Round the turnaround at transition and back out onto the second lap. As I came through some of the junctions I was high fiving some of the more enthusiastic policemen!! I stopped at special needs to replenish my supplies and headed out. The second lap was less eventful that the 1st, shouted at mum a couple of times & the Rupertiberg is a bit more noticeable the second time around!
Bike time, 7:36:32, another PB!! Blimey!! That meant I had over 7 ½ hours to do the marathon, not that I was planning to take that long.
I spent half of my time in T2 trying to persuade a male official that he shouldn’t be in the ladies changing area!!! He eventually scarpered when I started stripping. It must have been the glare of the white skin that scared him off! 0:07:18!
Well “Run” might be a bit of an exaggeration!! I set out walking at a steady pace and manage to maintain it all the way to the end. Blimey a marathon is a long walk!! My knee had been really annoying me all week, but I have to admit that the taping helped. In fact during the marathon it was the best it had felt all week!! I’m not complaining but typical!! As everything felt OK and I didn’t want to aggravate it I decided not to push too hard on the marathon!
As I was approaching the arch at the finisher’s chute for the 1st time Flyaway went past and off to the finish line!! She is a bit speedy that one! I picked up my first wristband. I kept my pace going down towards Krumpendorf picking up coke, water, fruit and crackers from the feedstations as I went (not necessarily all at that same time)! Everybody I saw told me that ISB was having a flyer!! I did suggest to a few people that he probably wouldn’t be able to maintain it through the marathon!! He did catch up with me as I was coming back into Klaggenfurt, & he decided to walk with me for a bit. I did notice that he had to break into a short jog now and again to keep up with me! J He later admitted that he kept being told I was only a couple of minutes ahead of him but it took him about 7 km to catch up with me! ;o)
Into the centre of Klaggenfurt, past the restaurants (that bit is really cruel) and I finally managed to see the Lindworm fountain.
I have noticed during these walks that it is amazing the number of people who struggle with the concept of somebody walking the marathon. Yes, it is an Ironman. Yes, it is a marathon. Yes, I am walking! But I am walking quickly and I will get to the finish! I rang the bell a couple of times then back to pickup my second wristband. Back out to Krumpendorf and this time I managed to acquire a cheese sandwich from the Subway feedstation. I saw Mum on the way back into Klaggenfurt, but I didn’t ease off may pace, she would drop behind me then suddenly start running to catch up!! I said I thought I might finish in under 16 hours if I kept going at the same pace. Knee was still feeling good!
It was really quite dark on that last leg along the canal into Klaggenfurt and back out, I could have done with a torch at times to make sure I wasn’t going to trip on anything. It was hard to tell which pirate was which in the gloom, so I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my attempts at encouragement!! When I got back to the split I saw the official standing there ‘Ein, zwei!!’ I said, proudly displaying my wristbands. I was waved down to the finishers chute!! I was going to do it and in under 16 hours!! Just before I rounded to corner into the bright lights I put my sun glasses back on. Since I wasn't sure my legs would let me run at that point I opted to walk down the chute, besides it meant I could enjoy the moment! Official time 15:59:11!!
The bike was fairly uneventful, we went for a drive round the bike course before the race, so I have an idea of where the sharper corners were and where I needed to try and carry some speed!
Going through Reifnitz I caught up with Hideki!! He is an Japanese gentleman in his 70’who was mentioned in the prerace information. I had realised that he was the same person I had sort of conversed with a year before on the bike course at Nice when we were both getting very cold and wet. As I caught up with him I called his name ‘Hideki’! ‘Hai’? I pointed to him and said ‘Ironman Nice’ then pointed to myself and said ‘Ironman Nice’! There was a slightly puzzled look on his face which suddenly changed to a look of recognition accompanied by a excited ‘Aaahhhh!’ a big smile and a thumbs up!! I gave him a wave and continued on! Unfortunately he didn’t make the bike cut-off!
