Monday, 16 August 2010

Mission Ironman complete

What a day.  Met at 5am and my swim started at 7.55 - best swim of my life in 1 hr 18 mins.  The bike didn't go so well as my speedo which is essential when trying to pace yourself came off my bike in the first 15 minutes.  I then had to judge my speed going on my heart rate which is almost impossible and always remembering not to go too fast on the bike as I had a marathon to complete which is a mistake many people make.  One other thing, I chose Copenhagen because it was flat (compared to Scotland) - flat is relentless and you get very few downhill rests.  I managed it in 7 hrs 14 mins which was my fastest average speed ever however it put me well down the field. The crowd were amazing as they cheered us on and shouted our names which were on our numbers.  The thought as I came off the bike with a sore foot and and even sorer bum was, at least the pain will be in other places!  3 x 14km loops of Copenhagen meant they led you up to the finish line 3 times and you then had to turn away, need a lot of mental strength for that one!
I just kept thinking about everyone that was supporting me back home and the money that was being raised for Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres - it's still coming in.  However I had a secret weapon on the course, my family.  Fiona spent the day darting all over Copenhagen to see me and cheer me on with the kids and it made such a huge difference - no more so than the marathon which I managed in 4 hours.  I passed so many people who had burned themselves out too early and had nothing left to give.  I kept telling myself to forget the pain and focus on my pace.  This brought my total time, including transitions, to 12 hrs 45 mins.  My original target was to finish in the maximum allowable time of 15 hours but through the training I thought I could get down to 13 hrs 30 mins and possibly lower but I was entering the unknown.  Chuffed to bit with this time!
At the end the kids were able to run down the winning straight with me which I had thought off ever since I started this campaign - a very special moment.  The crowd went wild, the music was blaring and the flashes were going off like we were movie stars going down the red carpet.  A nice touch as we entered the finishing straight was the marshals all bowing in respect.
Quick shower, beer and then had to pick up my bike and walk 2 mile back to the apartment - ouch, ouch & ouch.  This will be an event that stays with me forever for so many reasons but I leave you with one thought - it just goes to prove what you can do if you have the desire, plan meticulously, have support and be determined you will achieve your goals, no matter how stretching.


  1. A very big congratulations, Derek. I've enjoyed reading your progress and occasionally catching you for the early morning swims. My bosoms have swollen with pride for y'all.

  2. AWESOME!!!!
    I've got a wee tear in my eye at thought of the kids running down with you.
    I'd happliy join the marshals in a bow of respect.
    Are you sure you don't fancy my wee 40 miler next year?????

  3. RESPECT lane tart!!! Total respect! :)

  4. Mark thanks mate but less talk of swollen bosoms, its the only part of me that isn't swollen - almost! I will be back in the pool soon and after all that worry about the 2.4 mile swim, that was the easiest bit! Thanks for your support.

  5. Lee I will post the pictures assuming the organisers are selling them - but it was a special moment. It was incredible the croud were going mental. As for an ultra, no thanks I think 26 miles after a wee warm up is sufficient and although painful, the marathon felt under control. This is down to my coaches nutrition and pacing tips.

  6. Thanks Dawn, your turn next! Colin, Gen & Graeme all had fantastic races. I am just pleased it's over and the training paid off. See you when I get back to being a lane tart!