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Wiganers IMUK Report........(oh yes, its a long one)
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Joined: 01 Oct 2006
Posts: 11598
Location: walking in a Wigan-Wonderland..

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:51 pm    Post subject: Wiganers IMUK Report........(oh yes, its a long one) Reply with quote

"Number 825...Martin Holden from Wigan, Lancashire....YOU ARE AN IRONMAN".....simply the sweetest words I have ever heard at the end of what can only be described as a truly awesome day.....but lets start much much earlier than that....

arrived on the campsite for my "one-night special" with RobT, EZ Duzzet (Neil) and "Eyma"...well ok, not a great kiwi accent (Emmabermingham). Thanks again fella, gave me lots of tips and advice on what to expect and what his thoughts on things were. We then headed off to drive the bike course...and again priceless advice from Rob on the intracacies of the the time we both agreed it was a hard course, and I am sure one of us said "It will be a killer if it is windy....doh !!!"

Here we are on site:

we sat around chatting over a cup of tea until it was time to spend a pretty damn cold and wet night under canvas, but Rob's tent was well up to the job and I think we all got a few hours kip in.

After a breakfast and brew, I headed over to the lake for the practise swim, but I decided not to bother. It was cold and wet and I didnt really see how the swim would benefit me, so I was happy to stand around and watch, but did manage to get this piccie of the TTers who were swimming:

(l-t-r)..Mrs Slacko, Mountaingirl, EZ Duzzet, Pookey, emmabermingham, Slacko, Ray and Snafu.

It was all then starting to get a bit exciting and I registered and got the IM wristband to last me the whole event....

It was then time to say cheerio to Rob and the gang and meet Mrs Wiganer and the boys in our cottage. Mrs W had a nightmare journey down getting stuck in traffic making it a monumentous 7hr trip. Friday was a relax and wind down, warm bath and a decent nights sleep.

We were up early for the Junior Duathlon over at the castle. Jonathan was racing in the Tristart age group and he blasted the first run (coming 2nd into T1), but then died off a bit before coming in a very respectable 13th....I was made up for him and he did it in the most appalling wind and rain you could lad !!!. His brother was there too supporting him all the way:

I then racked my stuff and met Towel in the bag drop area, looking lean and mean and ready to give it some....and then headed off to the race brief. By this time it was really raining heavily and the thoughts of 10miles on the bike in that made me shudder never mind 112 !!! The race brief was a bit like being at school, but I wont dwell on that at home to get warm, eat and sleep ready for the biggest and hardest day of my life.


4.15am - into transition early (I like getting there well in advance to take my time and make sure all is right..) First good moment was when the bike was all there safe and sound and with hard need to do anything other than to put the bottles on board. Found a spot in the tent and started to get changed about 5am and met DT (I think, in fact I am sure) and Jev who were coincidentally getting changed next to me ! The atmosphere was just great and I have honestly never felt so relaxed before an event ever...I was loving it and there were no signs of any nerves at all. I stayed with Jev and we met up with the Slacko's, Bigron and mountaingirl, pookey and snafu and all waited patiently for the time to come:

6.15am SWIM
What a feeling as we walked gladiator style to the swim start through the crowds, all strangely quiet with the odd shout out, but with a fantastic atmosphere.....electric wouldnt even cover it. Into the water and me and Jev had already decided to stay middle-ish but right at the back, with a plan to swim through the slower swimmers and find some space. Luckily being right at the back meant that it was shallow and I found a log on the lake bottom and stood on it so I didnt need to tread water !!! (energy saver as we were in there 30mins before the hooter went). As soon as the swim started I knew it was going to be a good was easily the most fun swim I have ever had......the start was carnage, just like you had thrown 1500 people in a pool, which is what you had done....arms legs backs feet..everything hitting was time to stay calm and stroke and avoid the feet.....I felt total control....swam nicely and smoothly and got throught the first lap in 32mins which was brilliant. I got lots of drafting in and felt good. The second lap was always going to be slower as I was tiring a little and there was lots more open water in front of me so no drafts and then there was the additional swim to the exit and I also seemed to have the Mr Bean of swimming near me....( I thought my "swim-compass" was bad...this guy was zig-zag crazy)..anyway out of the water in around 1.15 (5-10mins ahead of schedule)...absolutely chuffed to bits....

now 10mins in T1 is long, but I wanted to make sure I was dry and warm before starting out on the bike....I completely changed into new tri-suit, bike shirt, two pairs of socks and arm warmers (what a life saver they were).....I could have been quicker but the minutes lost here saved me many many more as the day wore on. Took half a bar and some drink on board before I jumped on the old Stealth and out on the bike.

