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O.rangeCannon's pirate journey!!!!!!!
O.rangeCannon's pirate journey!!!!!!!

So I'm now a pirate, (ie normal people who are inspired by the runners world forumites doing IMs)..... This involves drinking beer, buying lots of yellow kit, oh, and a race or 2 a year to give it an objective.

I bumped into the pirates via the runners world magazine / forum, and they gave me the confidence to dare enter an IM.


2010 IMDE - flat, Outlaw - flat
2011 IM Regensburg 2011 - flat, IMWales - hilly, oh so windy
2012 Lanza - hilly and windy
2013 - IM Lanza - the return :-)

Recovering from knee issues, (too many rugby injuries) so now the plan is to swim OK, be an Uber Biker, and just let the run take care of itself. Oh Well

Ironman Germany - war and peace race report

orangecannonby orangecannonJul 7th 2010
Ironman Germany - war and peace race report
So this was the biggie...!!
  • First Ironman
  • first mass start
  • first non wetsuite swim
  • longest swim ever
  • first marathon......

I guess I should have been really nervous, but I had spent 9 months getting here and so I felt as ready as I could be. I'd thought I could do 12 hours - 1 hr 20 swim, 6 hr bike and a 4 hour marathon seemed reasonable, considering my 1/2 IM time and the training I'd been doing. However, 38 degree heat in the days before and no wet suits meant all bets were off.....

The day started at 3:40!! (ffs), with a breakfast bag delivered to the hotel room. Salami sandwhich for breakfast - yum. Then it was on to get the bus transfer, where I bumped into the pirate posse. We were nice and early, so there was no panic while we put drinks bottles / bento boxes on the bikes, sorted out inflating tyres and generally faffed around. We were so early I even had the chance to do a little yoga. I bet I looked a total tart but what the hell - made me relax and stretched me out a bit as well.

Eventually, it was time to head down to the swim start, I saw mouse and gom looking serene, but none of us were really too talkative....... Saw the pros/ first 250 go off, then we were all called forward. In I went into the lake, and it was warm. I spent a minute of so dehydrating....then waded out a little further and made my way to the far side / rear of the pack, and spent 5 or 6 mins bobbing around. Everyone was very relaxed as the minutes were counted down, then we were off....

The swim was ok, but boy, its quite a long way. The water was murky green, with visability of about 2 feet. I was glad to reach the first turn around. Got hit around the head once or twice, the first turn was a bit crushed, but generally everyone just got on with it. I just tried to relax, swim at my own pace and just keep making progress..... Then yip yip, dry land and the end of the first loop... out and in again for a shorter second loop, but it did not really feel like it... Got to the final turnaround, and it was time to head for home.... I smiled, felt relieved, found some feet to follow, then got kicked as they swapped to breast stroke - how inconsiderate....

Then it was out (1 hr 33mins ish) with the thought phew! - I made it!!!! and walked up the sand hill into T1.

Lessons to be learnt - I probably should go and get some swim training....

As a IM novice I heard its good to walk T1, (as its going to be a long day) so I meandered along, found my bike, on went HR strap, bike shirt, P20, sunnies, helmet, socks, shoes... must have been a few more things as I was in there for 8 minutes. Grabbed the bike, and off I went. Yip Yip Yip - party time.

I just tried to relax, and keep my HR down to my targets - 129 for the first 45k, then 135 - 140 for the rest. so I dropped onto my aero bars, drank water for the first 20 minutes, passed a few people, marvelled at the smooooooth roads without potholes, and CRRUNNCH!!! I looked behind and 20 yards behind, saw 2-3+ bikes side on, heading for the central reservation. I just looked forward with the sound of carbon on tarmac echo-ing behind me...

That concentrated the mind....

So into Frankfurt, the first of so many yells of GO Pirate!!!, then we were out and on the first lap. The aid stations were a bit of a revelation, but I got the hang of them by the second one. I just grabbed water, mixing up sports drink in my aero bottle from a concentrated mix, drank nuun with gels / bars, had a salt tab every hour, and grabbed a banana or 2 every aidstation. It was a mobile picnic really.

Loved the music / atmosphere at the party zones and villages, was less keen on the cobbles, and the git who stopped infront of me on the heart break hill as he failed to change down. I thwacked straight into the back of him, but got my foot unclipped so stayed upright, pushed past him, then up on the hill. I remember passing Will and Gom, neither looked to be having the time of their lives at this point.

Apart from that, my memory is just that the second lap went on, and on, and on..... then the heart break hill appeared for the second time, and it was on into Frankfurt. Anyway, I rolled off the bike in 5.47 - sort of happy with that -

Lessons to be learnt - do some HR testing so don't guess at target HRs

So a guy grabbed my bike, someone else grabbed my run bag and into transition I went. Swaped into a monaco, more sun cream, trainers on, pirate buff on my head, and on with the camel back... (I know - no one else uses them...) and out into unknown territory.

