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2015 IRONMAN UK (Bolton, Lancashire) - Official Race Thread
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Stevie Mc

Joined: 13 Sep 2006
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Location: Under Slow Swimmer's Snooker Table

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well TC - after nigh on 6 years away from the triathlon fold I ventured over to watch IMUK to see if it got my juices flowing again.....

I parked up near the finish chute and ventured over to watch the mara runners lapping thru - what should I come across first - you in your denim shorts....!!!!

How can you still be racing in these since the smackdown days of old?!?!?

And it was at that moment I had an epihony (sp?!?) - I'm coming back in next years race and I'm laying a smackdown at your door Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapeau to all who got round yesterday. Racing is better than spectating but I had a blast watching and cheering on. Spent most of the day on Sheephouse Lane and saw pretty much everyone up both times. Then went down to the run and marched up and down Chorley New Road being a pillock. I was the moron wearing a union jack flag like a cape!

Thankfully my race is next week so I didn't feel too envious of the athletes!
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Location: Lincoln / Scarborough (Algerino-Land) / Fircombe-on-Sea. sandbagging for daveM

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stevie Mc wrote:
Well TC - after nigh on 6 years away from the triathlon fold I ventured over to watch IMUK to see if it got my juices flowing again.....

I parked up near the finish chute and ventured over to watch the mara runners lapping thru - what should I come across first - you in your denim shorts....!!!!

How can you still be racing in these since the smackdown days of old?!?!?

And it was at that moment I had an epihony (sp?!?) - I'm coming back in next years race and I'm laying a smackdown at your door Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil
Epiphany FFS

Smackown eh? Well your welcome to try but any SmackDown with you is going to be more like The Prodigy Wink Razz
EnduroManChamp:Euro2010-12,Deca12, Quin11,D10
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Ard2 D2 FMan-11 TT2 Out16 10.15 CDS5 Ang3 IMUK-11 Jx1 Ult6 BW3 Stap1 Hel23 IMW11 Hx6 BxD1 Wx9 RR8

Last edited by Toyota_Crown on Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toyota_Crown wrote:
shaggy's wrote:
according to my Garmin the run was long, oh well.
are you sure? it would be a world first for IMUK, or probably any MDot - it's been historically short, sometimes comically so. e.g. 2011.:

My distances - Bike - 180.25 (Garmin), 180.9 (Strava). Run - 42.84
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strava is a complete pile of w**k, for numerous reasons. Apparently it clocked me doing a 1:01 swim on Sunday? I wish!

And somehow, even though me and a friend both did the IM course on Sunday, apparently I did another 1000ft of climbing on the bike! Maybe thats why I was so slow Wink

Ps. My Garmin gave me a slightly short IM run, even though I started it right on the chip mat out of T2.
9 hours 55min, Age group winner. Next stop - 9 hours 30?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First IM out of the way and think I'm going to stick to races in warmer climates....

Had said earlier expecting 11h (secretly hoping for closer to 10:30), came in at (drum roll) 11:00:02 god damn it! (Just missed out on top 100 with 101st)

1:03 swim super chilled
6.02 bike (couldn't feel my hands, headwind felt like it was doing it's best to break me, jammed chain at the top of hunters hill 2nd time round)
3:45 run with stomach issues and toilet stop

First two ever penalities, undid my helmet clasp walking towards T2 but not taking my helmet off and stop/go for losing my number.

However my best memories.....seeing the oldest finisher (70-74) getting his trophy and the cheer he got (finished in 16.57, legend!)

A rolldown to 13th in one of the male age groups, the guy not believing he had got the slot and trying to stop the tears. Really moving to see how much it means to everyone!!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unlikely to be Strava's fault really, what garmin were you using?

If you go to the activity on strava (for the bike) and press "Elevation (?)", you may get the option to correct it using road data rather than data from the Garmin.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, where do I start? I need to get this down while itís still in my mind. This might be a long oneÖ

The thought of racing Bolton came in the wake of reading Funkinís qualification blog in August 2013. Iíd had a reasonable result in Wales 2012 (10.33 Ė short run) and Outlaw 2013 (10.19 Ė the not as hot as Frankfurt year).

Towards the end of 2014 a friend asked myself and some others what goals we had for the coming year. He knows me well enough to know that Kona was in my mind but I really never expected to qualify. I said that what I wanted to do was to come out of 2015 knowing that Iíd given it my best shot.

Our second child was born in September 2014 so I knew that being in good shape for July 2014 was a non-starter but I thought that it might be possible to target 2015. In between I set my sights on some other targets and surprised myself by running a 2.51 marathon in Manchester in 2014 and then going 9.45 at Ironman Mallorca. I wrote some detailed reports about these races on the sub 10 and sub 3 threads so Iíll not repeat that again here. The information in the sub 10 and sub 3 threads were integral to my improvements.

