Ironman Lanzarote 2013 (3rd weekend in May?)

Entries Open 19th May 2012?

2,841 to 2,860 of 2,929 messages
30/05/2013 at 11:22

whoever thought that one day we would see Barlist at Kona ahead of The Count eh??

strange times 

top bombing big fella 

Hope    pirate
30/05/2013 at 11:36

Barley..  TOP report matey! Well done. 

M.r Zuvai    pirate
30/05/2013 at 15:25

Smashing reports - all of you

30/05/2013 at 15:30

A race report from a supporter’s perpective

Pre-Amble

Flight day arrived and I was full of dread.  I don’t *do* flights of more than 90 mins and so a 4 hour flight to Lanza caused me to summon all my steel, especially as I was going to be confined to a metal tube many thousand feet in the air with Barlos and no survivable means of escape.  Plans to lace his drink with horse tranquiliser proved unnecessary as he was transfixed by the gadgets and dials he could see in the cockpit.  Once this novelty wore off, he took great delight in playing with the Hello Kitty sticker book he had bought for me

Suffice to say, the flight passed without incident although there was a moment of dread when we realised Lanza was not part of the EU and my passport was within 6 months of expiry.  Thoughts of newspaper headlines of ‘Schmunks denied entry to Lanza’ went through our minds, but passport control didn’t see an issue.  They knew they were on to a good thing!

We arrived at Club Ocean Apartments and I thank OC for becoming Temporary Care Officer so that I could enjoy a peaceful afternoon’s sanctuary with a pint and Meldy.

As has been mentioned by so many already the highlight of the afternoon was the 10-minute challenge.  Not only was this achieved with great dexterity, but he undertook a test ride around the children’s swimming pool.  Only a deft turn of the handlebars at the last moment stopped him and his bike falling in.

30/05/2013 at 15:30

Friday – Prep and Racking

My only previous moments of seeing Barlos prepare for an IM were at Wales the first year and this was performed from the boot of his car in a run-down garage.  This time it was in the apartment and the floor was strewn with bits of kit, bike, nutrition, and running gear.

I sat silently reading my book but all the while keeping an eye on what was going on.  To be fair, there was a minimal amount of faff here and soon kit was packed in the relevant bags and off we went to register

For any bike fetishists, transition is like nirvana. For any thigh fetishists, transition is like nirvana.  Combine the two and I was transfixed

30/05/2013 at 15:31

Saturday – Race Day

My alarm went off at 5am and I stayed out of the way whilst Barley got ready.  At 5:45 we made our way down to the swim start. He entered the race area and I waited for the sea of calm to wash over me, however this was not to be.  A shout of ‘missing you already, Schmunks’ in a Midland accent rang out through the transition area and for once I regretted wearing my supporters kit with my name on as all eyes seemed to hunt me out.

I watched through the railings as people faffed and farted with their bikes. Air in, air out, bento box on, bento box off, air in, bento box on and so on and so forth.  Families were kissing each other through the railings and photo’s were taken of loved ones holding their bikes and their race numbers.  It suddenly occurred to me that this means a helluva lot to some people.

Soon the rumblings in my tummy got too much and I found a toasted bacon sandwich, coffee,  a Holly, and a Baby Pingu.  With stomach satisfied, we made our way to the beach.  At the top I suddenly felt a lump come to my throat.  ‘What the feck is wrong with me?’, I thought.  Barley is seasoned at this, he’s not worried and therefore I should not be worried, so why am I feeling like this?

Anyway, with 15 mins to go we are on the beach and waiting.  And waiting. And waiting.  We had the 4 minute warning.  And the 2 minute warning.  And then 5-4-3-2-1, pfft!  Was that it?  One single solitary gun-shot barely audible through the wind and rain?  Where was the OTT start? Where was the mahoosive air horn that called the swimmers out to sea like a mermaid calling sailors to their death? 

The spider-like advances of neoprene-clad arms in the water were proof that the race had indeed started.  And suddenly it happened.  A tear or two ran down my cheek.  I tried to hide them but it was witnessed by Holly who chased them away with a warm hug.  But actually, I don’t reckon it was a tear:  I reckon a grain of sand got caught in my eye.

We watched the first lap, but to be honest, you can’t tell Tom from Dick from Harry so it’s a little bit pointless.  We walked along the beach (thanks for the calf workout Holly) and waited to see our troops exit onto the bike course.

All I can say here (as so many have already mentioned The Muffin) is ‘I counted them out’.

30/05/2013 at 15:31

Hokori’s mate, Eduardo, had offered to take me on the bike course and so we met up and made our way to Teguise.  Just by chance, we parked at La Museo Di Pirata (Pirate Museum) and plonked the pirate flag on the bonnet.  I saw the majority of the Pirate Crew at approx. half way.  Then we drove to Tahiche (approx. 13 miles further into bike course) and I caught most of them again.

