Ironman UK 70.3 - 20th June 2010

1.9k swim  -  90k bike  -  half marathon run (13.2 miles) 7 a.m. start

Official Finish Time 6:53:58

Splits - 

Swim - 39:51 rank 663
T1 - 10:08
Bike - 3:47:48 rank 777
T2 - 2:44
Run - 2:13:29 rank - 727

Finish place - 753rd out of 1178 starters,
placed 160th in age category

This was the racing highlight of 2010 for me. Lots of hype about the course being 'brutal' and the 'hardest' 70.3 event around. So, a tasty one for my first race at this distance. It would be a real stab at the unknown, as I chose not to race at Olympic distance first.

I had my base level of fitness still lingering about, but in January I decided to loosely formalise my efforts into making a commitment to train at least 4 days a week, and at most 6 days.

The first lake session was in March, and it was Baltic. Those sessions were eye-openers, heart rate always pounding for the first 10 minutes or so.

I decided to use brick sessions to get myself used to a race day scenario. Having said that, I think I only managed a couple of swim to bike sessions, concentrating mainly on bike to run sessions, culminating with a 1 hour run straight off a 57 mile bike.

Having also made a day trip to try out the notorious Exmoor bike course, and check out our lodgings at the Badger's Holt pub, I felt that I would be able to achieve my goals of - 1. getting round safely, and  - 2. finishing as far inside 7 hours as possible.

Race day here, and I found myself treading water in Wimbleball Lake at 6.50 a.m. with 1200 other athletes, singing the national anthem. That was very strange, but heart warming.

Hooter blown at 7.a.m, and the sheer madness (that a 1200 athlete mass swim start brings), was under way. Call me a wimp, but I safely stayed towards the back, and made my way through to a time of 39:51, which was position 753 out of 1181, and I was very grateful for a swim that was bang on my estimated time.

T1 was too long! - must do better!!. I chose to not put the bike shorts on under the wetsuit.(won't do that again, wasted 'free' time).

Still, this enabled me to start the bike with a steady heart rate, and was able to hit the big climb up and out of transition with a bit of gusto.
Just 10 mins into this 56 mile beast, I slid on a tight bend, on a lovely mound of gravel, and I was off the bike!

At this point, I suddenly realised that my choice not to wear the cycle gloves, had NOT paid off. With both hands ruined, and my left side all torn up from top to toe, I quickly decided to crack on, and just see what happened.
It became apparent very quickly that the bike was OK, I was OK, apart from bleeding hands, and, adrenalin took care of the rest.

The bike actually is quite brutal, and many a bod was passed, pushing their steed up some of the really harsh inclines. I did not get off, but used my gearing appropriately, shall we say, to ensure I didn't have to push!

With the run in mind, I took it slightly easier on the 2nd lap, as I really didn't know how I would react to the run.

After arriving back to transition, all blood nicely clotted, I had a fairly swift T2, and was out onto the tricky 3 lap run. I really should have taken my opportunity to reccy the run lap the day before! It is a tough run, and my cockyness to not check it out gave me a shock when I encountered the steep climb, on this multi-terrain course.

However, I had my secret free energy supply of Ange, Charlie, Jacob, Sue, Dave, Emma, Jon, Janet, Isabel, and Adam, all givin' it large to get me round that run.

On reflection, after what seemed like running for hours, my run time of 2:13 wasn't as bad as I thought, and when I came round the last corner to approach the finish chute, and saw the figures 6:53:58 above my head, I was very very happy.

After getting cleaned up in the St John's tent, we were all of a sudden travelling back home, and a cold beer.

So, goals achieved, but I reckon that I could shave 30 mins+ off that time, by getting my act together in T1, NOT falling of the bicycle!, and now having the full knowledge of what all aspects of the course look, and feel like.

There is unfinished business here!, I will return to this race......


  1. Found your race report. Apart from the crash, it sounds remarkably similar to my first effort at the race (although, I think you were a bit faster).

  2. Well done to you, what a remarkable thing to do. I know I couldn't do it so fair play! Regards, Tarnia Wilson - Amey