Race Reports

A cautionary tale from Ironman Lanzarote

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Letter from Coventry Tri Member Joe Reynolds: Written to the British Triathlon Federation and published in Tri 220 Magazine


I want as many people as possible to realise that the cover from the BTF is sometimes less than that of the race organisers and that using a BTF card abroad can leave people at a dis- advantage.

On Saturday 17th May this year I took part in the Iron Man Lanzarote race. Unfortunately I got into difficulty on the second lap of the swim and had to be withdrawn from the competition as I had taken water into my lungs, probably as a result of being 'swam over'.
This resulted in me being admitted to the Lanzarote Hospital where I spent the next three days, the first night in Intensive Care. The care I received there was excellent and the prompt action of the marshals and medics on the course probably saved my life and I am grateful to the organisation.

My problems arose later. I was informed at the reception of the hospital that the Hospital Fees would be paid by 'Iron Man'. On the third day of my stay a member of the hospital staff informed me that this was not the case and that responsibility was with my Federation. After telephoning my Federation (British Triathlon Federation) they informed me that responsibility was with the Iron Man organisation. I telephoned the Race Organisers and a was told that as I was a member of the BTF, and therefore had not taken out a day licence, that responsibility lay with my Federation (BTF). This was later confirmed by e-mail that had I purchased a 'Day Licence' the Race Organisers' Insurance would be responsible but as I had a licence from my own Federation that the Federation's insurance should cover me. The hospital I was taken to was a private hospital and would not accept the E111 card.

On being discharged from the hospital I paid my own bill in full (€3561.20) as my travel insurance did not cover 'extreme sports'. After talking to a number of my colleagues most of them were unaware that they would require specific race insurance and all of them believed that they were covered by their race licence. I am fortunate in that the sum involved is not so high that I will endure serious financial hardship but it could have been a lot higher had I had an accident on the bike course requiring surgery and a longer stay in the hospital.

A lot of triathletes in the UK enjoy competing Iron Man races abroad but most of those that I have spoken to were unaware of the implications should something go wrong. The point of this letter is to make other triathletes aware of the situation when racing abroad as I do not feel that the race organisers or the BTF have made this clear. I would advise any athlete competing in Iron Man races abroad to forget about their BTF licence and buy a Day Licence from the organisers regardless. Very few of us read the 'small print' or the 'terms and conditions' when we sign up for races, and I accept that it was my responsibility to have done so, but when we enter a race we enter to finish and think that it can't happen to us. It does however raise the question as to whether there is any value in an 'age-grouper' triathlete buying a BTF licence. There were twelve other patients in the hospital who also had no insurance.

This was not my first Iron Man competition, I have finished four races over the distance including Lanzarote in 2011 and I have been racing triathlon for over twenty years, not only in the UK but all over Europe and also in the USA (A Day Licence is compulsory in the USA). The response of the BTF is that their race insurance covers me for £25.00 per night not including the first night. I have filled in the forms and am awaiting the result. I do not intend to resign or leave the BTF, it was not their fault, I just feel that the issue should be given more publicity.

Would you like a big woody for your 50th birthday?

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It was not a question that I had anticipated from my dearly beloved, but who was I to turn up such an offer? A half day of vigorous pounding leaving me breathless and excited was not to be overlooked. Neither was the opportunity for shameless double entendre.

In my eagerness I had made my entry quite early (end of double entendre before it gets out of hand) and hadn't anticipated that my aged excuse of a body would try to completely conk out before I had reached my half century. Abdominal pain, internal examinations and colonoscopies were not in my training plan so I did what I could and crossed my fingers.

Another oversight was not reading the course details before signing over my cash. When I first looked at the course profile, I thought I had downloaded the ECG of a tachycardic pensioner.

After arriving at our nearby campsite prior to race day I left the children with my long suffering and understanding wife, the goodly Alice, and went to register and look at the race venue.

You could tell we were in the Welsh borders - even the swim was hilly. The transition to T1 was somewhat underplayed as "a gentle ramble that you may wish to slip some comfy footwear on for". Turns out it was a 700metre 8% climb on loose sharp shale. If you look at the picture above, you will note the swim (obviously in the wet stuff in the lower section of the photo) and the transition zone (at the top of the cliff at the end of the lake toward the top of the photo).

