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My First Ironman-Another Roth Race Report pics/vids included
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Joined: 25 Jul 2006
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Location: Nottingham / Derbyshire

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:28 am    Post subject: My First Ironman-Another Roth Race Report pics/vids included Reply with quote

My first Ironman by Paul aged 40.

Warning this report may contain drivel.

My first Ironman and I swore before hand it would be my last. That may not however turn out to be the case, as the whole journey from clicking the ďpay nowĒ button on the web through to race day has been one hugely positive experience. I am not an athlete, Iím a plodder who grinds it out, and I really thought Ironman racing is a step too far, but hey weíll give it a bash and I like so many others on this forum have surprised myself, and surpassed any expectations I may have previously had. Iíve been walking around all week with one heck of a smile on my face.

Roth. An odd choice for a first IM? Well actually no, itís the biggest IM race in the world, the support is unparalleled (according to 220 anyhow!), and Iím very at home in Germany with friends living relatively locally. 90,000 people turned out in the pouring rain to watch us, to cheer sing and play cheesy music, Iíll tell you what the marathon with Abba in the background is almost a humorous experience! The cut off times are tougher at Roth, and if you want an IM tattoo then donít do it. The organisation is brilliant, the crowds are absolutely superb, and the setting is lovely.

Letís dispel a few myths about Roth. It is not flat. Let me repeat that, there are some serious hills in Roth. Greding and the Solarer Berg are but two. Donít think you can turn up at Roth and do everything on the big ring, it ainít happening. The road surfaces are fantastic, and the crowds give you a lift, thatís why the pros times are good, not because itís flat. Let me repeat that, Roth is not flat, itís in the hills of Franconia, and they donít suddenly disappear for a day. The run is along a canal too and is relatively flat, but it does undulate, especially at turn two and the last 1.5 km is definitely up hill. I can confirm a couple too though, the swim is wonderfully easy to navigate on and the crowds even despite the weather we had were awesome.

OK Ė so hereís my report.

Accommodation, well as Larmen said ďif itís good enough for Macca itís good enough for meĒ. I was really impressed with the hotel, and would stay there again. Lindenwirt. Itís clean, friendly and they did us a special early breakfast on race day, and pasta the night before. Itís also near a really lovely lake that made it seem like we were on holiday post race. One of the best things about the hotel was that Barnetrose and her other half were there. They made what would have been a worrying time preparing for the race almost seem like fun. That is despite the obsessive compulsive checking I found myself doing pre race. My German friends Bea, Joerg and Dana turned up on Friday, and I was so glad they were there too, despite being a great cheerleading team, they took the worry out of getting bikes back home etc too. Solche tolle Freunde hat niemand.

Link to the hotel here:

Iím glad we got there on Thursday. It cave plenty of time to register, do the pre swim in the canal and go to the pasta party where we met up with Cleo, Jorgan, Larmen and his partner Rosey. Pasta and the expo would have been awsesome in the sun, but it belted down and not even I was tempted to spend money on useless carbon stuff.

Racked the bike on Saturday, and did damn all else I suppose. Thatís the way itís meant to be though. Chill a bit before the race.

Race day starts terribly early. Earlier still if you donít actually sleep with nerves the night before. Breakfast came, and I was pumped. Anyhow to the strains of the Haka (found to be baffling to most Germans) the pros and the ladies set off on the swim. Yeah yeah, Macca reaches the turn in about 20 seconds. Meanwhile me and Mr Barnetrose were left to check everything again and make numerous visits to the toilets for the next hour and a bit. Eventually we go into the water and the race blinking started before I even had a chance to get to the start line. Iím in the middle of the scrum. Exactly where I didnít want to be. But then I discovered it was bloody good fun, and I was actually faster than most of them, and anyhow Iím bigger so I swam over them. Overtook wave after wave of swimmers, and was having a whale of a time (I have been compared to a whale before). I always knew my swim would be good, but I really enjoyed this.
I got out of the water and despite kicking like crazy, the dizzy feeling still overcame me on exiting the water. Half cut I picked up my bike clothes, and headed into the tent. Putting on the dry clothes was pointless, as I would in the course of a few minutes be wetter on the bike than I was in the swim.

Total swim time 1 hour 9 minsÖÖ As Tony the tiger says Grrrrrrreat.

