Tri Talk HomepageTri Talk EventsTri Talk ForumsBlogsTri Talk TrainingTri TradeTriPlayerWikiTeam Tri Talk
Marc's Double Iron UK report
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic Forum Index -> Events
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Marc T

Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 96
Location: Hitchin

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:01 pm    Post subject: Marc's Double Iron UK report Reply with quote

Are we sitting comfortably? Pour yourself a large one, and I’ll begin…

It all started last August when I crewed for my friend Howard Davis, for the first Double Ironman to be held in this country. It was an awesome weekend; Howard did a fantastic time and came 7th. The day before the event, Steve Haywood asked me if I would like to compete as there was a spare place and for a split second, I thought, maybe…, then it went away and I left it at that.

After the event I was thinking more and more about it and when the 2009 entries came on line, I was straight in there and secured a place; brilliant!, just under a year to train, ages!!!!

The training
Starting in January, I built back up to the Ironman distance concentrating on drills using PT paddles. I then did the 5km swimathon (preceded by a 14 mile run) and was doing 6km on a few occasions before work. My biggest swim was 8km in a 50m outdoor pool in a wetsuit 4 weeks before the event, although on the day, half the pool was roped off so I had nothing to push off of every other lap.
This has always been the weakest of the 3 disciplines, trying to get used to the more aggressive PX Stealth set up was difficult at first. After plenty of hours on the turbo (peaking at 112 miles), the first ride out was surprisingly good, a few hundreds and over, as well as a 131 mile Audax at the end of March. I only did one night ride and that was for 3 hours on a Friday evening.
It started proper last October when my friend and crew member; Mark Racher, wanted to do the Thames Path Ultra and I decided to join him. A winter of running in preparation upped my base training immensely and I really enjoyed the event, a few weeks later I did the Tough Guy with my friend Darren Sharp and it was the coldest one yet. Issues with my heel (Plantar Fasciitis) later on the year meant the mileage was reduced at times but I did manage a 22, 24 and 31 mile run/walk leading up to August.
Putting it all together
Brick sessions were few and far between, I did do a 2 hour bike and 4 hour run one Sunday though, I mainly concentrated on a long swim Friday, long bike Saturday and long run Sunday.

In April, my partner Kelly and I found out we were expecting our first child and it put a different perspective on things, it gave the training a different purpose as new and exciting priorities were soon to be on the horizon. My Auntie lost a very long and tough battle against breast cancer in June, and I decided to dedicate the Double to her memory by raising funds for Macmillan. These events made me realise how lucky I was to be in a position to train for this awesome race.

A 2 week taper (I hardly did anything) meant I was well rested for the event. I spent the fortnight getting the Stealth serviced, buying up Tescos and choosing my kit. In the end I took every piece of winter / wet weather gear that I had, as the forecasts seemed to be getting wetter every day. After loading the car, my crew and I (Kelly, Mark, Howard and his son, Joseph) drove to Lichfield on the Friday afternoon, and arrived at the race village. It was good to be back, although I felt like I was crewing for Howard again, the reality that it was to be other way round hadn’t really sunk in. After chatting with Claire Smith and meeting The Reverend, we put he tent up, drove the bike course and I registered. We checked into the hotel and I had a Big Mac. We had an hour or so to kill before the race briefing so we went to the bar and I had a couple of pints. After an excellent and thorough brief from Steve and Eddie it was onto Frankie and Bennie’s for a nice dinner then bed before 11, getting a good 4 hours sleep.

Race Day
Up at 3 then down to breakfast, filling up with coffee and pastries, borrowing a few rolls as we hadn’t been to the supermarket. Had a quick chat with Catherine Philp, and Dave Lilies who followed us to the race village.

I was so glad we had put the tent up the evening before as it was a wet morning and the race start was fast approaching, Mark got stung by a wasp and Howard slashed his finger, Kelly did a great job playing Florence Nightingale. Wetsuit legs on, Vaseline on neck and under arms, then onto the leisure centre for the start of what was to be a very long day(s).

