Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball 16 June.

I started the swim about a third of the field back from the front on the second wave of starters. This turned out to be a bad decision as having been punched, dragged under and kicked I then pushed left and swam in clear water on the outside to stay out of trouble. This resulted in a 40 minute swim for the 1900 metres which was a little disappointing.

This was followed by the long uphill run into transition and out on to the extremely hilly rain soaked bike course. Further disappointment followed with issues with my rear cassette not selecting the large ring causing major issues on the steepest of climbs. In order to turn the wheels I had to force the pedals down whilst pulling on the handlebars to create enough force to turn the wheels. Not the most ideal preparation for the run! With the mechanical issue and a decision not to kill myself on some quite frankly disturbing wet downhill sections having come rather too familiar with a hedge at the bottom of one, I covered the bike course in another disappointing time of 4 hours (56miles).

Onto the run, I initially felt ok and settled in to my own pace. A possible combination of gel overload / lake water ingestion from my earlier near drowning incident resulted in an unwanted visit to the portaloos! Thankfully it was clean, not that I’d have had any choice!

The extra exertion on the bike eventually took its toll and I had to walk at the feed-stations and on the steeper inclines, which were now, due to the rain just a mud bath.

In the end as Tim Don was probably buckling his seatbelt for his flight back to Boulder, a finishing time of 7hrs 26mins in my first half distance Ironman race which felt like a real test of endurance. Some valuable lessons were learned and I am looking forward to the next longer challenge which should be the Outlaw next July.