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Over £5,000 raised

Where: Copenhagen

When: 20/08/2017

What: An Ironman - 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride, 42km run (marathon)

The day finally arrived. After almost one year of intensive training, clean eating and no alcohol, the 2017 Copenhagen Ironman was about to commence. The forecast for the day had just about every condition imaginable! Rain, wind, sun, hail, you name it. Perhaps a metaphor for my past 10 months of training, a whirlwind of injuries and set backs, making of new friends and discovery of newfound passions. The day started with the 3.8km swim in the not so tropical Danish sea. Heavy winds gushed down the main strait, giving a helping hand on the way out but proving slightly more problematic on the way back. Having never done the distance, I was unsure of my what my time would be, but placed myself in the 1hr13 – 1hr15 section, being slightly conservative. Unfortunately, I was a little too conservative and found myself held up by those around me (you set off with those amongst your predicted finish time, the fastest times start first). I ended up finishing in 1hr10 but felt I could have pushed a little harder and was frustrated in being held up in the early parts of the swim. Nevertheless I still managed the third fastest swim time for GBR athletes in my age group!

The bike was something I had always felt strongest at and new that this was where I could push to improve my time most. I distinctly remember being just 30km into the race and complaining about a sore buttocks… things did not improve for the remaining 150. The bike course was fairly forgiving, consisting of gently rolling hills on a two-lap course. All was going well until about 5 hours in when I got a puncture in my front tyre. Having only started cycling in January, I am far from a ‘cyclist’. As such, my tyre changing skills are very low. I therefore decided that it would take more time to change the tyre than to periodically stop and inflate the existing tyre. So, for roughly every 10km I was forced to stop and pump in a little air. During this time I also decided to ‘smash it’, as the more time spent on the tyre, the more times I would have to pump up the tyre, therefore by going faster I may reduce the number of times I would need stop. This killed my legs and the heavy rain did not make me feel any better.

Finally it was time for the run. I will never forget running up the ramp out of the second transition and the feeling in my legs (or lack of). My legs were done. Not enough running training in the months prior due several injuries, most notably a metal spike going over an inch into my foot, and the heavy push at the end of the bike left me with little to give. After what I had thought had been about 7km, a sign was approaching to tell me of the distance-covered… 2km!! The marathon was real slog, but with the sun starting to come out, my mother in tiers and some truly fantastic support, I slowly managed to clock up some distance. The run course was four and half loops, good for knowing how much you have left, but bad as you have to run past the finish line four times without running down it! Eventually my turn came and I have never been happier to finish something. Against the odds, I had completed the Copenhagen Ironman.

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