I was carrying a foot injury coming out of Mallorca and knew I had to have some time off running. I wanted to keep some bike mileage up over the winter in preparation for Bolton (some advice from Nobbie really helped with this). The short winter daylight hours and responsibilities of a young family mean most of this is done on the turbo later at night or early in the morning. However in Jan 2015 a rare sunny day tempted me out but within 4 miles a foolish decision on my part lead to a horrific crash which broke my left hand and tore my face apart.

Swimming was out entirely for 14 weeks Ė and as a weak swimmer at the best of times this was not good news. I got back at the turbo pretty quickly and was even started running again. Then in Early April I got a nasty case of Medial Tibial Stress which put a stop to the running for nearly 4 weeks. Feeling disheartened I entered Wales with a view to having a second crack at qualification as I felt sure Iíd be going into Bolton woefully under prepared.

Thankfully I had a solid final 8 weeks leading into the taper and even managed to get a couple of long runs in without too much discomfort. Iíd be getting to the start line uninjured and feeling reasonably good Ė this was much more than Iíd hoped for just a few weeks previously. I knew it was likely to rain but unlike previous races I wasnít too bothered, I felt like I was going to Bolton with a job to do

Sunday Ė Race Day

Swim - 1.07
I like the idea of a mass start in principal, but as a terrible swimmer the rolling start was always going to be good for me. In the past Iíve read peopleís reports where they talk about swimming tactically or managing to deliberately get a draft off other swimmers. Iíve never been able to do this. The swim for me has always been a matter of survival and IĎve tended to come out feeling traumatised and exhausted Ė but not yesterday. I wasnít getting pushed, kicked or punched and was able to do those things Iíd read about, jumping from one draft to another Ė swimming tactically and within myself. I was delighted to reach the Australian exit with 32 mins on the clock. As others have noted the second lap was slower for some reason. It didnít get off to the best start when I slipped off the pontoon hitting my foot on a rock - fortunately it was only my ego that was bruised. The torrential rain drumming on the side of my face was an unusual feeling to have during the swim but the marker buoys kept coming past and before I knew it I was pulling myself up out of the Flash for the second and final time. I came out with 1.06 on the clock but my official split shows 1.07. This was about where I expected to be but most importantly Iíd swam what felt like an easy pace and still felt good psychologically and mentally. 37th in AG and 209 overall Ė for me this is a very good day at the office.

T1 3.36
It was running into T1 that I began to realise just how biblical the rain was. Still, apart from that T1 was uneventful. The changing tent was depressingly busy but I know to expect that by now. I did all I could to get through quickly and donít see how I could have gone quicker but 3.36 seems like a long time.

Bike Ė 5.23
Saying it was raining to begin with on the bike is putting it mildly those stories are already old new on this thread - I donít think Iíve ever cycled in anything that torrential before in my life. Iím not confident of braking on carbon rims in the wet so I was taking it very cautiously to begin with. Even my best Ďtaking it easy effortsí still didnít prevent me from losing the bottle from my BTA cage on one of the speed bumps on the way out of the Flash. I made the decision to leave it and press on Ė if it had been my bottle of gels it would have been different.

I was soon picking off the faster swimmers on the 14 mile journey to the two loops. Even so, my anxiety about coming off in the rain meant that my power was well down on what Iíd hoped for.

Thankfully there were bluer skies on the horizon and by the time I hit sheephouse lane for the first time the rain had all but stopped. The weather meant that it was pretty quiet to begin with although there were still a good few clusters of supporters at the bottom and I loved the guys in the Mexican wrestling outfits towards the top.

Iíd hoped to ride at close to 240 NP for the duration of the ride and the increasingly favourable weather meant that I was creeping close to that target by the time we headed out of Belmont for the first time.

For the next 60 miles things were awesome, my legs felt better than I can ever remember them feeling and I was having to hold back and stick to the 240W limit Ė I knew at some point later down the line things would get tricky.

The course is well suited to me, much of the riding round where I live is on similar terrain Ė lots of ups and down on questionable road surfaces. I think Iíve only had one log ride this year when it hasnít felt dangerously windy and this turned out to be good training. The rain easing off just made the wind more noticeable and despite being Ďacclimatisedí it was still a real struggle at some points.

As time wore on the support was growing and although itís a clichť there really were a few places where it felt proper Tour de France.

