A date with The Ironman

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Knock knock, we’re here!

It’s race week. As if I need reminding, someone posted a picture on Facebook of the Ironman banner tied to the front of Bolton Town Hall with the ever so slightly sinister caption: “Knock knock, we’re here”. I am not sure if it caused the release of a shot of adrenalin or a little bit of wee. Either way, it got my heart rate up and my week off to a lively start.

Monday night was my last Club track session before Ironman. At the end it was hugs from all the girls and manly handshakes from the men wishing me luck. Sam, our longest serving coach reminded me: “…we’ll all be following you online on Sunday. Remember that when you are out on the course. It will help”. I drove home feeling a little tearful. In my defence it doesn’t take much to make me well up during this emotional roller coaster that is Ironman race week. I am sure if it caught me at the right moment, the Shipping Forecast could have me in tears!

My support crew has also been busy this week with race day preparations. 10423723_10203250841805396_6413460381151933135_nMatilda has been hard at work producing a banner to hold up at the roadside. Hopefully I will see a lot of it on the bike and the run and it will make my job a little easier.

So far I feel OK. We travel up to Bolton tomorrow (Friday) when I expect the whole experience to crank up a notch or two as the Ironman process takes over. Registration, expo, race briefing Friday. Then familiarisation swim, bike racking, transition bags on Saturday. And then it gets serious.

It concludes with 2,000 nervous athletes standing on the shore of Pennington Flash as the clock approaches 6.00am on Sunday wondering what the day ahead has in store for them.

Everyone starting on Sunday, and those in whose footsteps we follow, know how much of a challenge Ironman is. They know better than anyone that it is not just about 140.6 miles that thousands of spectators will see in Bolton on Sunday, but just as much about the thousands of miles they haven’t seen. It is hard to imagine as we bask in a heat wave that for many this incredible journey began on cold winter mornings in January. All of that commitment for one day – or one glorious moment.

Everyone will have his own goal in mind. Me, I am not going to Bolton seeking a Kona slot, or a prize or even a fast time. I am there to finish. I am not interested in being better than anybody else. I just want to be the best me I can be on the day. If I manage that and I finish, there won’t be a happier man in Lancashire.

It’s been a long time coming. It’s been a journey that I have really enjoyed and I hope I will enjoy the race as much. Now it’s here, I can’t wait to get on with it.

Good luck everyone!

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14 responses to “A date with The Ironman

  1. Welcome to lancashire! Everyone will take care of you I’m sure. I’m hoping that we will get to some part of the course on Sunday ( but not at 6am!) to cheer you on.
    Wishing you the very best of luck. You have worked hard for this and you deserve to enjoy it, try to remember that when the pressure is on!
    Good luck!
    Julie

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    • Thank you Julie. It would be great to see you out on the course on Sunday. I will be wearing a white, black and red Andover Tri Club tri suit and wearing race no. 1913………and I now have very short hair 🙂

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      • Ok I’ll look for a good spectator spot! Weather forecast torrential for tomorrow but cool and dry Sunday. Hopefully that will be good for you.
        I’d better get out early as I suspect that you might be near the front! Julie

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      • Hi peter, just a note to congratulate you on becoming an ironman! I did come and stand by the road for a couple of hours during the cycle stage ( between abbey village and Withnell , just after the turn at the motorway roundabout) but I didn’t spot you, so sorry! I guess that you must have been near the front! It was quite difficult trying to read all the numbers. Anyway enough about me! I have seen your times and I am amazed at what you have done! I can’t believe that you ran a marathon at that pace after the swim and bike! And so consistent all the way through. You deserve your place on team GB! Oh and a day off tomorrow! I look forwards to reading your race report! Julie

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  2. GOOD LUCK OLD TIGER (Peter Whent) and all who have entered

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  3. I agree, The Shipping Forecast is far less emotional now that they’ve removed the section, Reports From Coastal Stations!
    Good luck old boy, it’ll go superbly well I’m sure…and good luck to everyone else – wonderful adventure.

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  4. Hi Peter – Best of luck on Sunday. I’ll be looking out for you and cheering everyone all the way through to the finish line

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  5. Good luck ! Enjoy it and make sure you soak up the atmosphere 🙂 Stick to the nutrition plan and if on the run you can’t stomach any more gels – hit the coke – it works wonders 🙂
    All the best!

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  6. I hope it goes well for you 🙂 I will defiantly be waving our banner! 🙂 Tilda x

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    • Thanks Tilda – that banner is great and will be a HUGE help on the day. I am looking forward to our adventure in Bolton this weekend. Thanks for coming to support.

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