My day was a bit mixed – I had a very disappointing swim, about four or five minutes down on what I was hoping for, and was very down about it for a large part of the ride as I felt I’d really not used my head in the second half and had given away time unnecessarily. I was just starting to get myself back into a positive mind set after going through halfway on the bike in about 2:28 despite a stiff headwind up to Hawi, when another athlete pulled across in front of me at the Hawi aid station and stopped. I went straight over my handlebars, landing on the top of my head with my bike on top of me. All food and drink was jettisoned, the chain came off and the rear shifter was bent, but I seemed to be intact and everything still seemed to do roughly what it was supposed to on the bike. I got myself going again after a minute or so I guess, though it felt like an eternity fumbling with the chain and picking up various parts while hoping not to be hit by other riders. Not great for the nerves just before heading down from Hawi with some big crosswinds to deal with, but I managed to get back to Kona in a shade over 5 hours, which meant that I was forced to put in a hard run as I knew I had a shot at going under 9 hours 30 for the day.
I came into T2 44th in my age group I think, but had moved up to 33rd by the 5-mile mark on the run, so I started to think that I might just claw my way up into the top-10 despite what had felt like anything other than a perfect race up to then. Unlike last year, I felt pretty good for the whole run though and was able to maintain a pretty even pace for what I think was a 3:10 marathon (or thereabouts) and a 9:29:20 finish (I think – I haven’t been able to get onto ironmanlive over here to check my splits) and 14th in age group.
It’s not what I was after in terms of position, but I can’t be disappointed with a PB on both the bike and the run and an age group result five places higher than in 2008 in what is certainly an increasingly competitive field year on year. I’m not sure I’ve ever spent so much of an Ironman race feeling so negative about my prospects of achieving my goals – at times I really wondered whether it was worth continuing to push on through the discomfort and yet there is still so much positive to take from the experience, particularly once I was on the run course. There’s always something to take away from an Ironman, whether it was the perfect day when everything felt right or one when you learn a little more about your ability to push on through when things seem to be going against you.
It was great to see Stuart and Declan (also of Team Freespeed) just ahead of me on the run too. Dec has been due a good race here for a while and I am so pleased for him. Stu I think was top British age grouper with a fantastic 9:17 overall and top 10 in M35-39. Well done both. Congratulations also to Rachel Joyce – fantastic result again – and of course to Julie. I can’t wait to see the coverage of the professional races – what I saw out on the course looked unbelievably exciting. Macca and Raelert were still neck and neck with just over a mile to go when I passed them heading the other way up Palani. Time now to head back down to the finish line to watch the last couple of hours before midnight.
Source: Tri247.com, 11th October 2010