One thing that struck me whilst out on the bike course was how recognised the Pirates are.  A lot of the cyclists were ‘arghhing’ me and shouting ‘Go Pirate’.  That really took my breath away as I had no idea this would happen.  I was there to cheer them, not the other way round.

At each point on the bike course I reported back that ‘I had counted them out and I had counted them back in again’.  I felt a bit like a mother hen worrying about her chicks; it’s amazing how much you care about the Pirate Posse.

I returned to the apartments and then made my way to Route 66 on the run.  It was good having been out on the bike as I roughly knew the order the Pirates were in and so knew who to expect in and when.  However, it is remarkable how quickly you forget who is still racing, who has finished and what lap each person was on.  Here I apologise to everyone if I kept repeating the same question all the time about people’s position in the race

Then Barlos loomed large on the horizon and I witnessed him crossing the finish line.  I knew that, for him, this wasn’t just about finishing IMLanza.  There was a bigger prize for him that day.  And that was it…the tears came again as I walked to our pre-arranged rendez-vous in Tropicana where he had an Hawaiin pizza.  And I am ashamed to say, but it took me til Sunday afternoon to recognise the significance of the pizza toppings he chose.

30/05/2013 at 15:32

Sunday – Beers

In typical Pirate fashion, there were beers, beers, an escapade on an elephant, food, then more beers.

Near to Route 66 there was a perfumerie which had a fibreglass elephant outside and lead on by Pingu and Baby Pingu, we decided to see if we were drunk enough to ride the elephant.  First round passed without incident, but I believe the dare was enlarged to include the likes of Raf and Slag (I may be falsely accusing these people, so I apologise up front).  At this point, the store manager came over to act as Elephant Guardian and our feats of high jinks and merriment were curtailed.  However, over the dinner a plot was hatched to remove the elephant from his shackles and find him a new home in Route 66.  The fact that this deed did not happen lends itself to the fact alcohol continued to be consumed more than any lack of bravado. 

I do however have to take Cupcake to task over something.  On Saturday we noticed Route 66 had a tiny locomotive that ran circuits around the pub ceiling.  He was under exceedingly strict instructions not to point this out to Barley.  So why oh why was the latter half of my Sunday night spent being poked in the arm and listening to ‘choo choo, choo choo’ from Barley?  I guess ‘Choo choo, choo choo’ is to me what ‘Alan, Alan, Alan’ is to Meldy

30/05/2013 at 15:37

In Summary

So, there it is.  My first real experience of the Pirates On Tour.  Would I do it again?  Let’s see

Pre-race – most definitely
Race Day – For Barlos, no; he can do this with or without me, so I feel no pressure to be there for him.  For everyone else and the sheer craic, most definitely
Post-race – most definitely

I don’t wish to upset anyone with no direct mentions but each of you contributed to make me feel so special, welcome, and part of the posse, Hugs and words can seem so little but they can, and do, meand so much.  You may not have been aware of what you did, but that's always a good thing in my book as it shows it's natural to you. 

And I hope that, at times, I was able to repay the kindness and thoughts you showed me (in my own unique way).

It was truly a week to remember and for all the right reasons.

So, to all PIrates and Supporters of IMLanza 2013, I thank you for some wonderful memories

(I'm signing off now.  i think I have sand in my eye again )

seren nos yn canu    pirate
30/05/2013 at 15:39

schmunkee............lovely report..........and it took me a sec to work out the pizza............

can't wait for outlaw

funkin-baby    pirate
30/05/2013 at 15:42

Lovely work Schmunks.  Really well put.

Iron Pingu    pirate
30/05/2013 at 16:01

LOL!! I'd forgotten about the elephant Shmunks!!  I feel I must upload the pictures here as evidence

30/05/2013 at 16:33

Yup, Barlos reckons he has a speshul photo of me sitting on the elephant with a devilish look of glee on my face.

His words. Not mine

Lee the Pea    pirate
30/05/2013 at 16:34

Aww Schmunks, what a lovely report.  All misty in here too.  You're such in integral part of the pirate posse, and do loads to help everyone out time and again.  Glad you wrote a report, as it was lovely to see it from your side

30/05/2013 at 16:36

I have seen the elephant pics and it is the elephant's fault. It was soooo inviting!

Beatifully written Schmunks, a pleasure to the eyes and the soul.

Rafiki    pirate
30/05/2013 at 16:39

Elephant?? What elephant?? I deny everything!! Where's my lawyer.......??

Iron Pingu    pirate
30/05/2013 at 17:02

Yeah, you get your lawyer, YOU were the one told off! 

30/05/2013 at 17:29

oh what a lovely report schmunks. I too can't wait for outlaw and to be part of the support crew. Almost wish I was supporting instead of participating this weekend (almost put 'competing' but that wasn't the right word!)

Rafiki    pirate
30/05/2013 at 18:14
Iron Pingu wrote (see)

Yeah, you get your lawyer, YOU were the one told off! 

M...eldy    pirate
30/05/2013 at 18:19

Nice report Schmunks, such a pity about the spelling mistake  

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