Ironman Wales champion 2013


Ironman Wales
(3.8 km Swim; 180Km bike; 42.2km Run)

1st Pro  9:09:10  (47:13, 5:11:26; 3:02:35)

Scott Neyedli Wins Ironman of Wales 2013

BBC Ironman Wales 2013

Scott Neyedli 1st Ironman Wales 2013

Race Leader Scott Neyedli T2

IM Live – Ironman Champion 2013 Scott Neyedli

Scott Neyedli Post Race IM Wales


Post Ironman UK I have to be honest, I was pretty disappointed… Yes I had a good race, but the goal was to podium and I came away short. In fact 4th is probably the worst place to be… to say I was disappointed I wasn’t, I was gutted…

Although the Ironman TV coverage didn’t show it on air, I was the big mover on the marathon threatening the top of the leader board – I hit the first 10K in 39:00 and 10 miles at 61 mins, I may have went out a touch too hard (2:44/45 marathon pace)… but I didn’t look at my watch and ran through to 3rd off feel. I was seriously threatening to take 2ndplace as I threw caution to the wind and then the wheels came to a shuddering halt in the closing stages and I slipped back to 4th place.

I knew I had something more, I had made mistakes, if it wasn’t pacing, it was nutrition, all things that I could control and improve on.

Ironman Wales hadn’t entered my mind and if it wasn’t for the conversation I had with Lucy Gossage at the awards breakfast I may have called it a summer. I have to thank Lucy for the little persuasion she had on me… 5 weeks was adequate time to recover and race again the miles were banked I just needed to check out once more.

Upon getting home and back into the my office routine I had about 5 days to let my body re-balance itself and my body allowed me into light training again. With the desire still there I knocked out a similar final 3 week training block as I had for Bolton and wound down for a shorter 10 day taper to take on Ironman Wales.

The Course

Ironman Wales I had heard is a seriously tough course maybe the toughest in the WTC circuit…

I have raced both Lanzarote and Switzerland Ironman races (both listed in the top 5 toughest), and after driving the bike and run course I tweeted the day before, Ironman Wales is the hardest I’ve seen… Now that I have finished it… I can confirm this!

From the picturesque sea swim around Goskar Rock twice & Australian exit upon the first completed lap, you begin the longest T1 transition in the world. Embarking up the zig zags of the beach cliff face through the old wall town center for a 1km run to the bike start.

The bike leg undulates perpetuity through the scenic beaches and Pembrokeshire National Park with over 2000m of climbing and technical ups & downs. With no real flat, gear selection and pacing is paramount especially when you hit the 12-16% climbs up the fabled Saunders Foot Hill or aptly renamed Heartbreak Hill that you repeat twice through at the back end of the 180km bike route… From here you get to the start line of the marathon.

The marathon is also an undulating uphill and downhill course with over 1000m of climbing through the 42.2k run (& this year was an accurate marathon). The run course is just as unrelenting as you head past the Old Wall Town up to the turnaround at New Hedges and back through the cobblestones of the village town centre. It is a hard run course.

The weather on the day wasn’t too favourable with a chilly start and overnight rain making the roads slick and wet with periodic cold autumn down pours later on in the bike which turned into nice warm sunshine for the marathon – it was a day of all seasons.

It may paint a picture of a pretty gruelling course but you soon forget this when you see and hear the cheers of encouragement from the Pembrokeshire local communities and massive home crowds lining the streets at every village, hill climb and pub you pass. The Tenby village town centre was something else and one of the best if not the best finish line experience I have ever had. It was epic!!!

1 Swim Start2 Swim ExitThe Race

With over 30 International male Pro’s towing the line, the largest pro field had assembled in Tenby. Michael Göhner, Daniel Niederreiter, Swen Sundberg, Harry Wiltshire & Fraser Cartmell were pencilled as possible favourites. I don’t think I was really considered as a potential winner but deep down I knew I was a medal contender and a win is possible on a good day with no bad mechanical luck.

From the horn being sounded I set off fast and for first 200m or so I lead the swim before Cartmell took the front spot and I settled onto his slipstream. Not long after Harry Wiltshire came along side and hit the front pushing the pace to first turn around buoy. Although the pace had increased I felt I was well within my comfort zone wearing my HUUB Archimedes Wetty & Zoggs Polarised Predators. The pace had jacked every now and again but settled mid-way through the 1st lap. The swim went well and from there I just really concentrated on the surges that Harry was putting in every now & again.

At the first lap exit I was 3rdand I was happy to be in the front group. Heading into the final loop and 2nd half of the swim it was much the same, I just had to concentrate on the surges of pace and although nearing the end of the swim Harry got a small gap of a few seconds, I wasn’t too concerned, I made the first pack 4th in, job done 47:12 (1:12 ave/100m)

3 Exiting T1    4 Bike5 Feeling like the Froome

I set about the bike in 3rd spot after that long transition and within the first few kms the front pace line had taken shape with Marek Jaskolka, the 2 x Polish Olympian pressing the pace up front, Harry in 2nd, Fraser 3rd & myself in 4th. The bike was kept honest throughout with the race referee constantly watching us.

7 Saunder Foot-Heartbrake hill

The first half of the bike Marek mostly pushed the pace and on a couple of occasions crept away taking some of the descents with less caution than the rest of us but mostly we stayed together with positions juggling every now and again on the hills. It wasn’t really until the 2nd loop we started to race a bit more and the lead would change more frequently.

The rain did come down heavy and for the most didn’t bother me too much except on some of the longer descents where I would get a cold chill. I was glad I had went with the Compressport tubewhich matched well with my cool Zerod gear.

