Having finally made it to a keyboard, I'm delighted to say that on Sunday I completed Iron Man UK in 15 hours 30 mins (only 7 hours behind the winner!).Some details below about Iron Man for those I haven’t bored to death about it.
A huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored me - kept me going at some of the low points. If I haven’t already tapped you for sponsorship that’s probably because I’m still intending to do the ‘big sell’ of a new charity called Lessons for life (see below) that two friends (Waigs and Mesh) and I have set up. Watch out for invitation to launch event. That said, it’s not too late to sponsor me!
Just a few details below - enjoy.
More photos available at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=9447&l=83ffd&id=564312906
Started at 6:20am (after 2 hours sleep) and finished at 9:50pm
1,577 entered. 1,243 started. 1,128 finished (only 53 of them after me).
Weather was not bad overall - luckily it wasn't hot, though the strong wind was not particularly welcome.
My swim was 15 mins faster than expected - water was cold after the awful weather on Saturday and the start was a little delayed (and a few people had to be treated for hypothermia after the swim). Mass start of 1,200 people made the water pretty choppy and clear water was a short-lived luxury. I got a couple of kicks in the face and my stopwatch was turned off in the melee so I had no idea how well I was doing. Delighted to get a time check of 1 hour 25 on exiting the water.
Flew the first two laps of the bike course - approx 2 hours 30 each. Spectators were fantastic. Amazing to see the leaders fly past. Right knee was a little painful (as I'd strained it in training 3 weeks ago) but it held up better than I expected. Third lap was much slower as I made sure I took on extra nutrition and was more careful on the descents given the increasing fatigue. This was the hardest part and lap 3 took three hours as it rained, the wind picked up and spectators had mostly gone to watch the run. I was also 15 minutes faster than expected on the bike so I made the cut-off time by 40 minutes - great feeling (meant I could take my time in transition and prepare myself for the run).
It was so good to get off the bike after over 8 hours that I was almost looking forward to the prospect of a marathon. Certainly the first 8 miles were a pleasant change of exercise, though at 12 mins/mile they certainly weren't quick. Next 9 miles were pretty gruelling and I was getting steadily slower as I was running out of energy. I forced myself to take lots of power gels and more water with a dramatic improvement - got a second wind for the last 9 miles, felt great, picked up the pace and was running past all the people walking. Although 15 mins slower than my target time, I'm really pleased that I managed to keep running all the way (except for stopping at the aid stations) - improved my overall position by 40 places on the run.
Fantastic day - brilliant feeling to cross the line. Highly recommended (to anyone with time and inclination for the training).
Thanks again for all the support