Monday, 13 July 2009


Well , I am trying to think how it is best to sum up this epic adventure............

It started at 0400, eating breakie was not as difficult as previous races, felt quite relaxed and ready the day. A drive to Roth to pick up the athlete shuttle to Hispoltein (Swim/bike start), managed to get on the last bus which still left 20 athletes standing on the pavement when we departed. Once I had relocated my bike from the night before check in, intacted thankfully, placed bottles and spare tubes and co2 canisters on bike and transition kit sack in bag zone near swim exit, only your helmet allowed on your bike.

Managed to see all 9 other waves start and also the elite men and women exit, the water was calm and the day was starting to warm up as the sun came out. I was up for a good swim aiming for 60min 3800m swim, from the gun start I was off and had clear water with only one other just infront of me. I hit the first bouy turning at 1600m in 22:42min, catching swimmers in the 3 waves ahead, then my right calf cramped and then my left coming into the finish 1:01:23 (1:35/100m).

4 min for transition try to spend not too much time in T1 but made sure I was ready and prepared. Locating my bike was interesting as there were 3000 odd bikes in there, went down the wrong lane first but thanks to the numbering posts at the end of each row I got it ok.

112 miles, 2 lap course, pretty lumpy course, the longest hill was 6 miles long climbing 200m in altitude. Obviously what goes up must come down, so the descents were fast and furious (max speed 45 mph) with harpin bends and straw bails on the bends not too difficult to negotiate just a lot of faith in ur tyres and their tread. Solar Hill was the "tour de france" moutain stage equivalant, with atleast 10,000 spectators only a bikes width apart cheering you on up the hill. What an rush and encouragement can't beat it. Just starting my 2nd lap Norman Stadler the lead elite at the time came past me, he had done 2 laps. I decided to go with him (not draft) and kept him in my sights for the next 10km and then I looped round for my 2 lap and he took off to T2. My nutrition and pace was good through out the bike and was very happy with my time of 5:34hr averaging 20.4mph. Thankfully no punctures or time penalties or accidents, a good ride overall.

Off the bike and picked my T2 sack up into the transition tent to change, or in my case just get running shoes on and a bit of a stretch and walk through feeding station to get some coke and water down me.

The first 11km was good and i was running well at a steady pace, takeing on water and ISO High5 drink, struggling to eat anything and also my gels were makeing me feel sick. I have since learnt that you need to force yourself to take on food and liquids at every station even if you feel sick, keep a fine balance. I covered the first 10km in 58min which was a very comfortable pace to hold. The crowd carried you at the original stages then it became a very lonley straight run along the canal where the only spectators where in the turn round towns and then the feeding station volunteers. I was soon reduced to walk 5 min and then run 10min, but this did not last long. I reached half way 21km in 2:33hr so I knew it was looking at being over a 5hr marathon. Still trying to fast walk/ jog but moving now at 13 min/mile I was determined to finished. Others were reduced to walking around me but there were more running past me. I teamed up with a Germany guy Andreas Dahms, by the finish we had covered life history and motivational conversation with eachother. For the last 2km the sense of adrenalin kicked in and I was determined to run, my heart rate went from 90 bpm upto 170bpm, the finish arena is an amazing mini atheletics 100m loop so walking across the line would not have been very good. Reaching for my Union Jack with 200m to go and enter the arena with it is a feeling not to be missed YES !!!!! marathon 5:39:47 hr

SWIM 3800m 1:01:23
T1 4:21
BIKE 112 miles 5:34:42
T2 7:20
Run 26.2 miles 5:39:47

At the finish line i was approached and acosted by Chrissie Wellington, she recognised the Tri-Anglia kit wow what an houner to meet and talk to her. After the race i went for massage and food not that i ate anything. Got really cold after massage and ended up in medical tent with a drip in my arm to rehydrate and get sugars and salts back into me asap, it really did help.

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