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Ray's IMUK race report (more than 100 words)
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Joined: 03 Jan 2005
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Location: newcastle under lyme

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:45 pm    Post subject: Ray's IMUK race report (more than 100 words) Reply with quote

This is my race report for IMUK 2007

Woke at 03:30 up dressed, putting my race gear on under my warm clothes, with my bike and race bagís already in transition the only thing I had to take was my white bag and my wetsuit oh and my track pump. Had breakfast (porridge) cup of tea and started to drink water. Loaded the car and drove to the castle.

As we arrived in the grounds and I made my way to my bike to check it over and put all my food on and water bottles. Checked and cleaned my tyres then pumped them up, first thing to go wrong was the track pump which came apart in my hands, just stood there amazed, and thought oh god itís one of those days. Borrowed a pump from the guy next to me and finished the job. Daz popped over for a chat

Once done popped back out to see Tracey and the family, they were chatting with Andy and his wife, after a quick chat I went back in to transition area to put on my wetsuit, waited in line for what seemed like days to have a last minute dump.

Wetsuit on, and joined the masses to head down to the water.


This is the only thing I had not put any effort in to during my training programme, I knew I could do the distance, but it was not going to be pretty or fast. I didnít think the swim was that bad, water was ok, cold at first but you soon got use to it. Had to stop twice for a pee, Tried to do it while in motion but couldnít. on the return leg I also swam into a canoe, looked up to see a women hanging off the end (GFA was this you?) pushed off and carried on. Rounded the bend to see the exit and headed home. On exit I saw Dale to the left and was going to fall on him again, but was dragged kicking and screaming out by 2 other chaps. Looked at my watch 1:27 canít complain. Started to run towards the tentÖ.running stop you muppet no extra effort, so walked the rest of the way to the tent grabbed my bag.


Dumped my stuff on the floor looked up and there was RobT getting ready, seemed he had had a bad swim and had been sick a couple of times. I had packed a water bottle and energy bar in my bag (one of Towels tips) and ate and drank this before I go to my bike. Opted to wear my long sleeve TT Bike top, loaded my pockets with my NUUN tablets and a few other oddís and sodís. In hind sight wish I had also put on my over shoes. Once ready off on my bike. The racks looked very empty, waved to the family and off to the mount point.

The Bike

Plan was take it very easy to the top of the first climb (lapturn around point) and then ride a good even pace making sure it felt easy. Got into my pace quickly and my HR settled as well, made sure I was drinking and my eating was spot on, everything was going to plan. Quickly Lyons gate approached, the thought of the TT massive on the top was great, and through the aid station at the bottom took on water. And up the hill sat back on my saddle, and let my legs spin there way up, found it unnervingly easy, over the top with the cheers ringing in my ears. Settled down for the down hill, then Ö crack, my seat moved, quick feel around couldnít feel anything and it seemed to be in the same position. Few minutes later same thing, this time I could feel the nose had dropped, sat back on the saddle, it felt steady, few minutes later the back dropped. Stood up and felt the saddle it seemed to move easy side to side and back and forth. At this point I was about 5 mile from the turn around at Dorchester, so decided to try and make it thereÖas I had run the risk of not taking an Alan key set with me, I will never do this again.. Got to the aid station after keeping the seat steady, but my back and inner thighs were now sore. Lucky one of the guyís at the aid station had a set, and helped tighten the nut. With that I was on my way.

