For the swim I managed to get into a nice pack that was keeping a good pace going. I sat at the back and took an easy ride. We got out of the water after the 1st lap and I heard them say 2 minutes down on Harry, I thought I’ll take that as I thought the gap at the end could be anything from 5-7 minutes so I was happy to be within 2 on a class swimmer. After the 2nd lap the gap was on 4 minutes which was perfect.
Out onto the bike and I had a game plan to stick to a specific power output, I had never raced like this before and when after 10 minutes I was riding in a pack of 3 but also riding at well above my planned power output of 305w I was faced with a massive dilemma do I stay with the 3 guys I’m riding with or do I back it off and let them go and stick to my original game plan. I decided to stick to my own game plan and let them go which was so hard to do and all the time I was getting time splits I could hear they were getting further and further away. I was actually kicking myself a and I won’t repeat what I was saying about the power meter in my head! However after around 3 hours the power which felt easy at the start wasn’t feeling to easy now and in the last hour I was catching a few of them again. This was great I thought, they have gone much harder then me and are probably going to suffer on the run where as I will feel good on the run and be able to put together a good marathon.
Once on the run I felt pretty good, maybe to good as I was ticking off sub 6s a bit to easily until we got to the hill leading onto the circuit at about 7 miles. After this you run down hill to Bolton where you start a 3 lap circuit which consisted of a gradual hill for 3 miles and a gradual down hill for 3 miles to be completed 3 times.
Previous to starting the run it felt as if I had let my support crew down as I could tell when they were giving me the time splits they though oh god what’s he doing he’s loosing so much time he’s never going to catch it back up but when I started the run and I felt good and were passing people I could tell this was firing them back up and they thought great it’s back. This was so motivating and really inspired me to push on, I worked my way up to 5th by 5 miles and 3rd by 13 miles and then I could see I was catching 2nd place and by 19 miles I had caught 2nd as well. 1st was a good 4-5 minutes up the road with 10k to go but in an ironman anything could happen and I said to Amy Forshaw before the race it’s never over until you cross the line as anything can happen, you could get cramps and be reduced to a walk or get a stitch and then it’s very easy to lose 2-3 minutes in a mile.
Unfortunately I was unable to catch 1st place but I did manage to hold onto second place, my best result to date! It was certainly a roller coaster of emotions, at the end I was absolutely shattered, it really hit me when I crossed the line, the pain was just horrific but in a way it’s quite addictive as I’m already looking forward to my next one!