The tricky bit arrived for me at about mile 75. Suddenly the legs didnít feel so fresh, the hr was going up the watts were going down and the wind was getting to me. I tried to just concentrate on keeping the nutrition going in and trying to keep the songs in my head as motivational as possible (think more Led Zeppelin rather than eye of the tiger!) Iíd ridden a loop of the course a few weeks back but I didnít come away feeling Ďfamiliarí with it and on the second loop I thought that Hunters Hill would never arrive. Every corner we turned I was thinking we must be there now only to find that we hadnít.

Iím saying Ďweí but one of the unusual things I found about the bike was how lonely I was, especially the end of the first loop and the beginning of the second. In Mallorca last year it was impossible not to draft and I frequently found myself boxed in amongst 20 or 30 riders with no way out. Yesterday I only saw one bit of blatant drafting but nothing too bad. By the second loop I was starting to lap the slower riders and this helped with motivation, picking them off one by one gave me something to focus on other than my dropping wattage.

Something happened when we finally hit Hunters Hill for the second time and I found that the effort of climbing brought my legs back to life and from there to T2 my mojo was back and I was able to hold the wattage all the way back to the stadium. About 8 miles before the end I found tha Iíd lost my bottles of gels from my rear cage but by this time that wasnít too much of a concern.

NP for the whole ride was 235W, AP was 224, VI was 1.04

T2 4.28
Iíve never had the experience of reaching a T2 as deserted as the one that greeted me when I hit the stadium. I took this as a good sign. I wasnít in the frame of mind to start congratulating myself though. I knew I still had a marathon to run and I wasnít at all sure how my legs were going to respond after the bike. T2 had come up on me quicker than I expected which meant that I had to use the loo (rather than the toilet on wheels) before heading out on the run Ė this is why my transition time was rather long.

Run 3.18
To my surprise my legs seemed to fire pretty much straight away but my heart sank when I saw that we had to run up the descent which had brought us back into T2. I was totally unfamiliar with the run course and all I knew to expect was something Ďchallengingí. Despite this I again found myself in the position of having to hold myself back pace wise. I was already starting to pick people off and went past quite a few down by the canal. Then the climb back up from the canal - ohpphhh!! I hadnít seen that coming and each time it levelled and I thought that Iíd reached the top I found that there was yet more climbing to come Ė what a relief to get to the road and start on the laps. A relief that is until I got to the point of running down into Bolton and saw for the first time the climb back out of Bolton that I knew Iíd have to run 3 times. This was psychologically tough.

It was whilst going round the turnaround at the end of Chorley Rd that a spectator asked if I wanted to know what position I was in. I said yes and he called back 26th. This was way beyond my highest expectations but despite this I didnít experience any celebratory feeling Ė there was still about 18 miles and much work to be done.

My right foot was really starting to hurt at this point - I think I may have had a crease in my sock but the end result was a terrible blister and I was starting to think I might not be able to finish the race at all. Thankfully Iíd put an ibuprofen in the pockets of my tri shorts for an Ďemergencyí and this last minute decision may have been the one that saved my day. I knocked it back with some red bull and within a mile or so the stinging pain had reduced to mere discomfort. I pressed on and just kept concentrating of getting the calories into me. Every aid station I had a gel, water and coke and always hit the Red Bull Tent when I passed that on each of the loops. Iíll never know how my stomach manages to hold it all down.

I kept concentrating on picking people off in front of me. Occasionally a few guys went past me and each time they glanced back at my race number to see what AG I was in (Iím 35 Ė 39). This felt strange; Iíve never been at this competitive end before. Based on what the spectator had said I guessed Iíd moved up to about 24th at this point.
Despite the hills my overall pace remained high and I was making a specific effort to claw back some time on the long downhills to the town. Avg pace was still about 7.20 per mile.

My wife, brother and sister in law were out supporting me and whilst we all knew I was in the running no one said anything while I was out on the course. My brother does ultra marathons and I remember the second time through Bolton he called out Ďyouíre stronger than you think you areí. These words were ringing in my ears when I started to feel the wheels come off at about mile 16.

I knew from previous results that to have a chance at qualifying I needed to cross the line around the 10.20 I remember thinking to myself that to get 10.20 I could allow the avg pace to drop to 8 mins per mile which would give me a 3.30 marathon and still give me a chance of qualification. My overall avg pace started to drop briefly but as it did my motivation to keep it above 7.30 came back out of the blue. My finisher pix photos tell the story of the psychological battle that was being fought in my own mind mile to mile.

Getting to the top of the hill coming up out of Bolton for the final time I knew I would make it to the finish without a total collapse. I made a deal with myself that Iíd keep it steady to the turn around and then give it everything I had back to Bolton for the last time. Thatís what I did. My Garmin seems to have lost my swim and run data (grrrr) but I remember the autolap going between mile 24 and 25 and seeing that Iíd done a sub 7 min mile.