The swim
The pool area felt warm as I arrived, and it was just in time as Steve started announcing the waves, having your name announced and applauded is a great feeling! Mark helped me squeeze into the rest of the suit and I introduced myself to Simon and James who were in my lane. I was to go first, accompanied by Europe’s “The Final Countdown”! The first km was a bit fast as was under 17 minutes, my plan was to stop every km to drink High5 and nuun and take the occasional gel which worked out very well on the day. Mark came over half way to get me another gel and told me my face was very red, my neck felt it was chaffing a bit but apart from that all good, Steve checked my wetsuit and gave me a Red Bull. I was enjoying the swim and managed the odd wave to Kelly mid-stroke; passing at the end of the lane was very civilised. The guy lap counting was spot on and would tell me how many km I’d swam every time I looked up. People started finishing, the Reverend being first, and before long it was my turn, 4th out of the water in the first wave, very pleased with that! Steve helped me out of the wetsuit then a quick chat with my crew and onto the changing room to get changed, going the wrong way at first as was a bit disorientated, Mark brought in more wet weather gear as the rain had picked up…
Time – 2.42.47

The bike
A run to the tennis courts in bare feet with Steve then it was socks and shoes on, and off on the bike, peanut butter and honey roll in mouth. I had a quick chat with Monique before the right hand turn and then onto Yoxall, it was a very dull morning and the rain was coming down which I didn’t mind although I was getting very wet and my feet started squelching due to the standing water on the road. The first lap average was just under 20mph which I was pleased about, I stopped after the second lap and my crew were there ready with anything I wanted, I had to get changed as was soaking, Kelly looked after me, Mark dried my feet, Howard and Joseph had been to the supermarket to buy party food and then I was back out, changing to an aero helmet, not so much for speed but to keep my head dry. Supporters and fellow competitors out on the bike course became familiar faces as the day went on and I would wave as I passed, we all looked so happy! I came back into camp every other lap to change and eat, it was getting wetter and dry clothes became an issue, solved by Mark and Howard by using the leisure centre toilet as an impromptu launderette. By early afternoon my brother, Guy, his girlfriend Helen, and my Dad and wife Joan had arrived and the rest breaks had become longer, I wanted to chat and stuff and would for a split second forget why I was there. I hit a low point on the lap after the half way point, thinking about an expectant Kelly being stuck in a damp tent and what I was putting her through. A few tears later, I felt better and was thankful that she had a hotel room for the night. At one point, in the afternoon, the rain came down really heavily, I started really enjoying being out in it, but then it finally cleared and was a pleasant evening. It was soon lighting up time and Mark fixed on the Cateye, relying on this until it became really dark when the TK11 would come into play. As soon as dusk turned into night the TK11 came on, flickered and went off, it had always worked perfectly before! There was a loose connection and being able to see the edge of the road become difficult, having to rely on cars passing to guide my way. Once fixed, and filled up with pizza, I was back out for the last few laps; it had started to get cold and was thankful for the fleece jacket. My left knee had started to twinge and I tried to relive this by alternating standing/sitting. The pubs had shut, the mist had come down a bit and the roads were eerie, it was comforting to see bright lights heading my way and I was thankful for the company. On the way last lap I said goodbye out loud to all the landmarks; the car showroom, the clock tower, the dog show signs etc. Back at the Village I was greeted by my crew and Kelly gave me a huge hug, I was so happy to get off the bike, I felt like I’d won the event!
Bike: 17.25.52

The run
I thought I deserved a rest and was planning a lie down but decided against it; got changed, put the head torch on and was out for the first lap. I hadn’t recce’d the run course so took a few wrong turnings. It was fun in the woods and felt good, although inadvertently blinding the lap counter volunteers at the turnaround point. After 2 laps I came back and had a sit down, Kelly (deciding to stay in the tent for night) made me a coffee, and the process was repeated, 2 laps then rest. At one point Mark and Howard suggested I took less rest and I was back on the course in a bit of a mood, they were right, I was taking too many rest breaks, I just needed to keep moving. After the first marathon I changed clothes as it was starting to be a lovely morning, realising that I had just completed the marathon distance and was about to repeat it was a strange but great feeling. The walk breaks became longer and it was just a case of ticking the laps off and at the same time, breaking sets of laps into manageable chunks. By this time, my support crew had come down to the railings which was great as there was less temptation for me to sit down. I switched from proper food to gels and water, something I hadn’t trained with but really enjoyed the banana flavoured ones. It was getting towards afternoon noon and the decision to switch to another pair of running shoes was proving to be a bad one; my right knee started twinging and it was becoming difficult to run/shuffle, ibuprofen wasn’t hitting the spot and was annoyed as was feeling really good apart from that. A miss-count of laps meant that I didn’t do the last lap the other way round, but at the time it didn’t matter, I was over the moon to have finished, high5’ing the crowd in the final metres with my crew waiting for me at the finish. Steve said a few very kind words and it was medal round the neck and t-shirt and photos, I was a Double Ironman, YAY!
Run: 12.25.59