The plan was 10 minute run, 1 minute walk, drinking go-go juice on my walk, with gels or a bar every 30 mins and a salt tab every hour.
This went really well, with ice going down the back of the neck to cool my back, and sponge used to soak my buff. - ditched the bars straight away though. The first lap went by in 55 mins, but by then the sun had broken through the cloud cover, and it was starting to heat up.
Onto the next lap, and repeat....
I do remember sitting in a porta loo, that felt like it was about 100 degrees, with sweat and water just running off my head. Back out and onwards.....
Shouts from Atom and Crashie et al on the far bank were great and welcome over there in the sun.

Then my camel back ran dry near the end of the second lap - it normally lasts 2 hours. So at the next aid station I refilled it with ice, 4 cups of water, and added a couple of canisters of torq go-go powder. Quick shake and on the back it went, and suck and....... bugger - blocked. I spent the next 3k sucking / blowing down my tube trying to clear it.... then gave up, ditched it with my super-shuffle-sherpa, and onto the third lap. I bumped into Wicket then swapped places with him for a lap as I walked / pi55ed about with my camel back. I also passed Mouse, as she was walking her first lap, with a dodgy calf slowing her.

Things then started to go down hill a bit as the day started to get tough. I started slowing as the legs now hurt and I gave up on the planned run walk and instead walked every other aid station. The third band was really welcome. It was not just me hurting either - the fast guys were finishing, and more and more were walking. Nice to pass them, but then I was walking more as well.

Onto the 4th lap, and started on the coke, (yes!) walking every aid station, counting down the k's. It was tough starting to run again each time, but I now believing I was going to survive the run.
I now understand the phrase 'run tough'. This was easilly the hardest run I have ever done - it just got harder and harder.
I passed a lot of people with 3-4 bands as they were walking (telling my self a kills a kill each time...!!) as the run carnage around me increased. The 4th band felt really good to get then it was homeward bound on the last 3 k. Up a little hill and aRRGGHA - the hamstring cramped. oh bugger, gave it a bit of a stretch, walked 10 yards then started again gingerly - it felt ok.. phew. I did not want to blow up now!

Up over the bridge, down the other side, straight through the last aid station, then right into the finish lane, onto the red carpet, and the noise really started. I was grinning insanely - I turned the corner into the finish chute and started sprinting up it, past a few more people, (thinking get out of the way!! another kills a kill no matter how late!!). The chute was just a blur of noise, shouting, red carpet, lights, a really loud Pirates!! shout, (thanks) lots of emotion and then it was over - I was across the line, with a 4.03 marathon, and 11.36 total - yip yip yip!!!

Someone gave me a towel, a medal, and a friendly helper sheppered me to the village. A quick 'are you ok' and I was left to drift around. It was heaving. Queued for a shower, Steffi the massueur was free though so had some leg attention, then grabbed a beer, and almost fainted. Ditched the beer, and spent the next 20 minutes sweating buckets, head by my knees, (did not want to look too ill) as I started to feel better.

I then went for food, coke, more food and more coke. I grabbed my cert, t-shirt, and out to find the missus. However I'd been in the village an hour and 20 mins - its are tardis that village - and she was going balistic thinking I'd been medical tented....

Anyway she recovered, bought me chips and more coke as a good sherpa should, and sat me down on the now empty stand at the corner before the finish shoot to watch the rest of the pirates in.

We saw mouse go by with Crashie, 10k left with 1hr 15 to go - oh bugger was my thought - she has no chance. We saw Gom, then Plum come in, show boating all the way, throwing his cap into the crowd.

Then we moved to the main stand, Shuffle the Sherpa picked up a beer just as barley crossed the line. Shuffle offered him a drink of beer - he said thanks and wondered off with the entire pint - typical pirate!!!

We found Swiss Mummy in the stands and prepared for the countdown.... 10 mins left and Wild Will appeared - well done mate for keeping on going on a bad day. Then there was 1 minute left , and no mouse..... Someone came though, followed by a mountain biker, and that was that - the last people. We assumed the worst, that no more would be let up the chute. The music went up a notch, the baloons were out, the smoke machines kicked in and the countdown started. Then some one else came up the chute - with thousands shouting at them to run faster- I think he missed it by 2 seconds. Then the baloons flew, Phil Collins kicked in on the PA, and that was it.....

Then another runner came up the chute...

and another.......

and then Mouse... a minute or two late at the most - That last 10 k must have hurt - I thought she had no chance, but the last 300 yards were probably harder still. Brilliantly done Moussie - get over that line!!!

A great day, all pirates accounted for despite 5k extra, no wet suits and an hour shorter than planned. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

Pirate support - superb! - pirates rock!

Roll on Regensburg.
Tags: imde, ironman, race
boomclarenby member: boomclaren, Jul 16th 2010 21:56
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! sounds like a pretty fantastic day. I've got my first ironman distance race in less than a month now, beginning to feel the nerves, got the whole "have i done enough" panic, how much did the race day atmosphere pull you through?
orangecannonby blog author: orangecannon, Jul 19th 2010 21:49
Hey Boomclaren
I found big events great for chasing down people on the bike, (I am a crap swimmer).

The run was surprisingly easy, again being able to pass people helped massively. The crowds are way more noticeable on the run - it just made me feel good, (but then I was not really struggling).

The aid stations are really great though - only ever 2k away, so always a target to get to......(esp when drinking coke!)

So you at the outlaw - there are about 30 pirates going so we will be a bit noticeable!
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