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Ironman UK Champion « Stephen Bayliss's Blog


Ironman UK Champion

Well I have done this race 3 times since the first IMUK 4years ago and it has allways been a tough course but this year they managed to make it even tougher!

The swim was the same as allways with a 2 lap around the pretty Sherbourne castle lake in the very fresh (i mean cold) water, then the bike they made into a hilly 3 lap affair which is just short sharp hills all the way around and a nasty wind on Sunday made it double tough. Then the run course was also a 3 lapper with half the lap a fell run around the castle grounds then the other half of the lap a tricky run through the streets and alleyways of Sherbourne village. I thought the course was great and enjoyed it very much. I just hope the first time Ironmen and Women appreciate what a tough Ironman they have just done.

Anyway my race started well, I was smart at the start and knew from last year that we would get helpd in the 16degree water for a long time until all the athletes had entered the water and so I stayed warm on the lake side doing my land warm up then entered at the last min. This worked a treat and I was not too cold at the start and had a great start and swam on Fraser Cartmells feet the whole swim, I probably annoyed him by touching his feet everynow and then, sorry Fraser:) We had 3 others in our front group including Spencer Smith but through T1 Fraser and I went really fast and dropped them all and never saw anyone else for the whole ride.

We built up a 6min lead on Spencer and 10min lead on the rest. Great. But I was not over confident of the win. At the 70.3 earlier in the year I came off the bike with Fraser and thought I would be able to out run him but he was very strong that day and out ran me, so I headed out onto the run. Fraser came straight up to me and followed , I had been told to make it a true marathon, so I set off at a solid pace and thought if you can follow me then good on you. By the top of the first hill about 2.5mile in I had a small gap and so kept pushing. The gap kept opening up and by the last lap I had a good 10mins on last years winner Scott Neyedli after Fraser pulled out after 2 laps. I still felt pretty good although this course really was very strength sapping, but I was able to ease off and not run too hard, with the next 2 months ahead, I have The world IM Championships then the 70.3 World Champs so I wanted to save myself from too much fatigue.

The last couple of miles were fantastic I felt good I knew I had a big lead and I really enjoyed the moment and took it all in especially the final bit to the finish line, I stop to hug my mum and dad then crossed the finish line to win my 2nd Ironman and my home Ironman which was a really special moment.

The day then got even better as I knew Bella was winning, but I didn’t know by how much, in the end she crossed the line 36mins ahead of the next girl. She was pretty exhausted and emotional so I said to her “why did you push so hard, you are miles ahead” but I knew the answer, Bella only knows one way and that is to give everything she has.

It was a great day. I’d like to say a special thanks to our Homestay who were some welcoming of us into there home and so supportive during the whole weekend. Thank you.

And Well done to everyone who completed this Ironman It really is a tough one.

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