Read other TriBlogs
Father, student, teacher and ironman triathlete. Quite a mix and a busy life but trying to manage it all. See how I get on!!

Ironman UK 70.3 - 19 Jun 11

borobhoyby borobhoyJun 19th 2011
The start of this race has changed to 0700hrs rather than ridiculously early 0600hrs start of two years ago. Having done this race previously I knew what to expect however I was still taken by surprise by the ferocity of the swim. The 1 lap triangular swim course is fairly simple and should be quite quick in the clear waters of Wimbleball Lake. However it was not until about 1200m into the 1900m swim that I managed to find clear water and swim without being barged or swam over. I was disappointed with my time of 45:11 as this was at least 5 mins slower than I had expected but I could only put it down to the problems I had encountered in the initial part. Once exiting the swim there is a hard 400m run up hill to transition which I used to pass a few people that had exited the water before me. Due to the run T1 took 8:23, not quick but okay.

For Ironman 70.3 UK the bike is notoriously difficult and helps in boasting one of the more difficult courses on the circuit. The 52 hills in 56 miles gives the game away and the two laps mean you are aware of what is coming and should be able to pace yourself. I had been hoping to improve on my 2009 time as I had worked on my climbing over the past few months. However I was almost exactly the same time, 3:28:15, as I again suffered on the hills. If it wasn't for the fact I was wearing my Army Tri kit I'm sure I would have been tempted to walk up a few of the steeper hills as many of those around me were doing. The initial section of the route is quite fast after a short hill. There is a long section, past the first feed station, where you can really get your head down and get some decent speed. This ends abruptly as the sharp downhill section ends with a very sharp left-hand turn where cyclists need to come to an almost complete stop to make the turn. From there it is only a few miles before the real hills begin. There are a few fairly long hills during the remainder of the lap but it is the steepness of some of these that really takes its toll. By the second time round I did really feel these and was grateful to be off the bike by the end.

After a quicker T2, 4:14, I set off on the run. This is a 3 lap course that continues the theme set by the bike course - namely hills. It also passes within metres of the finish line on each of the 3 laps which means there is a large crowd around this area of the course. It is a tough run course but, apart from a short walk up the steepest hill, I managed to run a lot better than I had two years ago. This was the one aspect of the day that went well as I was about 18 mins quicker in 1:53:08.

Overall, this is a tough course which deserves it link to being one of the toughest 70.3 races on the circuit. It is well organised running seamlessly from start to finish. My finish time of 6:19:09 was over 16 mins quicker than 2 years ago and I should be pleased with that but I was disappointed that I hadn't managed to go quicker than this.
Ironman UK 70.3  19 Jun 11
Blogging Service, © TriBlogs Join TriBlogs to post comments and/or create your own blog, all for free! Read other Triathlon Blogs