Sam took part in one of my favourite races, the Ironman UK 70.3 (1/2 ironman). The lake is clean and the bike and run courses are very lumpy. This results in a very hard race and not for the feint hearted. If you go sub 5 hours on this course you are a serious athlete, Sam killed it in 4 hours and 52 minutes! This is what he had to say about it…
Ironman 70.3 UK in Wimbleball is one of my favourite races. The course is a tough one, but you never get board at this race.
The weather was awful on the Saturday with torrential rain and 30mph gusts. I was slightly concerned I would get blown off the bike! However I woke up at 5am on the Sunday morning to be pleasantly surprised, there was even a little bit of sun and the wind had died down a lot.
My swim has really improved this year so I positioned myself right at the front for the start of the swim. As the gun went off, the usual hustle and bustle occurred for the first few minutes until people started to settle down. I managed to get into a group of about 6 and we all kept together until the end of the swim, which I exited in 16th Overall. A long run up to transition I stripped the 2XU V:2 off with ease and I was straight onto the Merida Time Warp.
For the first few miles of the bike its climb after climb, not what you need after a 1.2 mile swim. However once that was done I settled down and got into rhythm and started to overtake a few people. At the first check time mat the time keeper shouted that I was 11th overall and 2nd age grouper, a nice surprise! I continued the 1st of the 2 laps of the bike without seeing anyone. The 2nd lap I was caught by another age group athlete, but I kept him in view for the rest of the bike. I entered T2 in 12th overall and made a quick change into my run shoes (I had the 17th fastest bike split of the day, including professional full time athletes).
The run course is like the bike course, tough! Having been injured with really tight hamstrings and thighs on my left leg I hadn’t got the training in required for this part, but I was determined not to let too many people overtake me. Sheer grit and determination got me through the run and by the end I knew I had given it my all and crossed the line in a time of 4 hours 52 minutes, 15th overall and 3rd in a very competitive 25-29 age-group.
I will be back again to do this race in the future, it’s the third time I have done it now! I will get the Age Group 1st one time.
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