Overall time – 32.34.41 (33rd)

Post -race
The tent was already packed and after a warm can of lager, a few more photos and thank you’s, it was back down south, sleeping all the way home still in my run stuff and unpacking the car. I slept so well on Sunday night and woke surprisingly early on Monday, the realisation still not kicking in on what an awesome event I had just participated in.

Hey thanks!
My crew
First and foremost to my support (and extended) crew, I couldn’t have done it without them, it was a pure team effort, their tirelessness and dedication to the cause was amazing.
The Enduroman Team
I’ve never participated in a race where you are looked after so much and each competitor is treated as a complete individual on first name and such friendly and supportive terms.
The supporters
Tireless enthusiasm and a supportive word for every competitor, The Pirates at the run turn, the TT’ers at the finish, the people sitting on the bank leading into Blair Witch Woods, friends and families of fellow competitors and the mountain bike guy cheering in the rain.
The volunteers
Army Cadets everywhere, Brian standing in the rain at the right turn, the Abba Camper van in the evening, and the lap counters at the swim/bike/run turnaround points.
The competitors
A huge well done to all of you who started this epic, whether you finished or not.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 11 Oct 2005
Posts: 6123
Location: Out of retirement...

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Marc - great report.

Back next year for more fun in the rain?

...................._.-\ <,_.........</\_
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 09 Jan 2004
Posts: 4614
Location: Running

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report marc and great race. Hopefully didn't slow you down too much in the pool.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 09 Jan 2004
Posts: 4614
Location: Running

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And the moutain bike guy was my mate tony and part of my support crew.

See, even trying to gee up my competitors Smile Razz
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Marc T

Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 96
Location: Hitchin

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dave & Simon,

will be crewing for Howard at the Triple next year so will be back over the other side of the fence, would love a crack at the Triple in 2011 though.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 06 May 2007
Posts: 242
Location: Sussex

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey you marc DOUBLE IRONMAN hold that head high your all fantastic
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

Joined: 08 May 2005
Posts: 2369
Location: Watford

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent Cool
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Big Ted

Joined: 03 May 2009
Posts: 4991
Location: On a motorcycle, in the distance.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well done Cool

and good luck with the new arrival - the endurance you have built training for and competing in this will serve you well for the sleepless nights...
"Cycle on your bicycle,

Leave all this misery behind"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
putt putt

Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 1712

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great report - but one very important factual inaccuracy - howard wasnt 7th last year - I know bec I was!!
Triple IM 09, DecaIron (137h- 4th) 09, GUCR 10, 2.46 Mara Apr 11, 9.38 Roth 11, 9.57 IMUK 11 (Q Kona). 2012 - 5th AG nat dua, 9.27 TBW (1st). 2013 Tampa Dble (24.13 - 3rd), Oct Mara 2.49 (1st) 2014 Gin Pit 2.58 (CR)/3.15, AG Gold GB Duo March15 (50-54)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 6710
Location: at the top of a hill shaking my pom poms

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done!!!

It *is* about the bike.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Marc T

Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 96
Location: Hitchin

PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for all your replies,

apologies Putt Putt, Howard came 8th!

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Posts: 45
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report. Yes I remember the chat at breakfast... When I first went down to eat, drunk people were still coming in from their Friday night drinking. Shows how early it was!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
die trying

Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 1078
Location: Doha

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enjoyed the read. Well done and good luck next year Very Happy
Dubai Marathon
Abu Dhabi Triathlon
IM Lanzarote
IM Florida
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 1099

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Marc great report and a big well done.
if its easy it aint worth doing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 17405
Location: St Leonards, East Sussex

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one, Marc. Epic. Standard. Very Happy
Focus on easy, because if that's all you get, that ain't so bad. - Caballo Blanco
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. - Native American proverb
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic Forum Index -> Events All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Home | About TT | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Advertising | Contact TT
Copyright ©2003-2015 TriTalk® All rights reserved.