Typical!! You wait ages for an inspirational race report and then two hit the website on the same day.
Following on from Richard Jones’ IOM Marathon Report, we now have a fantastic report from Vicky Cuthbertson.
Having never run a marathon before signing up to do an Ironman, a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike then a marathon seemed a tall order back in October last year.
I got a plan and despite the harsh winter I gradually built my distances over 8 months, getting up to 85 miles on the bike and 20 miles running. I also entered a number of duathlons which I’d never done before but really enjoyed them. As I started to taper I ended up with tonsillitis the week before but was determined to give the Ironman a go.
Up at 3am for the 6am start, the atmosphere was electric as 1600 athletes squeezed into their wetsuits, the smell of deepheat was overpowering. I was so nervous and trying to focus on the task ahead. The swim went well, then onto the bike which consisted of 3 laps. On the hill people cheered, rang their cowbells and ran alongside you like you see on the Tour de France.
The last 30 miles on the bike felt like an eternity and I was so relieved to start running despite having a marathon to do. Up to that point it had been a lonely race so seeing people and chatting to fellow competitors on the three laps of the run was a great boost and helped the hours pass by quickly. My first 10k was in 65 minutes which I was pleased with but as time went by and I walked up the hills and ran downhill my time started to slow. The crowds in Bolton were amazing and passing the finish on each lap reminded you of what 8 months of training had been for when I too ran through the funnel to hear the words..you are an ironman!
15 hours 20 minutes it took, 1.5 hours for the swim, 8 hours for the bike and 5 hours 33 for the marathon. It was a totally amazing experience and I’m still buzzing over a week later. I was inspired by all those competing and I think my medal sums it up if you train hard, accept that there will be ups and downs along the way and dig deep..anything is possible.