I hobbled through with my bike and saw Pingu again working hard in transition. She gave me a few words of encouragement, I set my watch and off I was into the run.
Slim had set off ahead of me on the run so I hoped to keep him in sight and have someone to pace. It was not long though before I overtook him and he told me he was “fukced.” I ran all the way through the first lap and even caught up with my club mate Dave who was a little shocked to see me catch him so late! As I ran back towards Tenby I saw the welcome sight of Hattie, Duda and UW going back the other way which gave me a bit of motivation just to stay ahead. When I started the second lap I decided to start the run walk strategy. I actually wish now that I had kept on running longer as my legs actually felt OK but stopping had brought on cramps and it was then a challenge getting through the rest of the run. I knew that I had a sub 5 hour Ironman marathon in me though so battled as much as I could to keep going. I lapped up the cheers from the amazing crowds, high fived and clapped as much as I could on each lap through Tenby but my energy was starting to dwindle and I was passed by Dave who had now managed to get his legs going. This motivated me a bit and I managed to find energy to catch him but it didn’t last long and I was walking soon after. Dave finished 22 minutes ahead in the end getting a time just under 14 hours.
The feed stations this year had pretzels instead of the Ritz crackers of last year. I now craved Ritz crackers and sweets and it was driving me crazy until finally a lady handed me some peanut M&M’s and some Jelly Beans! Heaven!!!
My hopes of finishing in daylight finally vanished before I had started my final lap. Although I tried and intended to run the whole last lap I was absolutely drained through the days efforts. It was fantastic seeing and encouraging Andras, Duda, Hattie, UW, Slim and all the others still trudging on towards their IM finishes. Finally, after 14 hours and 21 minutes I reached Paul Kaye who “ARRRRR’D” me through onto the red carpet – “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”
Next year I’m resting from Wales. I hope to be there to support though and become part of the legendary crowd.
Great to meet all the Pirates. Fantastic achievement by Funkin to make it to Kona. Think I’m some way off that level!