The race organiser was either a comedian or a sadist or most likely both. This was confirmed when I recce'd the bike course. The usual bike course has a 2 mile climb half way round but the road was closed because of a landslide! Just to ensure we didn't miss out the diversion included an extra short climb and a 2 1/4 mile climb that made Kidds Hill look like a hill for kids. Whilst it was brutal it was undeniably beautiful.

I didn't bother looking at the run course as it had taken me nearly 2 hours to drive the 56 miles (the long course did 2 laps) hoping that it couldn't be more challenging than the bike course (I think you can guess the reality).

Back at the registration tent, I saw Rupert, Claire and Tim who were doing the Little Woody - probably the most testing half ironman in the UK. They were looking very cheerful. I guessed they hadn't looked at the bike course yet.

I went to bed dreaming of small chainrings and big sprockets.

Race morning dawned,  well it didn't as it was still dark as I downed a peanut bagel and some lukewarm tea from the flask of tea I had made the night before. My present from Alice was a new Castelli trisuit. Ignoring all wise advice to never try anything new I decided that I should take it for a test run today.

Arriving back at the national dive centre, with first light breaking over the still lake, everything seemed tranquil as I looked down from the viewing platform to the waters far below.

The full distance racers were due to start first and we made our way down to the pontoon for race briefing. The briefing was brief but the start time came and went as the big yellow marker bouys hadn't been put out. I began to get quite nervous as all those round me were talking about their enduroman successes and there was a European deca-Ironman champion there. I started to feel as if I was in the wrong place. Sensing (smelling) the building tension amongst the waiting racers the race referee told us there would be a canoe in each corner of the lake and we had to swim round those 4 times.

Then off we traipsed before plunging into the crystal clear waters. I hadn't really appreciated that an 80m deep quarry lake would be quite that cold but my retracting testicles and hyperventilation were confirmation that it was indeed rather chilly. Over the top of the sound of gasping triathletes I heard a hooter just before being dealt a blow to the temple and losing my goggles. My ensuing fury meant that I made an unusually aggressive start and raised my core temperature to a degree where my shivering was almost controllable. It was a ridiculous amount of time before we even saw the canoes for the corners so I assumed that I was swimming rather slowly. However I was enjoying the swim now and the water was so clear you could see way down the dive lines when you went past them. It felt like you were swimming in the sky - a very odd sensation. As the laps went by I caught a number of people and when I got out of the water I was in 5th place in 1:23! That isn't my best time for 3.8km but it was an excellent time for the 5k that was measured by Garmin. Alice was waiting to cheer me on and decided to run up the path to transition with me which was a real boost.

At T1 my intestinal complaint made itself known so I took a rather long 6 minutes before I exited the loo and made my way onto the open road. By this time the little woody competitors had caught us up as they only had 2 laps of the lake. My nutrition strategy  (eat something, drink something and repeat regularly) went out of the window after the first mile when the drinking straw from my bar mounted system bounced out leaving me with a full bottle but no way of getting  at it. Being in full race mode I didn't even think of stopping to find it. This mistake found me out later as my newly quintagerian (ie 50 year old) body discovered that 800 ml of liquid is not enough for long distance triathlon.

The bike course really was breathtaking in both senses of the word. After a rollercoaster ride along the A48 the course turns inland and uphill into the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley (so called because you ask yourself why you are cycling up such a ridiculous hill). The wandering cattle served as a useful distraction from the pain as the narrow winding roads took us through glorious green scenery.

Onto the second lap of the bike course and it began to get a bit lonely and I was beginning to get a bit thirsty. I had finished my frame mounted bottle and all my gels and trying to see where the feed zone was as I hadn't seen it on the first lap. As I hurtled down a steep section I saw 2 shadowy figures lurking in the dense shrubbery. I realised too late that they were the feed station and not an amorous couple and shot past. Of course I hadn't learnt from my first "why not stop and go back incident" and carried on to finish the bike section. Into T2, where the organisers had someone ready to take your bike and hand you your run kit. . You then got to sit down in a chair in a marquee to prepare for the run. Daniel and Daisy (my children) joined me in the marquee and gave me a big hug which they soon regretted on discovering how covered in gel, snot and sweat I was.

Just a long gentle jog to go and off I went through the camping field (you can camp next to registration for free). I saw a portaloo and my stomach rejoiced at the sight. As I approached I tore down most of my trisuit at the thought of some gastric relief. But it wasn't to be. To my horror I found it was a portashower and having a poo in there may have led to a DQ at the least. By now I was too far gone to prevent the inevitable and just made it to the thorny, nettly undergrowth in time.

