This blog is a bit of a lighthearted view of the Ironman World Championship. I’ve been very fortunate enough to have been able to qualify for this race twice now and I know for sure that I’m up for a tough old day on Saturday.
If I say the blog is lighthearted I know full well that the race is not. This is one tough old race – it’s the World Championship – and you can’t just dig into your pockets and buy yourself onto the start line (unless you’ve probably got many tens of thousands of pounds to spare!).
Many people will start. A few less will finish. I plan to be one of those finishers.
I’m going to be nowhere the front of the field and I just want to get to the finish on my own two feet and enjoy the moment.
As well as writing a bit about the race there’s a lot of interesting things to do and people to meet in this little part of the world. I think Kona is a special place and being given the opportunity to compete at this, the pinnacle race of our sport is something I certainly don’t take for granted.
I would have loved to have come into the race fighting fit but alas it is not to be.
I don’t mind. I’m here. I’m in Hawaii.
So, I won’t give you any more excuses about training (at least in this post). This is a very much finger in the air guess at how the day ‘could’ turn out for me in an ideal world.
The race starts at 6:55am for me on Saturday morning Hawaii time. This is 5:55pm in the UK. Go to ironman.com and there will be a link to a live video feed that starts at 5pm UK time. You’ll see the professionals start (at 5:25pm and 5:30pm) and then a short wait until the ‘age group men’ start. My race number is 1381 but you’ll be able to search for me by name on the online tracker.
My guesses are as follows:
- Swim – I did 1 hour 14 minutes in the ‘practice swim’ last weekend. Lets hope for something similar or ideally a minute or two quicker.
- Bike – I’m thinking somewhere between 5 hours 30 and 6 hours.
- Run – 4 hours minimum. Maybe nearer 4 hours 30.
So, if we add these up we’re looking at around 10:45 to 11:45. Add in some transitions (swim to bike and then bike to run and there’s a few extra minutes on top). Anything can happen on race day whether it mechanical, mental or physical. I’ll do whatever I can to overcome whatever hurdles may present themselves and do my utmost to complete.
And GET THAT MEDAL!
I finished in 2013 in 10 hours 29 minutes. That will remain my personal best on this course for sure after tomorrow.
No matter what time I hope to finish in, please do try and watch the final hour of the race – the finish line party from 10am UK time on Sunday morning at ironman.com. The finish line of any Ironman is special and this takes it up a notch or 10.
Poem – ‘twas the night before Ironman
So the blog title mentioned a poem. I’d like to share this with you. It was written by Amy at the Island Orchard Florist in Kailua-Kona. She has shared this with me and I’d love to share it with you… (please don’t post this elsewhere without permission).
‘Twas the night before Ironman
When all through Kailua-Kona,
Not a bike was on the road,
Not even one single one!
The race bikes were safely stowed away, in hopes that after a big swim, they’d soon beat the winds!
The athletes were nestled all snug in their beds. While visions of lava rocks danced in their heads.
And Diana Bertch and her team, with all the volunteers,
Had just settled in for a really long day!
Where out in Kailua-Kona bay there arose such a clatter! Athletes sprang in the water, waiting for the start. Furiously propelling themselves, they swam like a flash, starting the race – the longest day of their lives.
The quickly rising sun, high in the sky, gave the luster of exhaustion already setting in. When, to my wandering eye, should appear Mark Allen and Dave Scott!
With a long, long day, so much blood, sweat and tears, we knew in a moment , it must be?The leader, more rapid than Lance Armstrong on the bike, Mike Reilly practicing to say, “You are an Ironman!”.
Now Mark Allen, now Dave Scott, now Paula Newby Fraser and Julie Moss! On Stadler, On Welch, on Badmann, On Wellington! To the top of the race, to the top of the records !! Now, Awesome, Incredible, Amazing, All!!
A fierce dry wind that before was none, when a tire goes flat, a fellow comes and so up to Hawi, the bikers they flew! … With dreams of hearing… “You Are An Ironman!!”.
Then, in a twinkling, I heard online the first bike came in. Pounding the pavement, on went the first runner. As I drew in my head and was twirling around, “Another Ironman record comes falling down!”
– wishing all our ironman friends all the very best for a GREAT race this Saturday!