Last Sunday I completed my first Ironman 70.3 in Staffordshire.
After 6 months of training I was able to enjoy the day and come home much quicker than I had expected in a time of 6hrs 21mins.
The day started with a 4am alarm! Once breakfast was finished I was off to the drop-off point to catch a bus to Chasewater Reservoir to be in transition one (T1) by 5:45am. Having taped my towel onto my bike saddle (a little extra padding goes a long way) and attached food and drink to my bike it was in to the wetsuit and down to the start of the 1.9km swim.
I was lucky to have an early start at 7:15, just after the pro’s. The swim wasn’t as bad as I had thought, I hadn’t swum for several weeks but I managed to get round in 44mins, I think my goggles misting up and me only being able to see 5 metres ahead of me helped as I couldn’t see how far it was to the next turn.
Once out of the water it was into T1 and on to the bike. The first 20 miles were pretty quick however after 30 miles the rain came down and things slowed a little, from 45 miles on we were climbing for several miles but as soon as I hit the top I knew I was on for a quicker time then I was expecting so I pushed hard for the last 8 miles and got to T2 40 mins ahead of plan. Yippee!
I had a great run on a varied course of roads, trails and heaps of mud. The three laps took me past a local pub which was pumping music with people dancing outside cheering everybody on - very motivational. As was seeing some friends and family on the course shouting encouragement and abusive banter... The last lap was tough but I really enjoyed it knowing that I was almost done. 500 meters out I picked up the pace and finished strong.
What an awesome feeling running down the red carpet in the finish chute with your name and time flashing up above your head as you cross the line.
I swam, cycled and ran to raise money for the charity BloodWise bloodwise.org.uk - I had set myself a fundraising target of £1,000 - check out my just giving page to see how I got on.
What a great day and I'm now looking forward to taking on a full ironman next year...maybe...maybe not...