Looking back at this leg now, I think that I under-estimated the effect the hills would have on my overall time. On a rolling course, small rises etc, I am very very strong and can go all day, but shifting my weight up those hills really did for me. The weather was horrid as well, cold and windy on the tops and then a rain storm on the last lap made for some pretty miserable stretches.....but what support from the TT'ers on Lyons Gate. You could hear them from the bottom and it was a great spur. Met some great guys around the course, none more so that "Life of Riley" who seemed to crop up regularly as we trundled round. Others I saw out there were Tinman, Ed_m, Jim Regan, Moffy....probably more....Biggest buzz of the day was on lap two going down the big descent. There I was on the bars, just getting towards top speed and we go round the kink and slap bang in the middle of the road is an ambulance !!!! OH MY GOD.....anchors are slammed on, I slithered a bit, but kept it there and next all I heard was "RIGHT" and through a gap as big as narrow as could be came Stephen Bayliss and Scott Neyedeli hot on his heels....blimey charlie !!!! I missed the food at the Lyons Gate aid station on lap three and suffered down to Dorchester before recovering, but then noticed my front wheel had come loose !!!. Stopped and made sure it was fixed after some faffing and then got home in 6.44 (was looking for 6.15- 6.30, so not a million miles off)

not much messing here.....again, another complete change into TT kit and off out of the tent into some welcome crowd noise.....

What a sight for sore eyes....10yards out of the tent was Mrs Wiganer and the boys.....she took this:

the first 5 miles of the run was awful. My back was stiff and spasm'ing and I felt rubbish. Then an angel came from the heavens....well ok, not quite, but I then met the guy who probably more than any other, got me home in the end...step forward the legend that is Toyota Crown. What a complete fruit-cake (and I mean that in the nicest way possible)....just a few 100ms with him and some words of help made all the difference....the power-walk tips did the job. I think the race knew i was in trouble as at the same time along came "doug" in his IRN BRU top and that was good enough for me....on I went.....up the hill past Pinford Bridge. Saw Jev running the other way and just tried to hand on in there.....the tracks along the back were muddy and deserted.....stopped three times to try and stretch the back muscles....really hurt, but I needed to do it and pushed through the pain to find out it worked....Daz, if you read this, thanks a million for the "stop in the first mile and stretch" tip...ok it took me nearly 5 to remember, but that was another thing that got me home. Got round the first lap and came back to the castle.....reaching out over the barrier was YoungGun......again another MASSIVE boost for me....(never saw him again, but that 3 secs conversation was another help)....the second lap was a bit easier but as I left the castle, I was having serious doubts of finishing this race....the back and the feeling were getting to was make or break had to get better. Got through the town and over the footbridge, which didnt hurt and suddenly I realised my legs were strong....maybe, if I could feel a bit better I could get going.....decided to ditch my nutrition plan and go for something else....very risky, but I needed to do it. I decided on a mouthful of water, a cup of Gatorade and a banana at each station from now on in along that dreaded dual-carriage way......I really fought the urge to wrap it in through miles 9-14.....Paul L sat there alone in his chair in the middle of no-where was another help and then guess who pops up again....Toyota Crown on his second loop.....saved me again mate....I saw Slacko on each lap and we both virtually hugged each other to keep us going....saw loads of other TTers....."hurler"..."Ray"....."AndyS and RobT"....OB1, Scottg.....Emma, EZ Duzzet......walked and chatted with Frosty too and got to the turn round for the second time and the biggest smile of my life arrived. I knew I was about 7 miles from home and I knew I would make it to the finish.....I met JC at this point and fair play to him he ran/walked with me for about 2miles before shooting off to finish.....I was in dreamland by now....heading back past the Hotel to the footbridge.....and then to top it all off, who is there giving me abuse, but Towel !!!! I could have hugged him I felt that good....he had a good race too by the sounds of it and that was the icing on the cake.......I floated throught the town...met Mrs Slacko, Pookey and GFA on the way and wished them luck.....The castle grounds were in and enjoy this moment I past transition and some-one for the umpteenth time that day shouted "Go Wiganer".....and the guy speeding past me to the finish....turned and said "Oh you're Wiganer....hi, I'm Scruffy, nice to meet you !!!.....class.

Got to the finishing straight and saw the clock....had a choice....push it a little and get under 13hrs or stop, pick up my boys and stroll in milking the atmosphere....guess what I chose !!!

What a fantastic end to the day....13hrs for my first IM is an amazing I am just through the finish line:

I did the first half of the run in 2.33 and the second half in around 2.10 which just shows how I suffered with the back early on.

Total Time: 13hrs 01min

I could literally spend hours thanking TT'ers who have helped me, but there are a few who have done so much for me and I want to say a special thanks to them now:

Crazygirl: would never had got to this moment in time without her first PM offering to give me and my mate some swim tips all those months ago....we kept in touch and back each other through some tough times....thanks !!!

AndyS: simply the font of all knowledge and impartial comment and advise....encouraged me, but never pushed me into this....great to meet him and share some laughs along the way

YoungGun: thanks for all your thoughts when I have pestered you. Your training structure (cant call it a plan cos it wasnt) was the basis of the work to get me through.....great to see your face on that run mate.

