I didn’t really give this Ironman thing enough respect and probably didn’t fully appreciate how hard it was going to be till I was free floating in the water before the start. I had though; If my Dad can do an IronMan I can sure as hell do a half IronMan easily and it’ll be a walk in the park, which it literally was almost close to walking in the park at 18km haha! But I’m a little tougher than that and kept pushing on.
I still don’t have an official result from the race as IronMan messed up my chip and it didn’t match my number but they assure me it’s being investigated. I have some rough bike and run splits from my Garmin though;
Overall – 4 hours 16 min (taken from finish clock – 5min for main field late start)
Bike – 2:30:22
Run – 1:20:41
Going to keep it mainly visually based, but a little bit of how it went too, it was a long race. I got muscled out and a little intimidated by the start of the swim just through the sheer volume of athletes. However rather quickly, probably 100m, I found myself out in front leading in my debut, there was no going back and before half way in the swim I had caught up on some of the struggling pros (who had a 5 minute lead starting) and by the end I had stretched my lead over the main body of the field by over a minute and overtaken a good proportion of the pro field! Going through T1 I was pretty surprised to see the pros sitting on the seats and thought I looked a little out of place doing everything standing up. It seems the transitions do not play a big part in the race as my skills were far superior to the pros around me but I’m certain the leaders were much more drilled!
Starting the bike felt like I was really settling in and feeling at home. Took a few places early on and had a train of some of the pro females on my wheel till 15km hitting the 1st hill where there TT bikes didn’t help much. It was 40km before the better cyclists made up the time on me from the swim and finally had a bit of company to ride with. After that basically nothing to report was just a strong ride with a couple technical descents and some very steep climbs before hitting T2.
Still being in the top 30 of the race (including the pros) I got some special treatment! Bike taken from me while running to the transition with a smile and a cheer, my kit bag handed to me without having to search for it, this made me feel much less stressed. This time I decided I would sit down, feeling pretty tired it was a welcome break, however short it was. My dad had suggested I put socks in my bag and I was thinking pfft, socks are for suckas! But did anyway as thought can’t hurt to keep my options open... GLAD I did, when the other 5 guys next to me started to put on socks I did too cause if they are might be a wise decision, it was. Went out a little quick and paid for it at around 8km and then again around 17km, was actually a very interesting run, I was under the impression most 70.3 were flat and on road, this was quite hilly and had a good 3km of each lap on pretty smooth off-road trails with rooty sections but fairly sparse. This made it quite a strong athletes course, which suits me just fine as I really quite enjoy the “hurt”. Finished 26th across the line my Dad counted and was treated to the early finishers rewards of unlimited access to free food and a considerably long courtesy massage before it got busy getting to mix in around the Pros. It was a great bonus to finish off a pretty damn good effort.
The pictures taken by the media company actually weren’t that great (well not worth paying for in my opinion) so here is some my Dad took.
|Swim Exit (Leading the Main Field)|
|Just finishing off transition to the Bike|
|Somewhere in the middle of the Run|
|Looking a little worse for wear at the end, Speaks for Itself...|
Despite feeling totally knackered after probably what I was say is the most physically demanding race I have ever done. Pays d'Aix IronMan 70.3 had definitely been my highlight of the year! 99% of thing ran smooth and was cool to be part of its 1st year running.