Ironman UK Race Report – 4th August 2013

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 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.


Permanent link to this article:


Skip to comment form

  1. Thanks for a great report Vicky, and many many congratulations on a fabulous performance. To complete an Ironman event, having never ran a full marathon before, is an incredible achievement and should be an inspiration to us all.

    • Richard on 14th August 2013 at 10:43
    • Reply

    Hi Vicky, awesome! I’m doing my first Ironman next year so want to pick your brain for tips etc, particularly in the water and T1. Great achievement, well done

    • Stu Dickson on 14th August 2013 at 14:26
    • Reply

    Well done Vicky fantastic achievement mental as well as physical, you should be very proud to have completed such a challenging race..

  2. That is absolutely incredible – well done! I was thinking of entering one but with a target of, like, 2016, so I’m in awe at you going from never having done a marathon to doing a full Ironman in ten months! It really is awesome – well done! :D

    • Annette Kelly on 15th August 2013 at 00:06
    • Reply

    Congratulations Vicky! What an outstanding achievement! I remember chatting to you about this at the Kirtley half-marathon back in March and it seemed like a very daunting task ahead. I know now how hard it is to train for a marathon and how tough it is on the day, so I can’t even imagine how grueling the Ironman was. I’m glad all your training went well for you and that you enjoyed the event. Really well done! Hope to see you at club sessions again soon.

    • Simon Pryde on 19th August 2013 at 16:07
    • Reply

    Well done – can’t imagine swimming that far…never mind the rest of it!

    • Bam Rashid on 19th September 2013 at 21:48
    • Reply

    Congrats Vicky.. I’ve always dream to finish the Full Ironman.. Ive done the half but finishing the full IM will be the best achievement ever.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.