Barcelona IRONMAN

Barcelona IRONMAN
'YOU ARE AN IRONMAN'

As I stood on the beach listening to the PA blaring out “Thunderstruck” it was hard to believe I was about to start my first Ironman which I had entered a year before. Where on earth had 12 months gone? The nagging question was had I done enough, in the right balance between the three disciplines, the next 13hours or so would tell.
With the rolling start underway and me self seeded in the 60 minute swim wave I crossed the start line and hit the warm, clear waters of the Mediterranean at 8:25am. I settled into a really comfortable pace and started to focus on a strong technique and not pushing too hard or easing back too much. The swim headed towards the lighthouse before turning back towards the start point. I was picking off a steady stream of swimmers constantly, and I resisted the urge to look at my watch, I went purely on feel. Soon enough my feet were hitting the coarse sand and the first discipline was done. 3.8km in 58:16, I cant complain about that!


Heading into the huge marquee that serves as T1 I picked out my hanging bag with my cycle kit in it, dried my feet, then a light dusting of tack and on wth the socks. Shoes, helmet, sunglasses and race belt soon followed, and the wetsuit etc went into that bag.  I trotted back out into the sunshine to pick my bike up. I had spent a lot of time thinking over my ride strategy, particularly the choice of bike. From speaking to others the bike course is really fast and an out and out TT Course. I wasn’t confident what shape I would be in having spent in the region of six hours on a TT bike, so opted for a road bike, on the premise that I would rather sacrifice time on the bike course but feel ok for the marathon, in the end I am 100% sure my choice was sound. I was religiously taking salt tablets every 30 mins as well as water and energy drink throughout the ride. The bike course is essentially two laps out and back of 76km then a shorter lap and back to Calella. I settled into a comfortable pace, my aim was to hold at 30km/h, and not get swept up with the riders passing. With the wind behind me on the return legs I was holding at 33-35km/h easily but dropping heading into the wind to 26-27km/h. I was still happy with this as it would give me a 6hrs approximate bike split. Paul Munday caught me 85km in the bike leg, with Jared Roberts catching me at 120km in, I was really pleased to see them both going strong, and I knew it would always be a matter of time before they caught me, so wasn’t phased at all by this. I rolled back into T1 in 6hrs 11mins for the 180km bike leg. Things were going perfectly to plan, but would they last?

It was a relief to be out of the saddle, so after racking the bike and heading back to the marquee, off the hook came my run bag, with the cycle gear going into it, drying my feet again, a fresh dusting of talc, clean socks, and some more vaseline around the undercarriage and other areas. It was time to head out on the run. I had been on the go for just under 7hrs 40 mins, only the marathon to go now. Stuart Clark had planted the seed in my mind to run between feed stations, and mentally just think about running to the next, with the reward of a short walk and nutrition awaiting me. Then run to the next and so on, not to think of it as a marathon, just a series of 2km runs with a short walk in between. What a gem of advice!! Before I knew it I was seeing Tina at the end of the first lap, only two more to go. Even the warm rain that had started didn’t dampen my enthusiasm and knowledge I would finish and join a very exclusive club. Just after midway, I did take a longer walk, but that was to preserve my legs for the final push, all the time it was a step nearer the finish. I was constantly working times out and I knew if I could keep on with the run/short walk, I could exceed my target time (which I had kept to myself)
Running through the side of T1 for the final time, I was on the last 2km, and if anything my pace increased! Next came the expo area and the noise of the finish line. I had been told it’s a finish like no other, that was an understatement. I hit the red carpet and a wall of noise, thumping music and cheering crowds. Time to soak it up and enjoy my first experience of the Ironman Party. A high five from the two announcers on the red carpet and the words that I had waited to hear on the PA “Ian, you are an Ironman” Tina was waiting at the finish chute but I couldn’t hear her over the wall of noise. 12hrs 44min 02 secs. I had hoped to be in the 13-14 hr bracket, I was elated, on a massive high.
Beer, shower and a post race massage then out to meet Tina, for a very emotional reunion for us both!


It was an incredible experience and something I will never forget. My advice to anyone considering it is this…… Do it, ask for advice and take it on board, and above all plan your race and race your plan. After all, anything is possible!

Posted: Oct 4, 2017 | Category: News
My Triathlon Experience of a Lifetime

My Triathlon Experience of a Lifetime

It’s been 2 weeks now since I competed in one of the biggest races of my life, it was a lot to take in and only now have I reflected enough (and I have done plenty) to give an accurate description of the whole experience. It’s not just the usual humorous tale of how my race went as Kona certainly...
Posted: Oct 29, 2017 | Category: News  More
From Novice to Triathlete

From Novice to Triathlete

Chris describes his journey from novice to competing in his first Triathlon! An inspiration for others who maybe considering to take the same journey. It was a mission accomplished according to Chris and its only just the beginning........
Posted: Oct 23, 2017 | Category: Public  More
Paul (ALL) Munday Becomes an Ironman for the last time........

Paul (ALL) Munday Becomes an Ironman for the last time........

Balancing his work and family around training, not to mention the expense, not just for the over priced branded race but the constant delivery from Wiggle!,that of course had to be hidden from his wife. (Paul has never eaten so many packs of Haribos), He still managed to put in an excellent...
Posted: Oct 6, 2017 | Category: News  More
Barcelona IRONMAN

Barcelona IRONMAN

An incredible experience and something Ian will never forget. His advice to anyone considering completing an ironman is this…… Do it, ask for advice and take it on board, and above all plan your race and race your plan. After all, anything is possible!
Posted: Oct 4, 2017 | Category: News  More
Louise Smashes Her 1st Triathlon

Louise Smashes Her 1st Triathlon

Louise has successfully competed in her first ever triathlon. After thinking she couldn't ever complete one, Louise has now overcome this 'cant do' attitude and replaced it with a 'this girl can' attitude.
Posted: Sep 25, 2017 | Category: News  More
Lilly Gibbs is set for Stardom!

Lilly Gibbs is set for Stardom!

The British Triathlon Youth & Junior Super Series is designed to bring together the best young triathletes from across the UK, so they can race head to head at the best and most exciting venues in the country. To race in a super series events you must complete the assessment day in which you are...
Posted: Jul 31, 2017 | Category: News  More
"Ooooo La la" Madamoiselle Hovenden!

"Ooooo La la" Madamoiselle Hovenden!

Jo Hovenden shares her friendly (talk to me) face across the water in her first French Triathlon. Impressing spectators with her elegance during her bike dismount whilst claiming 4th Lady!
Posted: Jul 11, 2017 | Category: News  More
Leeds Castle Junior Aquathlon.

Leeds Castle Junior Aquathlon.

Abigail Garthwaite gives a excellent account of her experience during the Junior Aquathlon held at Leeds Castle. A positive attitude is demonstrated throughout her race, proving she is developing into a wonderful athlete.
Posted: Jun 26, 2017 | Category: News  More
Lilly proves she can race with the Big Girls!

Lilly proves she can race with the Big Girls!

Lilly describes how she climbed mountains, went through desserts and almost died of dehydration to accomplished a big milestone that can now be checked off her bucket list.
Posted: Jun 19, 2017 | Category: News  More
Gabby's Determination Succeeds in Leeds!

Gabby's Determination Succeeds in Leeds!

Determined to compete and despite previous injury and a fall off her bike, Gabby proved that when she sets herself a goal, then there is no stopping her. Go Gabby!
Posted: Jun 14, 2017 | Category: News  More

Page 1 of 9 > >>