After crossing the adjacent field we turned left and began to climb….. and climb….and climb. Surely this must end soon…. at least the scenery is nice….maybe I can walk when I reach the next tree….please stop going up. Eventually I reached the turn after 2.5k of uphill hobbling where 2 jovial marshalls were handing out jelly beans and pretzels and some water at last. Downhill was pleasantly fast and I could really appreciate the views and how far we had come up. Lap 2 followed a similar pattern - visit the woods to lighten load, see how far I could run before I walked, stop for refreshments at the turn and tumble down the hill. Laps 3 and 4 were a bit hazy as dehydration started to take its toll. I saw Claire and Tim finish their races and my family were at the finish cheering me on to the next lap.

I spent a lot of time walking by now and the time I spent in the bushes or refuelling was escalating. As I was deciding where I should start walking on lap 5 there were only the long course athletes on the trail each in various states of decrepitude.  As the distance wore us all down the camaraderie increased with words of encouragement, offers of food and high 5's keeping us going.

By lap 6 I was thinking that even if I walked the whole thing I was going to finish even if it meant coming last. Now I was struggling going downhill and I was employing a run 20 steps walk 10 strategy. Even with the finish in sight I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other and I had to make a gargantuan effort to keep up with Daniel and Daisy as they crossed the finish line with me.

The organisers congratulated me on finishing and presented me with a large birthday cake that Daisy shared with other athletes and spectators alike.

What a lovely birthday.

For those interested in the times:

Little Woody

Rupert 5:31:48 (48:18 inc T1, 2:51:56, 1:46:45 inc T2) 27th overall

Claire Cresswell  6:54:14 (48:09, 3:30:50, 2:22:09)

Tim Cresswell  6:58:29 (48:40, 3:33:39: 2:23:12)

Big Woody

Loz 10:05:51 (1:28:45, 5:10:16. 3:21:45) 1st vet 1st over 50 2nd overall

Grateful thanks to my lovely wife and family for supporting me and following me across England and Wales so that I could celebrate my birthday in style.

Picture of Rupert at the finish - this would make a good caption competition!

http://www.charleswhittonphotography.com/wdc-2381209

Tim Cresswell looking much fresher

http://www.charleswhittonphotography.com/wdc-2381612

not sure if this is Claire but if it is she is showing those guys a hard time

http://www.charleswhittonphotography.com/wdc-2380900

3 places off Kona Slot at Tenby 2014

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1,850 competitors crossed the starting line following a glorious sunrise in Tenby for the start of Ironman Wales 2014. Choppy sea resulted in 56 athletes not completing the swim.

Sadly, mechanical problems caused MSTC's own Michael John to stop within a few miles from the end of the cycle. Despite unseasonably warm dry conditions for the cycle and run, finish times were slower than usual. At the awards ceremony it was commented that the swim had exhausted many athletes and there was double the usual IM DNF rate at around 12%. 

Tenby 2014-swim

 

I attended the awards ceremony, having got an Age-Group-Finish PB of 7th. Kona slots rolled down to 4th in the 50-54 category……almost something to brag about. However, one felt a bit inadequate because almost everyone else there had a massive IM podium-finish trophy. The 30-year old German Age-Grouper sat next to me had come 10th overall (having beaten half the professionals)…….his Tenby run was 40 mins quicker than mine but his standalone marathon PB is only a minute quicker than mine (what am I doing wrong?).

Tenby is arguably the most scenic/enjoyable/intimate/friendly/challenging IM in the world. The cycle in Pembrokeshire National Park is beautiful, technical and hilly…….. including a "heartbreak" section with big crowds (like Challenge Roth). The run is 4 x 10.5k through the town with massive support from passionate drinkers from the many pubs, bars and hotels on the route.

Tenby 2014-bike

 

It's a relatively hassle-free race with registration, briefing, transition, start, finish and hotels all within a 1km radius. Great to be able to pop back to hotel for a shower after the finish before collecting the bike and bags.

Tenby has the longest IM transition times with its 1km (mostly uphill) dash to T1 from the beach. Total transition times being 10:12 for the 50-54 age-group winner, compared to my 19:29……..9:17 difference !!!!