Started the long climbs back towards the castle, with the wind not as bad as it got later the climb was ok, tried to spin up the steeper climbs were I could, as I reached the top of the giant, I heard the crack again and the seat again became lose, but it didnít feel as bad as before and was not moving side to side and only back and forward a bit, so just thought I would monitor the situation, it never got any worse, but I did have to keep moving the seat forward to keep my riding position as stable as possible. Got to the long down hill and just put my head down and went for it, had to keep shouting at people I was coming down as they all seemed to want to ride on the right. At the aid station I took on water. Now here is a top tip, if you are going to pee on the bike make sure if you use 2 bento boxes, one for gel and one for bars, that the one for bars is at the front end and not under the saddle were you can piss on them. It only dawned on what I had done after I had eaten the second soggy bar. By the time I had got to the point were the gypo camp was the wind had picked up. Soon I was at the turn around and started the second loop. Checked my average speed it showed only 15.7mph so decided to pick up the pace on the easy section now to Dorchester, Lyons gate didnít feel as easy this time but again spun up the hills, never leaving my saddle. The voices rang out from the TT Massive. Again at the top down on to the bars and upped the pace. Made sure that I never sent my HR to high, but tried to keep it mid Z2. soon I found myself approaching the aid station and turn around. Some dick shot past me at the aid station and then braked to cut in and grab water, this forced me to swerve and miss the first few sections of the aid station and only got one water bottle, did a quick assessment and decide I had enough to get me to the next station.

The second time up the climb to the turn around was harder the wind had picked up, and the legs and back were now hurting, nothing interesting happened on the route to the turn around, passed AndyS on the earlier stages of the climb. Got to the turnaround and the final loop, with this one I pushed it slightly on the down hills and spun easy up the hillís by the time I got to the turnaround the climb out of Dorchester the rain had come in, was so glad I had put on my bike top, the legs were tired on some of the up hills by now, and I was having to stop every other mile for a pee, really should have swapped my food around. The time seemed to be drag and the field was thinning and I was spending longer spells on my own with out seeing anyone. Suddenly I realised we were 2 miles from the castle and my thoughts turned to my run, coasted down hill and high spin to the castle and off my bike and gladly handed it to one of the many helpers. And across the muddy fie;d to the change tent. 6:57 bike on a whole a good bike time for the conditions and the fact my saddle was moving, but I think I have a faster time in me.


As I sat down again RobT turned up (think I have a stalker) felt really hyper and had to really concentrate to calm my self down. Decided to leave my bike gear on as it was comfy., went to the loo waved again to the family and off, as I was about to leave the tent a lady asked me if I wanted Vaseline, I took some and started to apply it to my lower regions before I realised that there was no tent flap and all the crowd was watching me fondle my self.

The Run

Straight away I slowed my self down to the pace I hoped I could keep 10:30per mile. I had put on my Garmin to help me, as I knew that my HR would be erratic the further I got into the run. Also made sure I did my 9/1 run/walk plan, this did have itís problems with the aid stations sometimes coming up as a walk had finished but I just allowed my self a longer walk break or an added walk so I could fill up my water bottle. Seen plenty of TTerís on the run, just a great distraction to the ever increasing stiffness and joint pain. The 2 laps inside the castle were over in what seemed like the blink of an eye, and I headed out to the A30, the high street was still full of people and the noise was something else, and put a much needed spring in my step. Then there was a quiet bit as we went through the school and over the bridge (not as bad as I thought) then out on to the road, the lines of people heading in both directions spread out for as far as the eye could see. As I passed the aid station before you hit the road, there was one guy arguing with a marshal as he had run over the bridge and back again not knowing where to turn round???????? And another guy asked me if he had to do another lap, I asked if he had done one or 2 laps of the A30 he said one, so I said yes you doÖhis reply was ~#*$ hell how long is this runÖ just looked and said 26 miles itís on the entry form and web site.