On to Velden! I was trying to eat, but unfortunately my stomach was completely uninterested in any food I might be trying to consume. I wasn’t feeling sick, jus struggling to eat anything. I kept forcing food into my system. On the out and back section I waved and Arrghed the various Pirates I saw heading to the second loop of the first lap. On the hill down towards Rosegg I kept off the brakes and let my bike fly. Out to towards Labe Faaker See I started to hear a helicopter approaching from behind. I was waiting for Ride of the Valkyres to start. I realised I was about to get lapped by the Pros. About a ¼ of the way up the climb Mario went past with motorcade in tow! Up to the top of the climb, picked up a new water bottle and kept pedaling. The descent of the other side was great, taking the racing line through some of the junctions laying my bike over and enjoying the speed! Back to Rosegg then towards Velden. I saw Mum waiting on the descent to the roundabout, I yelled that I’d had a great swim & felt good! At the next feedstation was the revelation of the race, watermelon!! Just what was needed. Something I could eat easily. Not particularly great for calories but it was just what I was needing.
At Augsdorf I was nearly blown off my bike by an Air Ambulance taking off from a field next to the road. Just past Schiefling Happychap passed me and disappeared off into the distance. She seemed to be doing better than me at carrying speed. Dropping down into Egyden the riders in front of me were on their brakes slowing right down for the corner. I scrubbed a little speed off and again took the racing line. Since I managed to keep a fair bit of speed going I was able to power up and over the climb, overtaking about 12 people in the process.
Then to the feared Rupertiberg!! The first time up in it didn’t seem too bad, I found the climb up to Faaker See tougher! I was singing along to the music pumping out of the sound system halfway up! It really helped me keep a rhythm going. I saw Shiraz, I think, near the top and mentioned that it was getting hot. Over the top then onto the descent. Along through the villages and back down into Klaggenfurt. There was a group of bikers on Harleys who were being slowed by the traffic on the descent back to Klaggenfurt. When they saw me they were encouraging me to go faster, I didn’t want to disappoint them!!
The waves before mine didn’t seem to be taking ling to get going and sure enough start time came round far too quickly. The canon went off and it we all plunged into the water. After about 15 minutes the faster swimmers in the wave behind ours started to catch up & over take me. Then about 5 minutes later, I was smacked in the eye by some bloke’s elbow. My goggles were dislodged & rammed into my nose!! First things first, make sure my goggles weren’t broken and I wasn’t about to lose them. Secondly check my nose, no blood, that’s good!! I had to stop to get my goggles back on and sealed. Then back to swimming.
The rest of the swim up to the first turn buoy was ok, I got round the buoy and some nice person managed to swim over the top of me, about 15 seconds later it happened again! WTF!!! I swam over to the side out of the way and lay there on my back coughing up the water I’d just swallowed!! A paddleboarder came over to check if I was OK. I gave him a thumbs up to indicate I didn’t need help. And I was soon on my way again. Round the next buoy and trying to spot the entrance to the canal. Easier said than done with the sun! I eventually managed to see the gap in the trees and aimed for that.
I have to admit that the water in the lake was lovely to swim in, but once into that canal, I kept my mouth shut as much as possible!! One thing I would like to know, how hard is it to swim in a straight line in the canal!! The number of people who were zigzagging was ridiculous!! Learn to sight folks!! Then round the corner and I was being hauled out of the water and pushed up the beach by the helpers! I quickly looked at my watch, 1:33:40, that’s a PB!!! So far so good!
I couldn’t believe the crowds heading up past the hotel & into T1. I had my usual problem getting my wetsuit off over my wrists. I have big bones and broad wrists OK, at least that’s what my orthopedic surgeon told me! After winning my annual wetsuit wrestling match, I grabbed my bag, into the tent and got changed!! Slapped on the factor 50, buff and helmet then out to pick up the bike. I’m glad I opted for my MTB shoes, it meant I could run normally through transition rather than waddling!! Grabbed the bike and headed out. T1, 13:29 I know I need to work on my T1 times!