Name

Country

Div Rank

Gender Rank

Overall Rank

Swim

Bike

Run

Finish

Points

Zarro, Dario

CHE

1

34

34

00:58:32

05:42:12

03:47:02

10:38:57

5000

Mueller, Gerhard

AUT

2

74

75

01:22:14

05:54:44

03:35:07

11:07:16

4660

Johnsen, Alfred

NOR

3

95

96

01:15:43

05:52:53

03:57:19

11:18:07

4530

Openshaw, Peter

GBR

4

116

118

01:07:23

06:07:22

04:01:44

11:28:44

4402

Bibby, Carl

GBR

5

127

131

01:10:18

06:20:25

03:44:42

11:32:38

4355

Willis, John

GBR

6

176

183

01:11:31

06:15:32

04:05:37

11:48:29

4165

Graham, James

GBR

7

207

216

01:27:02

06:10:20

03:59:22

11:56:13

4072

All Athletes (139 Athletes)
Originally from Ironman Wales Tenby 2014 Results.

 

Ironman Nice 2014

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First of all thank you to all MSTC coaches for their tuition this past year. 

This was my first attempt at the full distance Ironman and it quite rightly needed to be treated with respect. I went into the event feeling pretty good, apprehensions of the swim had faded after some decent simulated distance swims in training. 

Swim

(3.8km) - Open water sea swim, double 1.9km loop with Australian exit after loop 1. The start is possibly best described as a scenario whereby a ferry as sunk and 2800 people are clambering for 1 lifeboat! It was extreme and didn't settle down until atleast 1km in. I opted to not follow the crowd and concentrate on my own navigation which proved to work out quite well with alot of competitors swimming too far. Finished strong and perhaps should have gone 10mins quicker. 

Bike

(180.2km) - Don't try Ironman Nice if you're looking for a flat ride, the first 85 km are spent climbing almost 1200m into the Alpes Maritimes, in fact you're so high up you go past Greolieres which is a ski resort! There is another punishing climb about 110km in and then it is fast downhill all the way back to Nice. The weather can be very unpredictable in these mountains and on this occasion it was no different, the remaining 70km were extremely hard in the rain, no one had dressed warm enough and it became a real slog , I counted 4 ambulances along the way with many people going off including the a few pros at the front of the field, in fact I'm told the winner came off twice.

Overall it went ok, I knew the course pretty well and was able to manage my way through it, biggest mistake was not packing some water proofs in the special needs bag at the top of the mountain. I also made the mistake of altering my nutrition strategy from something I'd tried in training; i took sodium tablets with the water and i suspect these didn't work too well with the gels. However i stuck to my plan and took in about 310 calories per hour plus 750 ml of water/sodium per hour.

Full respect to the guy that was doing this event with 1 leg. 

Run

(42.2 km) - From hypothermically cold to 30 degree heat on the Promenade, 4 x 10km loops was the next stage. First 15-20km were not too bad and I was able to hold my target pace, support from the crowd was immense and this helped alot. Wet feet then became the next big issue, they were soaking from the bike leg and new socks in transition 2 had not helped enough, the run through showers only made it worse and once the blisters set in it became extremely hard. Drying your feet properly in transition 2 is probably worth 20mins off your finish time. The 2nd half of the Marathon on an Ironman is a real test of will power and fitness and I was mightily impressed by the other competitors and how hard they all pushed themselves. Crossing the finish line is what it's all about; some sprinted, some dived, some jumped, some carried their children, some laid down on a stretcher and some crawled.  

Result

Overall a rewarding day that was organised very well. Learnt alot for next time..

Swim (1h22) Bike (6h48) Run (4h:14) = 12:39

Anthony Vince

Outlaw 2012

I woke up at 4am and although I had the usual pre race nerves, I was actually quite calm and looking forward to race (very different to last year when I was terrified).  This year felt very different in many ways as I was doing the same race purely with the intention of beating last years time (14.02) and with the huge pirate presence I knew it would be a fantastic day.  But in some ways I felt I had more pressure this year to succeed.  Last years goal was to survive, no pressure of times but just to finish... this year I didn't want to just finish, I wanted to race, and I wanted a sub 14.  I knew I was stronger and fitter than last year, I had put in a lot of training for this, and now it boiled down to this one day to prove what I was capable of, the day to lay it all down.  I felt I had a lot to prove to myself.  I was worried about things out of my control, mainly a mechanical/puncture on the bike, getting a cold/bug before the race or getting an upset stomach from the water, but I knew ultimately that worrying about these things were a pointless waste of energy, what will be will be.  All I could concentrate on was the hard training I had put in during the year- marathons, including a massive p.b, a 60 mile ultra run, and the tough 114 mile 9000ft ascent King of the Downs bike ride that was 9 hours in the saddle.  I had put the hard work in and I really wanted that reward, bring on the sub 14, I was ready to race! 