Cheers, klaxons and the odd useful comment from my friends sent me on the way on the bike. I couldnít see a thing for the rain and the spray. Lost the sunglasses, thatís better. I went of at a hell of a lick and by the time Iíd reached Greding I knew things were going OK. Crawled up the Kavalierenberg and enjoyed the cheering crowds. I high fived as many kids as I could, and was glad to see the aid station. I took on board about a litre carb drink an hour and a half a banana at every aid station. This was more than enough for the first lap.
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The second lap started badly, badly in that I went the wrong way. I was trying to be a smart ass and was keeping up with this bloke on a bike with more bling than a chavís Vauxhall Nova and I started heading for T2 until I was corrected by a supporter. Lap 2 brilliant, and just loving the support on the Solarer Berg, and from the local ski club (and yes I did ham it up doing all the actions to their drinking songs).
A gel an hour and a drink an hour, along with Cliff shot blocks saw me through.
- please note HILL!
Total time 6í 28Ē

T2 was on me before I though tit should be, my bike was whisked away, and a young lady started to strip me naked. Yeeha, blonde 18, very nice indeed. It was obviously cold, and she didnít seem too impressed by the naked somewhat flabby celtic form that towered over her. The first person to dress me since my Mum taught me how to tie my shoe laces, very odd indeed.

So I set out on this wee marathon business. A drink of coke at every station and some banana too if I could get it down. Iíve got to run at least the half of it Iím thinking to myself, sure didnít you do that at the Vit. A 4km Bea was waiting with my special needs and a hug, absolutely ideal, and I headed off to turn one. All flat then a bit of a hill going into the village where the turn is. Itís a village where theyíd entered into the spirit by emptying out the spirits, they were a tad drunk and very vocal by the time I go there.. Great support that I milked for all that it was worth, and my spirits were on the up. Rosey (Larmenís partner) passed me coming the other way. God did she look like she knew what she was doing, cruising she was it was like seeing Paula Radcliffe.. Now I needed to at least pretend I was running for whenever I was to see Barnetrose, Andy and Jorgan. Keep going Ö. (never did see Jorgan). Suddenly it started to throw down with rain, stair rods hammered down and the previous high spirits nose dived. I struggled through the first half manfully counting anything I could to take my mind off the fact I was running. Just past my friends with more special needs, and to tell me I looked just fine (lying bar stewards). At 25km Rosey shoots off in the other direction. Thatís going to annoy Larmen I thought, last time I saw him I was looking good in comparison! On to the second turn, and eventually I see Barnetrose and Andy who by now is catching me and looking really strong. I think I can catch Barnetrose after the turn, and gel filled and caffeine fuelled I chase her down. Thatís not too easy, as sheís started running again, and it took me until about 35km until I got to her. I thought at last I can walk a wee bit now. Tried that but my legs decided on their own free will that walking was bad, and I better try jogging again. They just had no control at all.

Just listen to your body is what they say isnít it? Well I listened and at this stage my body was telling me it was never going to talk to me again if I didnít wise up. For goodness sake you pile of blubber, a heart rate of 162 for 12.5 hours and you want me to do more? Well you know what you can doÖ.
So the body had its way and I started a walk run programme. It probably looked more looked like a waddle crawl programme to onlookers, but me and my body called it running. At last the turn off to the finish, only 4km to go and my mates were there yelling useful things like ďsprint finishĒ at me. Sprint finish? That was as likely as me beating Macca. But hey Iíd done that as the big girlís blouse had pulled out (therefore weíre all better than Macca, I mean HTFU you big poof). I trudged up the hill to the finish , and saw the big blue arch. I went as fast as I could, friends waving, pictures being taken thenÖ I realised that wasnít the bloody finish. Iíd another 600 metres to keep this pretence of fitness up until I hit the line. Now I was on the big TV so I needed to keep going and smile for my public, yip if they couldnít see Macca finish theyíd see some fat bloke in Tritalk kit get happy. They seemed content with my performance, but I was over the moon. Iíd just wanted to finish, then 13 hours 55 was the goal (a training colleagueís time), now it was looking like 13 hours 13 minutesÖ. Huh did I set this clock wrongly? Christ almighty it was rightÖ. and err Iím an Ironman now. There seemed to be some sand in my eyeÖ..

