Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ironman Wales

Coming into long course racing I didnt think I would be in another sprint finish again but that was exactly where I found myself last weekend. After leading most of the race and getting off the bike with close to a 10 minute lead I crossed my fingers that I could hold on for the 42.2 km run. Frustratingly I was caught with 200m left before the finish and had to settle for second.
Anyway this was the first time that Ironman had been to Wales and the locals were so friendly and accommodating that I hope it will return for many years to come even if the weather was terrible! I have included a photo from our swim start at 6.30 in the morning where the crowd was lining the streets.
The swim was a rough ocean swim and I exited about a minute behind the leaders which consisted of a group of three including one of the local boys which got the crowd excited. Onto the bike we were hammered by strong winds and a very tough course. My garmin said it was close to 2500 verticle metres over the 180km! And I caught up to the leaders at about the 50km mark and soon after started to open a bit of a gap which turned into near 10 minutes when I got off the bike and began the marathon.
I started running pretty well and thoughts of my second IM win started to entertain me, but pretty soon I really began to struggle and at the 30km mark I was hardly moving faster than walking pace just trying to make it to the next aid station, once I made it there I got as much energy as I needed and soon got back into a good pace. But after such a bad period I had lost most of my lead and the gap was down to about a minute with 5km to go.
From there it was a footrace to the finish line and we were both flying. Unfortunately with about 200m to go I was caught and all my efforts to get to the line first were smashed.
Although that was a bit frustrating I had a great weekend and met alot of interesting people. Now I am preparing for challenge Henley this weekend and hopefully another solid result.


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