So 4am I forced some food down (this never gets easier), got ready and made my way down to the start.  Another beautiful morning with clear blue skies was waiting for the 1000 people toeing the start line to try and become Outlaws.  

Swim  1.19.39  

Now to say I hadn't trained enough for the swim was an understatement, looking back on training I had done an average of just  40 lengths per week this year, and 2 open water swims.  This was the one area where I just hadn't got the training in.  I am confident in the water and knew I could just 'get round' but had no idea in what time.  I hadn't even done the distance in training, let alone timed myself.  I started at the back of pen 1, in the hope that the fast swimmers would go ahead and I would be left in clear water, I much prefer clear water to following feet and getting kicked.  Anyway, that didn't happen, pens 2-4 all grouped together and proceeded to swim over me...literally!  Now I've had the usual kicks, punches, people not sighting and swimming into you etc, and I'm happy to hold my own in those situations...but people literally mounting me from behind...that's a new one on me!!  This was people literally swimming over me from behind, arms either side of my body basically trying to drown me... a swift sharp kick to whichever bodily part I made contact with seemed to have the desired effect of them moving away!  The turnaround point came fast and with it the sight of Mum and Jess the pirate dog on the banks waiting for me, a joy to see them amongst the madness of the swim.  The headwind caused a few waves for the return leg, and I think a few people swallowed water.  I really quite enjoyed the swim and being amongst the thick of the pack for a change.  Out of the water in 1.19.39 and into T1... 

T1  5.21  

Special mention to T1 as all I could think about was Steve A who would not have been impressed with my faffing!!!  I tried my best to be fast, but after hopping about trying to remove wetsuit, throwing on some P20 to attempt to protect my delicate 'english rose' skin from any more dodgy tan lines, I had no change of clothes & ran from the tent to my bike but still only managed a 5.21 transition.  Sorry Steve...next year I'll manage a sub 3! 

Bike  6.44.35

Now where do I start with this... an emotional rollercoaster is probably the best way to describe it.  Maybe my memory of how brilliant the ride was last year affected how I 'thought' I would feel this time around, where as I should have treated this is a completely new race, as indeed it was.  Not only had the bike route been changed, but the weather conditions were much different from the calm sunny day the year before.  The start of the ride was absolutely fantastic and I loved doing the northern loop (same as last years route), I was down on the tri bars and pushing hard, enjoying 20+ mph riding and was way above my expected average.  This put me in great spirits as not only was I faster, but the new southern loop that we were to ride twice was promised by the organisers and many people who recce'd the course to be much faster.  Stupidly I started dreaming of possible bike spilt times.  We had been warned that although the southern loop was fast, it was very open to wind, should there be any on the day.  I think the forecasts that morning were for 30-35 mph gusts, oh dear!  The loops although circular seemed to be a constant head wind, and where I should have been hitting 20mph I was struggling to stay at 13mph!  It was hard work, and the two downpours didn't help to lift peoples spirits.  Unfortunately I have to admit I hit a bad patch and was pretty angry out on the bike from about 80+ miles, my spirits only being lifted when I got to see my Mum and Dad, and the pirate feed station who never failed to make me laugh & give me a boost.  Looking back I'm pleased with my bike time, but knowing I should have been at least 20 mins faster had just made me frustrated.  Someone said to me that everyone was in the same position, but I wasn't there to race others, I was there to race myself and be the best I could be.  This was the best I could be that day, and I don't think I could have gone any faster without sacrificing the run.  And if there is one thing I've learnt is that in my opinion, the run is just as an important part of the ironman as the ride.  It amazes me how much time you can lose, and just how many people walk the marathon after a strong bike leg.  To get a good time you've got to have packed your running legs... 

T2 4.23 

Not sure how this took so long, change of socks and trainers, knee support on and talked to a lady who was feeling sick and I was off... (sorry again Steve!) 

