Huge congratulations from the club to member Gavin, who completed the UK Ironman. Gavin wrote a superb summary of his experience:
First of all, thanks for all the support over the last few months.
I managed to complete my first triathlon in 13:53:29.
I took 1:32:59 to cover the 2.4 mile swim; 7:22:30 for the 112 mile bike and 4:32:19 for the marathon, with the other few minutes in transition changing and sorting myself out!
The swim start was delayed unitl 6:30 due to the overcast and dark conditions, visability above water was very low and underwater you could see about 6 inches. So the mass start of 1500 swimmers all thrashing about and jockeying for position means that you get punched, kicked, pushed and prodded a fair bit for the first mile or so. I had planned to take it easy on the swim and expected to come out the water at the back of the crowd.
Safely through the swim it was onto the bike for 3 laps of a undulating and windy course. The feed stations every 12 miles never came quick enough, there were 3 big hills on each loop, and a fun fast downhill section reaching speed of upto 48mph!!. After 112 miles of physical and mental highs and lows it was a quick descent back to the transition area.
After another changes of clothes and liberal application of vaseline I was on the run course. This was a very hilly figure of 8 loop that you ran three times. The first mile was a surprisingly easy 9 min/mile which set the pace for the first loop. On the second loop, things where getting tough, so I took full advantage of the aid stations, positioned every 1.5-2 miles. Which had Gatorade, power gels, pretzels, water, bananas and flat coke, I stuffed myself with everything except the coke and walked through them. By the 3rd and last lap my speed was getting seriously slow and I figured that unless I puled my finger out I would be over the 14 hour mark. So now I took onboard the flat coke and my last 4 miles was done in under 32 minutes (fast for me!). So running along the final 100m in my ancient Bella vest in the dark towards the finishing chute was a proud moment.