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A slightly late race report from IM Austria

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Joined: 09 Feb 2006
Posts: 819
Location: Cornwall or Azerbaijan

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:22 pm    Post subject: A slightly late race report from IM Austria Reply with quote

Build up
I arrived home from Azerbaijan on the Tuesday night and Wednesday morning saw me at the doctors explaining about the constant pain in my right hip. ‘Hmmm, bursitis’ said the doc, ‘you should rest it……’. They wouldn’t offer a cortisone injection and I left with some very large doses of ibuprofen and the feeling that the marathon would be painful or not do-able.

Later that evening Man vs Tarmac, myself and the rest of TeamO (Laura, Jack and Tom) arrived in Venice to find that the minibus we’d hired wasn’t there. In fact nobody from the hire company was there and in the end we bit the bullet and hired another van at the next counter at more than double the cost. We eventually arrived at Lake Maltsascher holiday village at 03:00.

Friday - TriTalk swim

On Friday morning it was great to meet up for the TriTalk swim recce and put some faces to names. Great to meet the Slackos, Fully Ferrous, Recipher, Runtilyoudrop, Mrs & Mrs Goodforage, Rob Quantrell and others. The water was invitingly blue and warm!

Saturday - Ironkids
Saturday was Ironkids day and my 2 boys were hyped and nervous before their 100m swim and 900m run. However, they did themselves proud and thoroughly enjoyed the race which finished between the grandstands and though the finish arch. They are now proud owners of K-dot medals!

Race Day.
An 04:15 alarm ensured that Man vs Tarmac and myself got some breakfast and managed to be in transition pumping up tyres by 05:45. Nerves were building, but not as bad as they were for my first HIM last year! The rest of TeamO left us to sort out loo stops and wetsuits as they went off to stake a good viewing position at the back of the right-hand beach. By 06:30 we were onto the beach and sucking up the atmosphere. Wow, this was great, we’re really doing this! By 06:50 the Slackos joined us and we wished each other luck, all hyped up and keen. A last hug and kiss with my wife and children and then down to the water.

As the first AG’ers entered the water the canon went off and we were away. Despite the 2500 people starting from the beach I never really had any biff in the swim, just a bit of a struggle at times to find clear enough water to maintain a long smooth stroke. It seemed to take a long time out to the outward turn buoy at 1400m and again across the 400m to the next turn. After that though it all seemed to speed up and I had reasonably clear water, allowing me to really concentrate on keeping a long smooth stroke and keeping my breathing in check. The last 800m up the canal was great as the banks were lined with hundreds of noisy supporters and every time I breathed to the left I was trying to catch sight of TeamO with their Cornish support flag. The swim was much better than expected. I'd anticipated a 1:20-1:30 swim, so coming out of the water in 1:12 after what I thought had been a pretty steady swim had me laughing to myself.

The 2 lap bike course was on great road surfaces but without much long-distance race experience I had to resist the urge to go for it from the outset. I set to with my race plan and paced myself to a steady heartrate, made sure of my nutrition and reminded myself of Redbiker’s maxim of ‘ride the first 80miles like you’re riding to the race’. Somewhere out near Egg an See I very clearly remember passing Slacko and shouting out ‘This is great, I’m doing an Ironman!!!’ which made him laugh before he overtook me again. Support along the whole route was huge and really livened up the ride; in my TT kit I got lots of shouts of ‘Go TriTalk’ from both supporters and competitors (I managed to say hi to PsychoTim but missed most of the other names!). Rupertiberg hill was pretty steady, although I found myself getting overtaken by everyone as I span away; so much for all those Cornish hills making me strong, I was looking decidedly average at best. However the run back down into Klagenfurt was very fast overall and I clocked the first 56mile loop in 3:00 hrs, just like a training ride. Nutrition was going great and no back problems either. Around the turnpoint at Minimundus and still no sign of TeamO – I’d been too pessimistic with my estimated timings!

Lap 2 got interesting when a thunderstorm turned the roads into rivers for 1.5 hrs and, although this slowed some people, it was just another Sunday morning UK ride for me. Finally back through the park and I saw TeamO, somewhat bedraggled, but still yelling and whistling for all they were worth. Hop, Hop, Hop!!!. Into T2 after 6:12 on the bike feeling I could have gone harder but still not sure what my legs were going to be capable of on the run.

