Thank you so much to everyone who followed, liked and commented on this blog and supported Willie and I over the past 6 months. A HUGE thanks to everyone who donated to the Ironman for Lupus page. We are on target to raise €10,000 towards Lupus Group Ireland which should see them in good shape for a while; they do great work for all the “Lupies” out there. Most importantly, thanks to my wonderful wife and family who supported me throughout and cheered me on during the day itself.
The swim started at 07:00 at the edge of Lake Worthersee. 3000 people entering the water at the same time is special/daunting. Splashing, kicking, pushing, no space, hard to breath….not much fun. Still managed to battle on and get in at 1:06, just below my target time of 1:10. Willie did brilliant considering the swim was his less strong discipline. We both got super cheering from our families as we left the water and ran to transition for the bike.
Bike: Got going on the bike and enjoyed a ham and cheese roll, super idea. Lovely road surface, lots of rolling hills, then savage climbs (nice flat course!!!? I think not). Two loops of 90kms, approx 3:15 per loop, got some great speed up on the flats and downhills. Willie caught me at 120kms and was looking good. Finished the bike leg off with hugs from my two kids who broke onto the course, sweet and a huge lift heading into the marathon.
Marathon: Started strong, great support from my family, other Irish along the course and every other random spectator willing to cheer. Conditions were fairly hot at 32 degrees but I knew I was going to finish the day, just at what time. Things got tough from 25kms onwards, every aid station was a welcome relief and I drank, ate and doused with cool water.
After 4:12 of running I made it to the finish line, crossing for a total time of 12 hours 2 mins, family at the end cheering. Willie did brilliant, getting home in 11:29, an optimum day out. I was very happy to just stop moving, proud of the achievement and looking forward to relaxing. A tough but rewarding journey.
P.S. I seem to have developed a weird pattern on this journey: my 1st Marathon in 4:02, my 1st Half Ironman in 6:02, and now my 1st Full Ironman in 12:02…..who says it ain’t written in the stars…