Ironman Wales - Only one of six to compete in them all

Ironman Wales

http://www.triathlonbox.co.uk/triathlonbox-pre-orderIRONMAN WALES Training partner Philippe Evans

Having met Phil some years ago he really has been an insiration to me personally - his atitude to life is amazing.  he works so hard to achieve his goals - but more imporantly than anything else he will help ANYONE without a second thought which I have tried to work into my life style mainly due to him and my brother Richard Ashton Ironman journey over the years. Hope this helps you prepare for Ironman Wales no matter what year you are doing it.

Ironman run Profile

Ironman wales run profile

Ironman Bike Profile

Ironman wales bike profile

Ironman wales 2015 race report

IRONMAN WALES 2011 By Training partner Philippe Evans

I had to change timing chips on Sunday morning, hence no result coming through, I am now down as a Spare Entry (16:15:06), and my name will be added in the next couple of days. 20 months ago (19 stone), I could barely walk up a flight of stairs, and now I am an Ironman, I am so pleased with myself! Still walking around with a huge grin on my face.

TRIATHLON TRAINING

Between Outlaw and IM Wales, I never missed a training session. As a rubbish cyclist, it was all about hill training and I went for it - good job really! 2 weeks in the Alps, doing a cat 1 every day, really helped.

THE BUILD UP

Wow! It was amazing to be part of this very well-oiled machine. The couple of days in Tenby were electric and you could tell that athletes, supporters and locals were really looking forward to the day - the impending weather just seemed to enhance the atmosphere. Having to go the briefing twice, as a result of the beach change, just added to the tension.

THE SWIM

Not too bad at all. I followed the runners down the beach for about 20 metres before it struck me that there may be DQs as a result of this - there is no way I was going there again! I dived straight in and tried to focus on beating the beach runners to the first buoy. The swim was great, my sighting wasn't too bad although I did find myself uncomfortably close to a great big fishing boat on the 2nd lap - no idea where that came from! I had to divert a bit. I really hope they keep the 1k run to T1 next year - it was a great part of the race - incredible atmosphere - wonderful supporters.

Out of T1 in 1:27 - perfect!

THE IRONMAN BIKE

Very tough bike. My real low point was heading west immediately after Tenby on the 2nd lap. The wind was strengthening and i really struggled. It is only for those 20 miles that I started to loose control of my average pace and projected finish. I had focused on an 8:30 bike and paced accordingly. During that 20 miles, I started to worry, I was heading for 9 hours and was going to miss T2 cut off. I got over that and started to regain some control. However, a puncture would have put me in real trouble, luckily - I remained puncture free!

The locals, supporters, feed stations and marshalls were all superb - thank you so much. I can't express how good it feels for a back of packer to be cheered like a hero - ace!

As I was flying down the hill into Tenby, past the runners, I got a few cheers from runners telling me I was going make cut off no problem - that was a great touch.

Out of T2 in 10:30 - perfect ........ Just!

THE RUN

I had 2 options - I was pleasantly surprised to realise I still had the brain power to consider my options! My options were to push it and try to get in under 15:30, or take it easy and just get round. I knew the only thing I cared about was finishing, so moved into a walk up hills, run down hills strategy. I applied that pretty consistently all the way through.

Smiles and support from other runners was brilliant. The locals really bought into the event. Having FRA on my running number generated a few renditions of Allouette and Frere Jacques - all sung with a welsh accent! Feed stations were perfectly placed and enthusiastically manned. I have to highlight the marshalls who were astonishing. By the time I finished, the rain was absolutely pelting down and there was a gale howling - that didn't stop them cheering, clapping and generally making me and the other back of packers feel like heroes. I have committed myself to marshalling at least one LD race each year - I need to give something back.

As I took the conservative approach to my run, I felt in full control all the way and knew that all I had to do was stay injury free and I was fine!

