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Archive for August, 2009

my win at EmbrunMan!

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Yesterday Stephen, James, Keegan, Erika, Jocelyn and I raced EmbrunMan. This was my 4th time racing this one so I knew what I was getting myself into! I think at times the others were a bit surprised at what the course was throwing at them!!

The couple of days leading into the race the weather was really sunny and hot, 34 degrees! So it looked as though race day would be a good pre-Hawaii practise! And we were right, it was hot. No gloves or rain jackets needed for the decents this year!

At 5.50am the women start. At 6am the men start. The women had a false start to begin with!! After 20 metres we were all stopped. It is probably my fault, I heard a noise so went and everyone else followed me!
Anyway, we got underway a minute later, diving into the lake in the pitch dark and following the light on the canoe.
I lead the first lap, then another girl came throo to lead the 2nd lap. I checked under the water to see if I recognized the girl, .and I did! It was Erika! I laughed to myself, the 2 “non” swimmers of the sport were leading the swim!!! ha ha haa!!! Boss has really changed our swim in the past few years.

Erika and I came out of the water just ahead of the first men who started 10 minutes behind us.

Erika and I rode together for the fist 50km. Even though I felt good and strong for that first hour, Erika seemed to be warming up into it and got stronger. I decided to let her go and that I should ride at my pace. Going a touch too hard in the first 50km meant my legs felt horrible for the next 110kms!! Eeeek!!! I worked with what I had and they began to come around again at about 165km.

I managed to get off the bike with my run legs on! I ran the first 21km easily. I took the lead from Erika at 10 km. The next 21km did not feel so good! The last 10km I was just hurrying quickly!
But still, it got me to the finish line first and in a record time of 11.02.49!

Well done to Erika, to Jocelyn who did great! She thought she would be out there racing for a lot longer than she was. She got round in a very respectable time and in 5th place. And well done to James, Stephen and Keegan.

ThankYou Boss for your support all day. It was really good to have you there. Actually, it is Boss’s favourite race!! He would never miss this one! :)
He has now watched me race EmbrunMan 4 times and watched me win it 3 times! It is amazing how far I have come. Boss took me to this race in 2002, it was my first Ironman and it was very special to me as I won it! Now I have won it again for the 3rd time and overall, it was my 15th Ironman win!

my win at Ironman UK!

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

I am absolutely delighted to have won Ironman UK for the 3rd time in a row! I had been aiming at this race for a few months now and was definitely hungry for the win. It is really special to win in your home country, in front of such enthusiastic British crowds. I will never forget these very special days.

This year Ironman UK was held on a brand new course in Bolton. The swim was a 2 lap coursse in a chilly resevoir. I think all the athletes agreed it was a little longer than the normal 3.8km but never mind! We were all in the “same boat”!. I came out the water just in front of Abi! Abi and I have been swimming together in training and she has been really strong in the water so I was pleasantly surprised when I came first out the water!! ..sorry Abi, ..I’m not boasting! ..I am just happy with my swim! :)

The ride was 3 laps. 20kms on nice rolling countryside and about 40kms on technical twisty lanes. It was a fun course, I dont think anyone would have been bored on this course!
I enjoyed attacking all the corners and decents to make up as much time as possible.

The run was a twisty course on roads around the outskirts on Bolton. None of the athletes could suss the course out before the race as it was too complicated so everyone was in the same boat, ..it was like an mystical tour with no mile markers either! So it was like we were all running the marathon blind! ! It was differnet and quite fun!
The race finished outside the town hall in the centre of Bolton. It was a really special. The commentaters, Andrea, Whit and Paul helped to make it a real party too!

Abi had a great race and came 2nd. I must admit, I have noticed how well she has been going in training so I have been really on my toes these last few months so that I gave my self every opportunity I could to beat her! :)

After the race Stephen and I watched at the finish line and waited for Mark, (Stephen’s brother) who was doing his first Ironman. He did really well and went round in 13 hours! It was really fun watching all the athletes finish. In all my 36 Ironmans I have never been in a good enough state to be able to stay behind to watch!

Next year Ironman UK will be even better. The organisers had a really testing time organising this event and being a new venue made it challanging too. The weather did’nt help either. The rain did’nt stop the week before the race and it turned transition into an ankle deep mud fest. Actually, I quite enjoyed running to my bike in my socks in ankle deep mud! It felt nice and squidgy! ?!?!! but it really did not help the logistiks of the race organisation. Next year they will be more prepared for all these hiccups and Ironman UK will be even more special!