PaulL what a guy sat there with his horn and a cheery smile, which was much needed as this part is every bit as horrible as has been reported in the past. But there seemed to be more people out there than people have said and there was plenty of support from passing cars. And a guy with a set of plastic clapping hands, he was all over the place. I got my head down and tried to keep on pace, but found I was slowing a great deal going up hill and finding it very painful coming down. Seen Slako and Wiganer both looking in great shape, then AndyS and RobT, plus a few other TTerís sorry if I canít remember your names, but no one I saw was looking rough. But I did see ScotG and Mrs Slako plus pookey later on all looking good

At mile 16 it was like a thunder bolt hitting me that I only had 10 mile left, and I would then be an Ironman. I managed to pick up my pace, all be it still slow. I was taking a gel from every aid station and trying take in NUUN but was getting a bit sick of this taste so just went on plain water. At mile 20 I lost the taste for gels so went on to Coke and plain water. I was managing to keep a nice pace down hillís and even keeping a quicker pace up hills, I remember thinking to my self as I went round the turn around and headed back down the A30, ďthis is it mate youíre on your way homeĒ as I passed Paul for the final time I thanked him and asked him to get a message via sue to Tracey to say I was on my way home. Tried to thank as many of the marshals and aid station people as I could for there efforts. I finally got off the road and had the foot bridge ahead of me, actually didnít feel that bad, could be because I was on my way home. Through the town it was a lot quieter than on the way out. I headed towards the castle and through the gate seemed like everyone I passed was cheering us all on. Turned left and started the little climb towards the castle, more voices joined the chorus telling me I was now and Ironman. As the finish Shute turned right I started to look out for Tracey as I wanted to take Jacob over the finish with me, I then noticed the time I was well under 14 hours. I was screaming with joy and took hold of my son I tried to milk the moment as we crossed the line

I was at last and IRONMAN

I would again like to thank everyone for the advice and help over the past months, and again for the support given from the TT massive, and everyone else there on the day.

What did I learn from the day, train more for the swim, check, check and check again your bike? Also no matter how hard your race is crossing the finish is worth every penny and painful step.

bad back and much for being an Ironman
Can't sleep the clowns will eat me
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats Ray Cool

nice report, it was good to see you out there Cool

You are a Ironman Cool
Pain is to be embraced, not feared

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superb report and race Ray, not sure if thats the greatest advert for the race, or the biggest warning about what it takes to get round.

I can almost feel the Vaseline on my todger, you transported me there so completely. All the best for the recovery.

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dr dre

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice one dude - cant wait to see that finish line photo - and great time as well, enjoy the recovery
Racing triathlons with both direction and magnitude
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Simon G.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Ray. A "real" report Cool
When I met you at Bala I felt sure you had the determination to finish this race...solid time too Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic effort Ray, you looked amazing well on the A30!

Thanks for telling me that City beat United, I really needed a shot in the arm at that point! Had (a very small) spring in my step after hearing that!
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Ray - you looked really chuffed at the finish - congratulations !
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise. ~A.A. Milne
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report Ray and fantastic effort.

Especially liked the bits about the gypo camp (someone else as un PC as me) and the public fondling session! (Something I would probably end up doing unwitttingly too)

Must have been particularly special collecting your son to cross the line with you. How old is he?

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Dale Cannonman

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely awesome mate. You and the rest of the Connor dynasty must be so proud of what you have achieved and far you have come in such a short space of time. In fact you did so well mate, I'm going to let you buy me a beer the next time we meet!

Dale Cannonman Very Happy Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Ray! I'm pretty sure you finished the swim 5 secs after me. I think I just nipped past you on the right hand side as we swam up to the exit. I should of drafted you in though because you finished well over and hour ahead of me by the end! lol

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Legs of Jelly

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report ray and a fantastic achievement!! Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow what a report. I laughed and then I choked back a tear at the end.

Great achievement Ray, well done.

No more race reports please as I really am not looking to inspired to enter next year but seem to be fighting a losing battle. Hopefully the inspiration won't last Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ha ha, your lucky me and andy s were planing to jump you when you wre passing us on the last run lap, we had decided you looked far to fresh.
i was gonna grab you he was gonna hit you.
but we decided not to in the end Wink Wink
mate no words can describe how made up i am for you.
well done.
ironman Cool
was fat then thin, then fat again then thin, then huge. on me way back from huge hopefully to normal.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report Ray, well done.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Ray, great report, nice one IronMan!
".... and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
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