Well, it all went wrong – again!!!
Once again I look as miserable as sin crossing the finish line.
Once again I have to suffer the barrage of sympathy, abuse and mickey taking that befits a 5 time Ironman screw up.
Damn I need to learn how to ride a bike!!!
So to the day itself.
By the time we woke up people would already have been milling about Transition, we’re lazy like that. I planned to get there around 6am which would give me 30mins to get my stuff sorted and get out of there. With special needs bags dropped off, run nutrition sorted, bike nutrition sorted I gave the bike a once over. The tyres were a bit soft so I joined the queue for the track pumps, Front tyre inflated fine to around 100psi, the back tyre though? Nothing was doing. We tried several times but nothing was putting air into the thing. I wandered off to find someone with a pokey stick type thing that I could shove down my valve extenders to free the valve up by kicking some air out. With transition about to close I found one and set about my valve only to discover that it seems the reason I could get no air in was because the valve has closed. Ah screw, I’d just have to ride with a back tyre that only has around 60psi in it. It’ll be fine, the roads are smooth, the pressure will rise as the temperature climbs, I could get a puncture but I could get one anyway. There was a last minute sprint across transition to my bike when I realised I’d still got my glasses on but other than that all was well.
My new wetsuit slipped effortlessly onto my body saving the 20mins of early morning struggle that I normally have and I made my way down the beach to join the hoards at the start line. There’s plenty of room at the front so I positioned myself slightly to the right and smack on the surf line. Soon the hooter went off we were away and I was getting the crap beaten out of me. Normally, being a half decent swimmer it doesn’t take me long to break free of the fists, fine some clear(ish) water and settle into my rhythm. Not today though! For most of the first lap I was constantly having my feet clawed at, crashing into people and getting kicked. People were of course getting the same treatment back, except for the kicking of course, my legs just drag behind me like some limp lettuce. We exited lap one in 27mins and then waded back out into the sea across a sandbank for what seemed like ages, it really worked the legs too. Lap2 I guess took around 28mins (I haven’t scruitinized the results yet), it would partly have been longer due to the dreadful wade out to sea and partly because on this lap I did find clear water which means of course that with my fantastic navigation skills I swam a little bit further than most people (even with my prescription goggles). I left the water, ran up the beach, through the shower, had my wetsuit stripped and on to T1 screaming my number in the hope that my bag would be ready for me to grab, it wasn’t, but it wasn’t long coming. There were still a lot of bags for the helpers to sort through after 55mins.
T1 was a little bit farcical, mostly because I was fannying around with my Garmin which I’d still got set on run mode (doh!). I tipped my bag out, switched my watch on, threw on my socks, shoes, helmet etc and ran out to where the helpers were having a little trouble getting my bike from the very tight racking. I was soon on my way though and I saw the race clock click to 1:00:00 just before I crossed the timing mat. Not quite as fast as I’d hoped, but that was mostly down to my messing about.
Bike next time!!!!!
Oh yeah, I got burnt too.