So last year (2016) I completed the London Marathon and the Outlaw Middle Distance Triathlon and in July also completed the UK Ironman in Bolton which was my 3rd Ironman in just over 2 years.
The concept for Ironman Triathlon dates back to 1977, John Collins a US Navy Commander was debating with friends at an awards dinner in Hawaii – who is the fittest? The winner of Waikiki Roughwater Swim (2.4 miles/3.8 km), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles/185 km; originally a two-day event) or the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles/42.2 km). So, on February 18th, 1978, they set themselves a challenge and decided to combine all 3 events together to create a single day race. Each of the 15 athletes received three sheets of paper listing a few rules and a course description. Handwritten on the last page was this exhortation: “Swim 2.4 miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2 miles! Brag for the rest of your life“. Collins said, “Whoever finishes first, we’ll call him the Iron Man.” Tom Warren won in 11 hours, 15 minutes, 56 seconds with 10 others also completing the race. Collins finished the race in just under 17 hours.
It has to be said that for someone like me who is racing the cut off/ disqualification time (matching John Collins original time of 17 hours), there is a massive sense of achievement in just completing your first Ironman which I did in the late summer of 2014 in Majorca, a totally life changing and remarkable experience.
Bolton 2016 however was a completely different story – I HATED IT and I mean hated it. It also fell at an “interesting” time of my life as I had just resigned from an amazing job, moved house and a 2 year relationship had just come to an end so I am not sure what my mental health was really like on the start line.
It is probably fair to say the UK Ironman races is one of the tougher Ironman with a very hilly bike ride and an undulating run. My problem always starts with the swim as I still to this day have not mastered front crawl so I am always one of the last few out of the water having swam breaststroke for nearly 2 hours. For someone who thought he could ride a bike, I found myself in real danger of missing the bike cut off point – and then that run, that flipping run. Up and down and round and round in Bolton city centre. I finally did actually finish though in a time of 16:28:53. I must say the support on the day is incredible and looking back I know that I know what it is to dig deep and keep moving forward.
I have barely done any exercise since Bolton and alarmingly and the bit that makes me an idiot is, I have put just over 2 stones on in weight!
So we are back to Run Fat Boy Run and back on it with a bang! I love triathlon…… but probably not another ironman!!!