During the run Iíd had the Garmin showing only my marathon time and I held off changing it to overall race time till I reached the town. With about 200m to go I changed it to overall time and I saw 9.56. I was gobsmacked. Iíd never even thought about the possibility of going sub 10 on this course and now it looked certain.

I reached the red carpet and turned left instead of heading out for another loop and had that experience where I felt I could have run a 100m PB. I leapt over the line in 9.57.52.

I was just totally bewildered and strangely I felt great physically. The first time that happened was when I ran a sub 3 hr marathon. Since then Iíve felt certain that achieving a goal and feeling good psychologically mitigates the physical discomfort that comes after marathons and Ironman.

My wife hadnít managed to get the athlete tracker thing working on her phone so she wasnít sure of my placing and I knew because of the rolling start that the results might change a bit for the next 10 mins. I settled down to have the free massage and was still reeling from going sub 10. Even at this point I knew there must be a good chance that Iíd got a slot but was in too much of a daze to really grasp it.

10 mins later I grabbed my bag, some pizza and cake and took out my phone. The results said iíd come 19th overall and 4th in my AG. I knew then that I was almost certain that Iíd qualified.

The 36 hours since then have been a whir of events and emotions. Seeing my wife and family and being able to share my unbridled excitement with them has been great.

The awards ceremony was a new experience too - one of the slots in the M50-54? Category rolled to something crazy like 20th place and seeing the disbelief and tears of the guy who finally got it was something Iíll never forget.

Iíve said this before in previous posts but in many ways Iíve never really considered myself to be a Ďproper triathleteí. Iíve never been a member of a club partly because most of my training is done at unsiocial hours in order to fit around family time. In many ways itís this forum that is my version of a club and its certainly this forum that has provided the belief, motivation and knowledge that has helped along the way. In particular the qualification reports written by Dan the Man in 2012, Funkiní in 2013, and Nobbieís report following his qualification at Frankfurt in 2013 have all been of real significance in helping me to find my way towards qualification this year. Iíve never met any of you but youíve all been hugely influential in my training and my approach to attempting to qualify.
Itís mid July now and thereís no Kona 2015 thread emerged yet. Surely others must have qualified Ė maybe others take it in their stride but my levels of excitement and anticipation are like nothing Iíve experienced since getting married and having children. I may even have to start the thread myself!

Itís not yet been 48 hours but the reality of the expense of going to Hawaii is certainly starting to hit home. Like others Iím justifying my begging, borrowing and stealing on the basis that this will be a once in a life time thing for me. Iíll still do some triathlon and may even race Wales next year (they agreed that if I qualified for Kona at Bolton that I could defer my pace till next year). Iíd like to have a crack at Alpe Díuez at some point too but this is probably the end of the line for me in terms of the competitive end of things. There are other things I want to turn my attention to post October.

Phil T, I had my fingers crossed for you at rolldown, hopefully you and TRO Saracen will get amongst it at Wales. Iíll keep my eye on that thread.
Deva HIM
Triathlon X
Ironman Wales
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Touch dusty in here... great report ME.
Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement [C.S. Lewis]
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Location: Wearing Hokas/Altras/Sketchers and Ashmei - looking good is more important than running fast

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report

but a weak/terrible swimmer doesn't do 1.07
I am the Completely Fearless Overlord

But I'm still not going to swim
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome report. Thanks for sharing it and see you in Kona for a coffee. By the boat Smile
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TRO Saracen

Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 1268

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just catching up....having got back last night and found the courage to release the contents of my transition bags, which had 'matured' for 24 hours or so. Glamorous sport this..... Wink

Nick deB - great race, well done.
Phil T - another great race, awesome bike split. Saw your identical Canyon on the rack day before and resolved to drop by and wish you luck on race day. When the time came, hunkering down in the change tent was prefereable, sorry....
Mr ME - superbly executed piece of Ironman racing, and a deserved spot for the big dance. Enjoy, and thanks for the report.
TC - nice one, but time for a little TLC for the were motoring on the run, I had some time in hand but not knowing tge actual race time meant no idea whether enough.

Plenty of reflections on my own race, longer report later.

Also enjoyed the standing ovation for the 70-74 winner, and the M50-54 guy who may, just, have stopped blubbing by now. Recover well folks....
2019. IM Wales no 5.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

was the swim distance accurate? Heard lots of folks saying they had swim PB's, be interesting to hear thoughts of whether or not swim was short or new system allowed many to swim to potential...
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Location: Bolton

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My swim distance was spot on. Right from the word go i got into a rythem without elbows knees and bodys zig zagging. Best swim for me by a country mile 1:14
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cracking report Mr ME - well done!!
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