Got me a massage, and eventually saw BR and Andy, tried to get some food down me and didnít really feel like it. So off to meet my matesÖ. The fireworks start and still no sign of Cleo, damn it she didnít make it. Itís about ten minutes until Dana says that sheís come over the line now. Yeeha, Iím well pleased for her. Now thatís tenacity.

Battle done and the next big challenge was walking on Monday. WTF? I canít move at all! The hotel owner is having a grand laugh at my expense, and I canít do much. Lunch with BR and Andy, my first beer since March. Oh BabyÖÖ. Hmmm out of training on the drinking front and this stuff is going to my head faster than Jorgan hit the finish line. Slept a lot. I intend on doing a lot of sleeping now.

Next day, bike ride and a swim with BR and Andy, Iím feeling good by now. The area is wonderful Ė really pretty. Brothers Grimm territory Ė and yes Iím going to make the connection, for the fairytale start to my Ironman career.

Then lunch with the Trittalk team, what a top bunch!

Things I now know:

Toddy, Jonob and Deano are better athletes than me. Training with them helped me enormously. Thanks guys.
Tritalk support and this forum is wonderful, the race would not have been the same without Barnetrose, Andy, Larmen, Rosey, Jorgan and Cleo. Thanks too to all those who gave me encouragement on the way, Pete, Smiler et all.
I can do this thing!

My race video now...


What a wonderful experience. Thanks guys.

Last edited by fatirishman on Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:47 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FIM is an IM Cool Lovin' the beer shot Very Happy
Swim smart, Bike strong, Run tough
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Jon OB

Joined: 01 Jun 2005
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Location: Derby

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I be the first to congratulate you!!

Awesome result mate!! So which one are you doing next?? Very Happy Very Happy
2010: The Outlaw 'Bike Leg'
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Mrs Slacko

Joined: 26 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that looked a seriously steep climb in that pic Shocked So, it's not flat then Laughing Congrats. great result Worship
I smile a lot!
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Nick B

Joined: 23 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well done FIM, slightly longer than erewash tri you did on the same date last year Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work, great report and a really great time Fat(andfast)Irishman - hopefully the first of many Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superb report (with pictures!) FatIrishMan (BTW you are far from it!) Well done on becoming an IronMan! Hurray!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fatirishman wrote:
Things I now know:
...Toddy, Jonob and Deano are better athletes than me. Training with them helped me enormously. Thanks guys...

Faster than me on the day too! Awesome report and good to see that you gave the new bike some cadence, that is some top pedal power. ForestMan next year, then Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way to go bigman.

Glad you finished it. Headbang
What's My Time. A new name in Chip Timing
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, you looked like you knew what you were doing on that bike video....steady! No beer since March? Is this the same guy I met?! I have it 2-3 nights before a big race to help me get to sleep; purely medicinal Wink

Yes, shame we didn't 'meet' on the run, I think my headstart probably prevented that. So, did you have some beer from the 'mile' in Eckersmuhlen?! The worst thing was at the run stations where kids would brandish trays laden with cakes and biscuits....never had they looked so unappealing! The crazy thing was that I was shunning Coke for most of the run, not watning a caffiene crash too early....forgetting of course, that all the gel I was taking had it anyway Rolling Eyes

Naturally, you've made the mistake of doing a decent hiding anymore FIM, you're a proper Triathlete Very Happy I haven't done a shread of training're far too keen!

Take it easy, and it was great to meet you. Do you have any future plans??
26 Years since it all began....

Last edited by Jorgan on Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Cyanide Sabre

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

top, top effort.

Very well done - the "I" in FIM now stand for "Iron" !!
Youth & Talent are no match for Age & Treachery
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dr dre

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

top bombing iron dude and great report

good to see plenty of tritalk branded kit as well Cool
Racing triathlons with both direction and magnitude
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i LOVE your movie clip of you on the bike - looking so pro and TDF and serious until you pull a massive cheesy grin at the camera Very Happy Very Happy Quality!

great race FIM, from your posts i know how apprehensive you were about the distance but you smashed it! great stuff
Going Short
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work FIM, so, there's a couple of non flat bits are there? Very Happy

Good Stuff Iron Man
If you test yourself there are two results. It might go right or it might go wrong, but if you had the intention to test it, it's never wrong.

Even if the result is not what you expected, just wake up and do it again...
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report and great time, really well done.
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