Towel: simply inspirational and thanks so much for taking the time to offer your advices to my never ending questions......even for sending me that race belt when I had forgot mine for my first race ! That sight of you near the hotel, smiling will live with me forever !

The Slacko's: through all the biff and banter, we never had anything but the single thought of helping each other through this.......fantastic to meet you and bloomin well done mate !

woody70: constant help and support on the blog really helped me mate....I hoped I did enough for us big guys....

RobT: an absolute gentleman and I will never forget your generosity and friendliness mate.....pure class. See you in Wales next year !

Rooster: only saw you twice briefly mate, but thanks for your help and support and I suppose the Oxygenaddict team brought home the bacon didnt we !!!

Pyschotic4fun: again, thanks for all your words and conversations mate....particularly loved your stunt cycling when we rode out....thought of it more than once on that course I can tell you !!!

there are loads more who I should have thanked and I will get around to doing it, but the biggest of all thanks goes to my lovely wife Anne.....without her undying support and help, I would have still been the fat lazy slop supping beer and wasting away......always there for the kids when I was out slogging around the streets...and there at the end with the biggest smile in the world.....I LOVE YOU !!!

Finally, and it has been an epic, if you are looking for an IM, then beware, this one is hard a day out as I can remember, but the camaraderie between the athletes was like being on another planet and I will never forget that......

I am now very sore and very tired....but I can say that whilst I will always be a Pieman......I am now an IRONMAN !!!!!
Martin Holden Images
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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: Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done pieman and welcome to the ironman club!!! Wink
Race Hard Suffer In Silence

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Fidgie Pie

Joined: 02 Aug 2005
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Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great report there - brought a lump to my throat - I think one thing that is clear from your report that despite all the training and you did plenty, the reality is way harder than you ever could imagine!! - I am really chuffed you did so well and the picture with your boys is just lovely. REally really well done Very Happy
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Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Posts: 139
Location: Finally back in the UK!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome report mate and a fantastic achievement to finally reach your Ironwards goal!! Worship

I've got nothing but respect to all of you who put yourselves through it last Sunday and can only hope that I can replicate the determination and focus that you showed to get to the end when I finally get a chance to have a proper go next year!
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Joined: 22 Jul 2005
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Location: Livin' on the edge....

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another great report - excellent stuff Wiggy!

Super to meet you along the way too. Great the first one isn't it? Then you get all competetive and think how much better you could do it and it's a slippery slope from there onwards!

2:10 2nd lap? Some negative split eh? Obviously left a bit in the tank! Wink

Feet up now!

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. - Verbal (1995)
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Joined: 15 Aug 2006
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Location: at the top of a hill shaking my pom poms

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely fantastic! Well done -- and same to Jonathan for racing in such horrible weather!
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was running with JC when we saw you on the dual carrigeway. You looked really fresh and like you were really enjoying yourself!

Well done, great effort and great pics.

Freddie Smile

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Joined: 08 Jun 2006
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Location: London (South of the River!)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Great work. A really honest report from a really honest guy.

Great to meet up with you and let's just hope you don't do another IM as I don't think the Forum has the capicity to answer all your thousands of questions!!!!! Smile

Well Done and hats off to you.
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Location: Heath Charnock

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:16 pm    Post subject: Top Guy Reply with quote

Awesome....when I do one !!!! I don't think it will be this one...sounded gruelling, may have to go abroad.

Would you do another Ironman ?

Again, Well Done.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would have been great to share a guinness with you at the end but it was more important for me to get out there at the hurt point, which is the turn to go back to babylon.

Thats where i stayed for a couple of hours and missed out on the minty balls.

Well done that man...fancy another?
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Location: walking in a Wigan-Wonderland..

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

would I do another one.....if you asked me after the race I would have said fact I did many times, my first words to Anne were "I love you.....never again" .....but now.......although I am still walking around like the tin-man, I would have to say a big YES !!!!.....but not UK again.
Martin Holden Images
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report and a great performance - congratulations Martin! Very Happy

Lovely to see all your boys with you at the end.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

soften them up with the promise of a holiday too, so pick an exotic place. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

martin within about 2 mins of meeting you i knew you would never ever stop until you crossed the line, even if it had to be on hands and knees.
however it never came to that and you stormed around, the times i saw you, you always looked in total control.
if there is a word that describes you perfectly it is.
IRONMAN and that you are.
well done.
it is i who should thank you for your great company on thursday night and friday morning.
and the minty balls Very Happy

one more thing
lanza 08??? Wink
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: Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Wiganers IMUK Report........(oh yes, its a long one) Reply with quote

wiganer wrote:
What a sight for sore eyes....10yards out of the tent was Mrs Wiganer and the boys.....she took this:

Those two banger balloon things are in the hands of Michele and the hooter in the hands of Jonathan, my nephew. Shame the woman didn't meet up before the day.

Congrats on a great race, you looked like you were enjoying the whole thing which is inspirational to us all.
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