Race Date: Sunday 16th July 2017
2040 athletes in this year’s Ironman UK including our very own Stephen King. Brilliant effort Steve, well done:
Swim 2.4 miles
The swim is a 2 lap effort in Pennigton flash near Wigan. I decided to take things easy on the swim and relax into the race. For the first 20 minutes I slowly turned over my arms and got into a nice rhythm. There was a bit of roughness as people fought for the same patch of water, but all good fun. My aim was around 1 hour 25, so I was delighted to exit the water at 1:23.
Bike 112 miles
After a nifty transition I headed out on the bike. Again I wanted to hold back as much as possible to set me up for a decent marathon. The course itself is very lumpy and the early morning wind and drizzle added a bit more spice to the mix. I was surprised how many people I passed in the early stages. Good swimmers, possibly not strong on the bike.
The bike is certainly a challenge. At mile 100 I scrolled through my garmin to see I was averaging over 17 MPH which was a bit better than I expected with the climbs involved. I took the last gel and the last of my drink as I headed in to T2 to start the marathon. Bike leg 6 hours 30
Run 26.2 miles
There is nothing exciting or normal about starting a marathon when you have already been racing for 8 hours. The thought of this was not a nice one. I decided to break it down as best I could. The first 3-4 miles were agony. Both quads were hurting and I had really bad form. At this point I had a mini meltdown. I decided to get to the next aid station and nail whatever they had to give me a boost. When I got there I went full buffet mode. Water, electrolyte drink, gel, cola, water, back running. Amazingly within 400 metres I was off. I was actually flying and had to hold back.
I remember miles 10, 16, 18, 20 and the finish. The bits in between are a bit of a blur. I don’t really remember how each mile went, but I will never forget the feeling of running down that carpet and under the clock.
In 2011 I completed this race in 12hrs 22. 6 years later, with a few more grey hairs I finished in 12 hours 04 after a 3:58 marathon.
The winner was Cyril Viennot in 8:41 and the amazing Lucy Gossage beat all the females in 9:39. I shouted encouragement to Lucy on the run, but she was flying.