IM Lanza


I went into IM Lanzarote with great training banked since January. The winter weather in Aberdeen was milder than normal but still the typical cold & wet days compared to the snowy last few years. I hadn’t missed any planned training session and I would say I’m much fitter this time of year compared to last season. Form was progressing very well to being Ironman race ready, but then I developed a light cough at the beginning of May.

I came down with a bacterial chest infection & a virus flu which wiped me out completely and was signed off from work, making me bed bound feeling generally nauseous, hot / cold & sick etc… After seeing the doctor & treated with a weeks’ worth of anti-biotics I found myself at race week and I travelled to Lanza. I resumed light sessions the previous Thursday generally feeling stronger every day but more importantly I was still confident that I would be fine by race morning, playing things down and attended the press conference etc– All my training had be banked the previous months I just needed to be healthy by race morning.

I went into the race firstly hopeful of improving my 6th place finish and 9:04 time from my last start in 2009 and secondly challenge for a podium spot to aid my Kona KPR rating seeing that my rank was down to 50th.

The race:
The swim was not quite to plan, I was clipped fairly often and got into a bit of bun fight from the get go. I spent most of 1st half lap jostling with age group racers and chasing the leaders to get into the lead pack which I eventually did but dropped off the pace with another pro on the return leg of the 1st swim loop.I exited the swim 49:59, 14th out, 7th pro with a 90 sec- 2 min deficit to the lead.

Onto the bike I kept a steady strong pace passing a couple of pro’s and all the age group athletes that had exited ahead of me, steadily working my way through the field to about 5th / 6th position overall about 3-4 mins from the leaders. All was fine until nearing the finish of the El Golfo loop the main chase pack behind shot past like a freight train. I wasn’t too pleased about this for the lack of marshalling but I still felt alright and rode defensively. I was acutely aware that my breathing was becoming restricted as I went repeatedly over threshold & developed a vibrating hum from inside my chest as the continuous accelerations and backing off in the pace line continued. Over the Fire Mountains I settled down and made it over in about 7th / 8th position, the pace line was soon obliterated.

It was kind of after this point I felt pain in my lower back and absence of bike power. I pedalled on hoping the back pain would ease off but didn’t just tightened further, I tried to pace the bike better getting out the saddle to ease my back but it did nothing. I then felt generally lousy soon my energy plummeted and I began to cough bringing up some unsightly gunge fairly frequently. Heading down to Club La Santa I lost quite a few places and then the GB trio of Twigg, Skipper & Hawkins passed me, I tried to pick the pace up again but generally just could not find any power to match speed after a good solid chase.

From Famarra to Tegisue it was pretty evident things were not going well the next 2 or 3 pace lines came by. I had nothing in my legs to remotely respond to keep up and now age group athletes were passing me by also. I figured at this point ok things are not right but I will complete the bike, maybe walk the run? I must finish…

By the time I was nearing the Tegisue aid station (about 90Ks) I was feeling dizzy, my lower left back was killing me more than ever, I was feeling more nauseous, now coughing more frequently… and so I had to call it a day… I was gutted to say the least, it wasn’t an easy decision but there was no way I would make it up Haria or Mirador without making myself more sick and compromise recovery further. All in all, very disappointing to say the least but I did make some new friends to brighten me up than wallow in self pity – Thanks Lucy, Tom, Ellie, Ian & Martina.

Thank you to all of my sponsors and supporters, sorry I could deliver this time but onwards and upwards.

I have a 2 week training break in June at my parents in Kelowna BC to look forward to. Some sunshine miles will hopefully bring some bigger smiles :) Ironman UK will be my next start July 20th. My record is not bad there 3 starts 1 x 1st , 1 x 2nd & 1 x 4th

Kudos to Lucy & Romain as convincing winners at the weekend and fantastic performances by GB’s Corrinne Abraham, Eleanor Haresign, Joel Jameson, James Gilfilian and all the other finishers.






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