Run  4.25.26

I felt so happy to eventually finish the ride and hand my bike over that I was elated to get out running.  If I had been invited on a bike ride by Chrissie Wellington herself right there and then I would have told her to get stuffed (she was supporting at IM Austria the same day...the chances were slim).  This was my discipline, the thing I had really worked hard on, and the proof of how much training I had really done.  There were no excuses now, I hadn't got a cold or stomach bug, I hadn't had any mechanical faults on the bike, now it was me against the course, and I was in my element.  It really hurt, but I wasn't going to let it beat me, this is my favourite part!!  The crowds, Mum, Dad, Pirates, all there, all shouting and cheering, willing us all forward, to do well, to finish, is what I love!  Out on the course I run by feel, I always run by feel, never by what a watch or monitor tells me to do... I check my pace- 8.30 min miles hmmm this is fast, the sun is back out and shining again and all I can think is 'make hay while the sun shines' so this is what I did.  I knew I would slow at some point, but I might as well make the most of being able to run whilst I could, first 10k was comfortably under an hour, lots of loud music as I passed Notts Forest ground made me run faster every time I passed it.  Pirates everywhere on the course and supporting, and although we couldn't always muster words or high 5's, there were always grins and thumbs up (well from most anyway).  Walking only through the aid stations for crisps, coke, oranges, bananas etc I was quickly back to running again, this generally varied from between 9-11 min miles depending on how I felt and wind direction!  The run course is three out and back loops along a river and then around the lake we swam in to the finishing chute.  Running past the finish chute (to set off on another loop) always made me smile seeing peoples joy as they finished!  I was so close to getting on TV (they were filming for channel 4) as the motorbike camera crew following me on the final mile to the finish they asked if I was coming in to finish (big camera poised on back ready for action) and I had to tell them I still had one loop to go... I was tempted to say yes, run down the finish chute for a stupidly fast fake finish time and then carry on and do another loop!  Darn my honesty!  With that they drove off to film someone else's special finishing moment.  Now I had promised myself that if I ran the first two loops I could walk a little on the third loop, but as what always happens with me is when I realise I am close to finishing a race (I say close, I still had 8 miles to run!) my legs start to perk up and I feel stronger.  This mental recharge I get must be the buzz that gets me returning to these daft events, as it seems to happen every time, and I forget the pain of the past few hours and press on.  The thoughts of walking were no longer there, and I can see my Dad is amazed too.  He could see earlier that I was struggling and really fighting with myself to keep up my pace, but I assured him I was feeling good and he cheered me on!  Mum of course was shouting, cheering and filming all of the days events with her usual vigour and seems to have endless confidence in my ability.  I knew I was on for a sub 14 and knew I had a comfortable 2 hour window to complete my final 8 miles.  It's a long day out there and I use a different watch for swimming, and had reset my garmin after my bike to run, so working out the complete time that had lapsed was hard, especially in my oxygen depleted and exhausted brain.  All I knew was I wanted to finish before 8pm.  With approx 4 miles to go the man running behind me had the ingenious idea of asking a spectator what the time was (this idea had genuinely not crossed my mind!) and he replied with 'just gone 6pm'... what?!?!  I was beating my target, and not by a little, I was smashing it!  I picked up my pace (it's amazing what a possibility of a sub 13 can do) and as I rounded the lake for the last time my Dad told me it was 6.10, woohoo, less than 3 miles to go!  I ran straight past the last two aid stations knowing I had no need to waste any further time getting any food or drink from them and carried on running.  Now I felt like I was flying, in reality I was only doing 10 min miles, but I felt on top of the world.  Final mile with the headwind down to the finish I could hardly feel the headwind, and as I saw the finish line approach I started to well up, I honestly didn't know how I had managed to stay strong enough for a sub 4.30 marathon and I was so so happy to be finishing.  As I start running down the finishing chute I'm scanning the crowd for Mum and Dad and I see them, I stop and give them both a big hug and kiss (and have a little cry.. what a girl!) and then carry on to my finish line moment.

 Finish Time 12.39.26 

That feeling couldn't get much better.  I exceeded all of my expectations, had the most wonderful weekend with family and friends, and learnt that I'm stronger than I ever imagined.  Life is truly what you make of it, and what you make happen, and I look forward to more adventures in the future.  Will there be any more Ironman events... of course (Dad, you were right as always), but I won't be doing this particular event again, I can hang my hat up on this race for good...I'm an Outlaw and I'm proud.  Thank you Mum and Dad for your endless love, support and encouragement, it means the world to me.  Now on to some new adventures!

Stats for anyone interested in that kind of thing...

Overall position- 397th out of 782

Female position- 33rd out of 106

Age Group Position- 5th 

Swim- 484th (57th female)

For Steve A- T1- 181st!! (19th female)

Bike- 583rd (50th female)

Run- 258th (18th female)