Antwerp Ironman 70.3

Race Report

Now with me things never go to plan and before I had even started the race my first problem arose. On the Tuesday I travelled down to Lowestoft from Manchester which all went smoothly no dramas so far, everything packed and ready however when checking my emails on Wednesday I had one from Matt Ellis who I was travelling with and in it amongst a load of other things he said DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT!!! Oh shit I thought, I knew instantly that I had forgotten it and I knew exactly where it was. You can imagine the panic the day before I’m supposed to travel and my passport it is 250 miles away. I was leaving at 6am the next day as well so it wasn’t as though anyone could post it. A courier said they could get it to me for £250 but the problem was it was in my house and no one was there plus I’m not made of money so that was ruled out.

So a bit of quick thinking and I came up with a cunning plan, I managed to rope a friend in (Aimee you’re a legend) and basically as my phone had recently decided to give up on me and my new one didn’t have my landlords phone number on I had to get Aimee to go to my next door neighbours house so they could ring my landlord who would then open the house for her, then hopefully she would get my passport and go to Manchester Piccadily where hopefully we could rope someone in to taking my passport to Norwich where I would meet them and give them £20 for there trouble.
As with most plans they very rarely come off, well mine don’t anyway and no one would take the passport so my last hope was to get Aimee to put the passport in an envelope and leave it on the front carriage of the train in the baggage rack. I would then cross my fingers and hope it was still there when the train arrived in Norwich 5 hours later. Luckily it was still there and at 8pm I had my passport, and they say there is no such thing as a free ride!

Right after that bit of drama I will actually get onto how the race went:

The Swim:
This was a one lap affair it started flat out as always and my plan was the same as always. F****n nail it and hope for the best, try and stay up there and hope you end up in the front pack. I went really hard at the start and was in a pack which split and I ended up being towards the front of the second pack. There were 2-3 people in front and sitting on there feet it felt o.k not slow but not really hard so once or twice I went to move up and thought if I can swim faster then this I’m just going to go for it and limit my losses but when I went out of the draft it was just a lot harder and I wasn’t going any quicker so it was pretty handy being in this pack as for me it was a decent speed and I couldn’t go any quicker swimming by myself.
When I got out of the water they said a group of 3 were 2m 20 ahead, I knew there was a main pack behind them not massively in front of me as I could see them it turns out that they ended up being 1m 30 ahead. Looking at the swim splits afterwards I was closer to people I have raced against before by about 20-30 seconds so that’s a positive and shows my swimming is coming on in the right direction.
Time 24m 10 Seconds

The Bike:
At the start of the bike I didn’t feel to bad but after about 10 miles I wouldn’t say I felt bad but I just didn’t feel good either and just couldn’t ride like I normally do in these races where I’m breathing fairly hard and putting down some decent power. I felt unable to breathe hard and hold a decent power it was just one of those days. I think the course didn’t help me either, on paper it’s the easiest course you will do pan flat, no turns, good road surface, not much wind, sounds perfect and easy doesn’t but the thing with courses like this is they suit a rider who can just keep tapping away at a steady rhythm. There is nothing to break it up, if yoou go really hard for a certain point there’s no respite like going really hard up a hill and cruising down the other side. If you cruise on a flat course like this your competitors are just pulling away and taking time out of you. It’s not often I can’t wait to get off the bike and start running but after about 30-40 miles I couldn’t wait. I tried to keep my focus and give it my best as you have to really I knew it wasn’t my day but the bike is only one aspect and at one point I think I was up to 8th place so there was still everything to play for. The fact that I found it easy to eat solids meant that I new I wasn’t pushing that hard but when I did try and push it my legs just went, the upside to this was I would have good legs for the run but in my opinion if you feel good starting the run you haen’t gone hard enough as it’s a race it’s supposed to feel hard and I love that feeling where when you get off the bike and you feel pretty nailed and you want to stop but you keep pushing on. Our man that’s a good feeling and when you feel like that you can tell you’re on to a good result.
Bike Time 2 hours 13 minutes 01 second (Positive is if I get the 15th fastest Bike with one leg the I’m going to cause carnage going 100%)

A 3 and a bit lap affair around Antwerp. Because I was such a fanny on the bike my legs actually felt pretty good for a change which was a rarity for me, a nice rarity a bit like getting everything on your Christmas list at Christmas. Well not quite that good but it was good! I used my Garmin for this just because I could really, I don’t know if it helped me or not but I came in to the transition with Matt Ellis but got a few seconds on him in there but after about a minute he caught me and that was the kick up the arse I needed. We were running at around 5.45mpm-5.50mpm when ever I looked at it but with the 90 degree corners I think you lose a bit of pace around these so after the 1st lap the average was 5.54. After the 1st lap Matt dropped off the pace a bit and I pushed on then and managed to get the average down to 5m50 after the second lap. The crowds were awesome and this really helped make you push more. On the 3rd lap I started to feel it and was having to really dig in. I managed to catch 10 miles in about 58.40 but I was starting to really feel it and the cobbles and sharp turns were starting to feel really hard, when your tired they really do kill you as you lose your speed and have to accelerate after each turn which when your on deaths door isn’t easy. I got the total run as 13.39 miles in 1h 19.01 average 5m 57 per mile.

All in all 15th place 3 hours 59 minutes 18 seconds, the full results are on the link below if your interested. I would say that this race for me was a no thrills race it wasn’t good, it wasn’t but nothing to get excited about. My next race is Wiesbaden 70.3 and as I write this I’ve just been in London watching the Olympic canoeing and Kayaking it was great and another bonus is I’ve managed to blag first class on the train and am enjoying the complimentary food and drink, now That’s how I roll!

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