The change tent was underwater but it had just stopped raining and seemed to be brightening up and I put on dry kit for the run. I had been worried about a hip injury that I had picked up 3 weeks out and hadn’t run since; I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to run at all and set off rather tentatively waiting for a big twang – it never came! Out through the park and Hi-5’s from my family brought a big smile but the first 3 miles were a bit of a struggle as my legs adjusted. The initial 11:30 min/mile pace wasn't looking good! However by the Klampendorf turnaround my legs kicked into life and I then had to slow myself down when I found I was running 8:20 min/miles at one point. Not being much of a runner I was smart enough to know that even IM race hype wouldn’t let me sustain this for 26 miles! Off up to Klagenfurt, I jumped for the bell but failed to make a clang. Steady, steady, steady. Bananas, gels and coke were getting a bit hard to stomach but I kept at it knowing that I still had a way to go. The sun was now getting hot and a sponge over the head at every aid station was something to look forward too. The first 13 miles went by in 2:05, my hip was holding up and I knew I was going to finish my first IM. I started to think about a sub-12 finish and began calculating paces and times…

Through the park; more Hi-5’s and ‘Love you’s!’ with my family and great support all round ‘Super Richard, super, hop, hop, hop’. Massive support from TomW and Sam (thanks guys! – I was sure Helen was there too but didn’t have the presence of mind to ask).

However, as I collected my white band for my second loop I Iost the plot a bit. One of the marshalls saw my green and white bands and directed me off to the left and so off I duly went somewhat confused as to how this direction was going to head out to Klampendorf again. The cheers from the crowd were rising but suddenly by heart was sinking as realisation dawned. What a numpty, I’d let myself be directed towards the finish! A quick about face and a slightly embarrassed explanation to some supporters cries of ‘where are you going Rich?’ and I was back on track

The last time through Klampendorf and I was glad about that. More calculation of times and I kept the mental pressure there, forcing myself back up to pace whenever I realised I’d drifted off. However, by 20 miles I was struggling to keep the pace up to that required for sub-12; I was passing lots of people but my body just wouldn’t seem to go any faster. All the support from my family and rest of the crowds along the route keep me smiling. Strangely I was still loving it; here I was actually doing an Ironman! I kept pushing on the last 5 miles and just as I got back to the clock by the swim exit it ticked over 12:00 hrs. Oh well, I laughed, and ran on the last mile. My 2 boys joined me in the last 100m and suddenly I was there. We rounded the corner into the finish chute where the DJ, pom-pom girls and crowd were whipping up the atmosphere and we ran had in hand through the finish arch at 12:10 with the words blasting out 'Richard Osborne, you ARE an Ironman!'

A little bit of cramp hit me as I walked away from the finish line with my medal around my neck, but this soon went and I was soon enjoying the savoury rice, stew and pizza being served up. Then it was back to the finish line to see Man vs Tarmac through and there I was screaming and blowing whistles with the rest of the crowd.

What an outrageous atmosphere and experience!!! I loved every minute of it and felt really positive throughout the whole day. Even my family, who drew the short straw of standing around in the rain from 5am until 10:30pm, said they’d had a fantastic time and what a friendly bunch the TT’ers and tri-community are.

I have to say that for the next couple of days walking downstairs was a little painful (!) but after a few swims and a ride then everything is back to normal and I've had an easy week. However, that's all about to change as I need to get back into some training for Ironman UK which I'm very glad I'm doing on 7th September!

At the end of writing all this I am very aware that this amazing experience and selfish year would not have been possible without the selfless support and understanding from Laura, Jack and Tom. Thank you.

2008: IMA, IMUK
2009: IT band, strained back....Knocked off bike.....2009 cancelled....
2010: Busted collar bone, IM Lanzarote, KernowMan, New Forest Middle
2011: Taunton mara, Boskman, IMUK70.3
2012: Duchy mara, IM France

Last edited by RichO on Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 03 May 2005
Posts: 82
Location: London

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Rich....

Funny you should say that, about being directed to the finish line once you collected your 2nd wristband, happened to one of our guys, but once in the finish chute he was swept to the finish line. He realised he'd gone wrong but they wouldn't let him turn around and do the second half of the run.

I struggled yet again, but still finished (albeit with less than 2 minutes left). As I was coming back from Krumpendorf 2nd time I noticed there was a large group of competitors just starting that loop, approx 10km behind, anyone know what happens to them?
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Mrs Slacko

Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 3258
Location: Milton Keynes

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much better than a breakfast newspaper.....Im reports and Shreddies!! Great account, well deserved result. Wonderful to meet you all and your great family. I have to agree it took ages to find that first bouy Wink Now hop to it! You've an IM to do.
I smile a lot!
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Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant report and some great photos Rich - top bombing Very Happy Very Happy
Swim smart, Bike strong, Run tough
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Location: The North

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report , brilliant result . That finisher's photo says it all . well done Ironman Cool
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Joined: 15 Sep 2006
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Location: There or thereabouts

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report Rich, I almost felt like I was there! ... oh, hang on - I was!! Very Happy

You definately looked like you were soaking up every second of the IM experience from standing on the beach before the gun until after you finished.

We really enjoyed the company of your entourage and look forward to meeting up with you all again in the future.

Congrats again, now get out and start training for IMUK!! Twisted Evil
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Fully Ferrous

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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done, Rich. Great effort mate. Great to meet you and yours. Great time too, 12:10... exactly the same as mine at Austria last year Rolling Eyes

So let's have you down to 10:42 next year please Smile

Good luck at IMUK

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?"
Triathlon, Life, Movies and everything in between.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad the ITB held out RichO, excellent result.
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