great stuff FT. Cool
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doug




Joined: 07 Jan 2004
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Location: Harrow (Doonhamer in exile)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blimey - 60 miles with a bust aerobar and you still manage a 6hour bike split Worship

Great stuff and a good read !
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TimB




Joined: 07 Mar 2007
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Location: Wrexham, North Wales

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, FT - great review and a cracking race, by all accounts!
Just what was needed with 2 weeks before TBW...
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Fully Ferrous




Joined: 07 Sep 2006
Posts: 706
Location: Mining for Medals in Iron Mines

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done mate. Did my first IM at Austria this year and am thinking of IMA and IMUK next year. Congrats.
Jevon
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Luke




Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 521
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile Smile Smile WELL DONE Smile Smile Smile

Great race report. And a cracking race time.

If no more IM - what's next? (probably not the best time to ask).
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Rofster




Joined: 15 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SUperb FT, nice report, great pics and superb effort with the Aero Bar issue!

nice Very Happy
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White Noise




Joined: 25 Jun 2006
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Location: Perth, WA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Ironman UK 2007 race report Reply with quote

fruit thief wrote:


a picture is worth a thousand words, but the expression on your face seems to say in a sense of disbeilieve "fooking hell, i can't believe that i have just done that!"
Well done on completing your first one!
WN
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pip




Joined: 22 Sep 2004
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Location: Tooting (hopefully not for much longer)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow! Well done.

I did see someone coming up lyons gate on aeobars and i thought why Confused Now I know Smile

You must be so pleased
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snafu




Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Posts: 139
Location: Finally back in the UK!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:18 pm    Post subject: IMUK Reply with quote

Nick - many congratulations on your achievement and for your advice a few weeks ago! Worship
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tailender




Joined: 14 Aug 2004
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Location: Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inspiring stuff. Well done. If I ever enter an Ironman distance race, it will be people like you that I will hold personally responsible Very Happy
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putt putt




Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 1712

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well done! I saw you half way up LG - Realised I cdnt shout Fruit Thief so shouted Nick - you looked behind!

Re the bar end shifter - same thing happened to me in World AG Duathlon - made for a v messy T2 when it flicked into the wheel and I went sprawling. At least you managed to avoid that. Well done again!. Great time.
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Addison




Joined: 10 Sep 2006
Posts: 366
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bet that Baclofen pump sounds like a good idea now, hmm? Very Happy Very Happy

Fantastic effort, Nick. I BET you do another one. Wink
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