9 bike end8 Police escort130 kms I think Harry punctured behind before Fraser passed me for the lead and his chain dropped or jammed whilst changing gears. I went back into the lead again and after 5 min or so I could only seeMarek behind in tow. I was convinced that Fraser would re-join us and headed up the next hilly section the same tempo we had been riding all day.

When I turned to look for Fraser I couldn’t see Marek anymore… I hadn’t made any conscious effort, I just pedalled away. Looking around me I was confused for a while, I was passing a lot of age groupers on their first lap but the camera crew were gone and so was the police motor escort…

Mind games began and I actually thought I possibly took a wrong turn. 10 mins on the motor escort had retuned and my mind was at ease. Knowing I had made a little time on the competition I decided to go for it with 30kms remaining and the final climb tapping up Saunders foot to T2. I was never really out of my comfort zone and religiously took my Powerbar Gels as planned & felt pretty cool heading into Tenby with my own police escort and camera crew.

I had my first Norman Stadler feeling and a tear came to eye heading into T2. It was at this point I really believed I could win this race & it was only for me to lose. The crowd support was simply unbelievable and I headed into the change tents. Onto the run I had always planned to run easy on the first lap irrespective of where I was placed off the bike. With a 5 min cushion on 2nd place Marek I calculated I only need to run a 3 hour marathon to win. No one was going to run 2:55 or faster… not on this course I told myself.

10 T2

Onto the run with my Greeper laced ON racers I quickly got into my rhythm and stuck to my Run Powerbar gel Nutrition plan which I had switched to Hydrogels from Bolton to help prevent the stomach issues I had in my last race. Upon the first climb to New Hedges I deliberately held back and tried to keep my heart rate as low as possible. At the end of the first loop I split 45:00, I was losing time to Malek & also fast moving Göhner but I stayed composed & unwavered and stuck to the plan.

11 Marathon

Lap 2 1:29 XX I was still on track. I dug a little deeper as I went through a little bad patch in the 3rd lap but held time with a 2 min gap. At the start of the 4th lap I got to where I had been holding back for and made my move hard to New Hedges. On the return downhill I couldn’t see Göhner anymore & the gap to Marek was back to what it was at the marathon start. I pushed hard again upon then next out & back section and Marek looked in a bad shape on my last eyeball check. With 2 or 3 miles to go I knew I had bagged the win I backed off to a jog and really enjoyed the final mile soaking in the awesome local support and ran through the cobblestones for the final time saluting the crowd at each junction.

Thank you to Paula my flag bearer & special needs helper who knackered her legs running the back streets from the special needs station to be on hand with my Lion Rampant before the finish chute.

12 Run Town

13 finish 4

I entered the turn off to the finish line and what would be the final hill of the day. I finally reached a simply incredible finish chute packed 5 to 6 deep on either side. Ironman Champion Scott Neyedli!!!

14 finish 3

15 lion I think they even pronounced my name correctly.

Ironman Champion Scott Neyedli!!!

There’s nothing quite like winning your first Ironman but wining my second title 6 years on and around my full time work commitments simply blew my wildest expectations and still really hasn’t sunk in, especially when I had the mind-set that my best days were behind me. I guess it goes to show the weekend warrior lifestyle can work, If you work hard, train hard, train smart and have the patience and drive – you can achieve! Self-belief is all you need.

17 finish 7

18a finish

18b finish 2

18 c 2 xIronman champion

19 podium 6

20 podium4

21 Podium

I dedicate this win to my late uncle Joe, my parents, Grandad Poppy & Nanny, my Great aunt Dede who struggle in elder life – You take for granted the simple things in life and I’m blessed that I can still swim, bike and run.

Thank you again to my homestays Aled, Mike & Paula, to all the Ironman volunteers, my family & friends, spectators and supporters, to my team in behind me that constantly keep the faith in my ability Carol, Emma & Ron at Aberdeen Sports Therpy / Riverside Chiro, Stephen atHolburn Cycles, Joe Beer @, Lisa and the Delaurentis’, to my sponsors RGU Sport On RunningPowerbarZerodCompressport,HuubNeoviteGreepers, Zoggs.

Congratulations to Lucy on another well-deserved Ironman win and everybody else that made the finish line – You are an Ironman!

What’s Next:

With 2000 points banked towards Kona 2014 I feel there is an opportunity to possibly go full time or part time for my dream race at the Big Island once more. I know I have probably 4-5 good years left in me If I desired but I would only go back to the pro circuit if I had the right team or backing behind me. I made the top 10 (top  Brit) at the 2011 ITU LD World Champs in my final full time year in 2011 but I still have the desire to top 10 in Kona and better Spencer Smiths British best top 5 placing male.

With the KPR being what it is, you need a corporate sponsor behind you to allow you to race internationally and accumulate the points needed to make the grade for a Kona start. Thankfully the P1000 race criteria will be scrapped next season so the prize purse & points will be a more fair system.

If any corporate sponsors out there are interested in backing me to get there please get in touch. It’s about time the British guys match the British women’s success in Kona.

My season’s pretty much done now but I do plan to do the MPH Standard Distance Huntly Triathlon this weekend just before heading to Gosselies to work in the Tercel Belgium office for 3 weeks.

From there I’m not sure what the plan will be but I’m keen to race at the British Masters Swim Champs in Sheffield at the end of Oct If I can get in the pool time in. If I was to take the road for Kona IMWA would be my choice Ironman to race in December.

Can anyone explain why this dude is casually carrying a Bazooka & only 1 bystander seems a little concerned?

22 bazooka