The next clip showed PJ heading through an aid station, clearly blowing to pieces, in the space of 20m he probably took 15 cups of water/Gatorade/coke etc from the volunteers and looked in all sorts of trouble. Then in a classic moment, an American guy watching from a car just in front of Pete screams out: “EAT THE PAIN PETE, EAT THE PAIN!!!” priceless moment, and certainly the mantra for all the competitors on the day in Busso.
A 3.10am alarm call (!!!) and a quick breakfast before heading down to transition. It still warm from the day before (Saturday had been 34 degrees) and there was a steady North-Easterly breeze, very different from the year before where it had been fairly cool in the morning and completely still.
Ironman set up is pretty simple given that you check in bike and transition bags the day before so a quick stop at the bike to pump up tyres and put drinks on then off to chill out a bit before getting the wetsuit on and heading to the swim start.
(My swim was actually 1 second slower than my time last year – although you can tell conditions were slower as I was 137 places higher (241st) in the field this year coming out of the swim compared to 2010.)
|Lap 1 of bike (original front tyre and spares attached)|
|End of lap 1 - 120km to go!|
No idea why I need to stick my tongue out.
|Onto lap 2 - good thing I was taking salt tablets |
- plenty being sweated out. No spares
left now, getting hotter!
|almost half way |
- suffering is really kicking in now
|A feeling of relief more than anything|
was pleased to still be in one piece!
Once through that aid station I managed to slowly jog the lasts few km all the way back into town and pick up my final wrist band before heading into the finish chute, high 5’s all the way down and thankfully picked out Erika before heading over the line to be caught by 2 volunteers and sent into the medical tent for a few ice packs!
To all those people who have trained with me at some point over the journey (you know who you are), which includes more recently the MTC / Fluid movements crew and in the past the group at Tri-Alliance. It’s great having so many different people to call on to share the training and makes the tough sessions all the better when you are constantly seeing people out on the road who you know.
Thanks to Sean Foster whose program I have followed for this attempt. I certainly didn’t quite pull off the race that I know I was well prepared for; with a bit of good fortune and some more hard work NZ will be my redemption! Also to Ben Street, I joined Ben’s swim squad back in May and I think I am still mentally traumatised by the first few weeks!! The memories of not having enough left in my arms and shoulders to get myself out of the pool at the end of each session are still there!! Progress has been great though and the development of the sessions over that 6 months has allowed me to keep improving and be in great shape for race day, and full of confidence standing on that start line. I almost don’t hate swimming anymore!!
Also thanks to Miranda and Emma, the two people who are always happy (I think!) to be bored by the tales of my training and racing, always happy to give their views and opinions when asked (and even when not asked sometimes!) and constantly inspire me to keep working at it and improving. Training with these two over the years has also helped in managing the male ego when the women keep streaming past you in races, I’ve certainly had plenty of practice with this!