Awesome August - The Best Month of the Year Magna Carter (204) (234) (328) (212) (318) (314) (130) 21.8 Mikasa (44.6) (66.6) (8) (19.7) (66.4) (48.4) (19.26) 2.46 Seren Nos (272)( 281)( 416) (411) (333) (400) (268) 0
The bike course is mostly inland. I'd been round it a couple of times before the event and then I'd had a headwind all the way back into Weymouth which made it hard going. At the race there was a tailwind back to Weymouth which was good - and the wind blowing in that direction could well be why the swim was such "fun"
T2 took almost 7 mins, possibly a record for me and then I was out running. The support on the bike was sparse; on the run it was the opposite – there were loads of people cheering us along. Up and down the seafront 4.5 times, “aarghing” and saying hello to Hofmeister Bear, gradually getting slower and gradually doing a bit more walking but it was all going well. For the last half mile Ben, my 11 year old, came along to help his knackered Dad and we crossed the line with a run time of 3hrs 52mins. The run was well short though – my watch said it was 23.7 miles and with an easy, minor adjustment to the course it could’ve been so much nearer the correct distance.
Overall my time was 10hrs 46mins, which I’m pleased with. I did my first iron distance race at Henley last September and that took 12hrs 15mins. If I take the Weymouth swim time out and put last years Henley swim time in then my overall time would be about 11hrs 12mins. (I had the Henley run as just as short as Weymouth). I can’t see I’ll have knocked another hour off by September 2015 though.
As a first running of an event I think Weymouth was good. I’m sure there are bits they’ll improve but it was better than I expected it to be. I’m not deciding about next year for a few days – I'd like to do Tenby but Ben couldn’t come to that and so I think it’s likely I’ll be back at Weymouth - with Ironman Wales (assuming it still happens) waiting until Ben getting older causes his “run with Dad” enthusiasm to wane.
Anyway a lot has been written in various places about the shortened swim. Most of it’s true – it was rough, it was nasty. Stephen Bayliss was fastest and I read somewhere he was about 5 mins slower than his normal 1.9km time. I’m a pirate and I found out I don’t like rough seas and I like the prolonged taste of salt (I tasted a lot of it) even less. It took me about 27 mins for lap 1 and 23 mins for lap 2 (see the boost you get from unexpectedly seeing your wife and son at the Aussie exit bit). My Garmin told me I swam 1.5 miles. If I’d had to do more I could have but I’m glad I didn’t have to. I think the changes they made to the swim were the right decision – if I’d done the full distance in that it’d have wiped me out!
T1 was fine, when I got in most of the bike change bags had gone. What with the stroll / run there and changing etc I took about 12 minutes and as I went in I didn’t care as I needed to get myself back to feeling normal after that swim. Then I was pedalling away. The bike was fine – it’s my best discipline of the three. I wasn’t enthused for the first half of the last lap and then I overtook someone I know vaguely. Knowing she’s a good swimmer I thought I must be going okay and felt a bit more like it so I started going quicker. It’s not the most thrilling ride but by the end of it I’d done 110 miles in 5hrs 45mins. Got back to transition and most peoples run change bags were still there so I’d done something right!