Great times, great pain, great finish and great memories - Ironman triathlon is everything it’s hyped up to be.
Two weeks before the Ironman (I.M), it looked as if my race was already over. On my final major training session, a mock I.M, I crashed at the 2hr 15min mark on the bike and broke my wrist. After consultation I was advised by doctors that I should not compete, but after nearly two years preparing for this event there was no way I was missing out.
Race morning brought choppy seas and slightly overcast conditions for the 3.8 kilometre swim. The chop made spotting the course guide buoys difficult and an accidental kick to my broken wrist from another athlete as we rounded one of the buoy’s made the swim even more challenging. However 1h26min after entering the water I emerged from the Pacific happy to be on terra-firma.
Now started 180 kilometres of hills, headwinds and pain.
After chatting with the doctors it was decided that the best way for me to be able to complete the bike and run legs was to wear a Velcro wrist brace. I conceded to this being a good idea, however it made getting into the aero time trial position on the bike impossible and stopping aid each aid station o rehydrate and re-fuel was now a necessity. This cost BIG time.
The Cairns IM bike course is known to be one of the most scenic worldwide. Called the “Ironman in paradise”, due to it hugging the coastline and passing through rainforests and cane fields.
From Palm Cove to Port Douglas twice it’s a beautiful ride and a hill climber’s playground, I loved it. The last 50km however to Cairns via Yorkey’s Knob was not quite as enjoyable. Heavy 35-40km per hour headwinds, the inability to get aero and severe toe cramping meant putting the head down and just plugging away. To get to transition 2 (T2), was a welcome relief.
Out of T2 and into the 42.2 kilometre marathon, or rather out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Leg and stomach cramping began almost immediately. This was not pleasant or fun. The word “the greater the challenge, the more fruitful the reward” echoed through my brain as I gritted and beared through the first 21km. Then at 21km something in my mind ticked over and told my body “We ARE going to do this”!!
Each step from this point on was a step toward a life goal. The cheering of my wife Emily, my boy Lukas and friends and family members as I passed by them each lap gave me motivation and inspiration and from this point on there was no doubt in my mind that I would finish.
Crossing the finish line in an Ironman is an experience that is difficult to describe. Amongst the high fives, cheering and smiles, there are feelings of jubilation, exhaustion, triumph and a plethora of other emotions. The feeling of reward and achievement for the many months of hard work floods in and it is a moment in which you’re truly proud of yourself.
No one can do this event alone. I would sincerely like to thank my support crew for their help on this journey. All my family, friends, Drive Fitness, work colleagues, clients and particularly my wife and little boy. Thankyou.