THE FINISH

WOW! Amazing. Thank you all for still being out there and waiting. I got myself checked out at the medical tent as I had passed nothing all day but they gave me the all clear. The fish and chips were a nice touch, I did try to eat them but my stomach wasn't having it!

SUMMARY IRONMAN WALES 2011

An amazing experience enhanced by great support from one and all. I think I will do the Outlaw next year (moony unlikely KP!), probably to tick it off on my list, but I loved the whole IM brand experience - I am a fan! I hope to do Wales again next year - hopefully down from 16 .5 stone to 14 and capable of hitting around 14 hours - who knows.

IRONMAN WALES 2012

A great day out. A few highlights:

Stayed in Chateau TC - a great welcome and perfect location.

Introduced myself to Nobbie in triathlon transition - this quite surprised you didn't it Nobbie! as you were expecting a character from Allo Allo! Whilst I may share Renee's stature and amount of hair - that's where the similarities end! The Yorkshire accent stumped you! Well done on a good race - unlucky on the slot.

Chatted to a few Leeds Bradford triathlon club  and got some good "Yorkshire" cheers as I had my LBT kit on.

The swim was manic - 1500 athletes making a left turn after 100 metres - I do enjoy the biff - that was exceptional! All quiet after the first buoy - 1 minute improvement on last year.

T1 went well and I knocked 5 minutes off last year’s time. Great atmosphere through the town.

The bike went well, pretty much until the last 20 miles, when I lost a little time and alot of energy. Learning point - the bike is where I need to improve next year - I will be back for my third year. 25 minutes improvement on last year.

Last year, the bike support was fantastic, this time it was better - it was immense. I did IM Switzerland earlier this year and Heartbreak Hill was superb for atmosphere - well yesterday - it was that same atmosphere everywhere you went - from the towns to the hamlets and even to individual houses where supporters sat out and cheered all day - and in all weathers. Well done Pembrokeshire.

The 42k (?) run was OK. One highlight was when I picked up my first band - Crumpy was picking up his 4th - the grin on his face was HUGE! I told myself I would copy that grin when I picked up my 4th band - and I did! I like the new location of the band collection - that worked well - it's nice to get a band early in a lap. I knocked 20 minutes off last year's run time.

Run support in Tenby Ironman was fantastic - well done Tenby. I particularly enjoyed being serenaded by the guys and girls at the bottom of the hill coming out of Tenby "I love you Ironman ..... etc etc". The pub support was very noisy and hugely motivating. Also top respect to the lady and gent who stood and supported in pitch black at the turn around point on The Croft.

In total, I beat last year’s time by about 50 minutes - result!

Well done all for getting though it - a great TT turn out.

All in all - a great day - I will be back for number three.

Ironman wales

IRONMAN WALES 2013

Brief match report from Ironman Wales. Disappointed with the time. Everything was going well until 120k into the bike, then everything went hay wire. At one stage, I didn't really know what I was doing. A feed station guy gave me a power bar and I remember looking at it and thinking "what do I do with that?". So it was a tricky 3 hours and I just decided to peddle on, hoping I could run ok. 50 metres in to the run .... Not a chance. So I walked the marathon. Why did this happen? Simple – not strong enough. So I learn, move on and do better next time. pen? Simple, not strong enough. So I learn, move on and do better next time.

Huge thanks for all you support. Thanks to Carl James and Susan Jarman. You were incredible today. Even trying (with poor tenby signal) to fb my family to let them know I was walking but ok.
Huge thanks to Rosie Evans for supporting me so fantastically, keeping my feet on the ground too.

 

Categories: 

 

IRONMAN WALES 2014

INTRO AND PRE RACE

Whist I had hoped for sub 15, I finished in 15:53 so was a little disappointed, overall it was a good day and I performed pretty well - I went home happy. I am proud to be part of a select group (40ish) of triathletes who have completed all 4 IM Wales races - one of the toughest in the world - wow!. An hour after the race, I did a Steve Redgrave "never again" promise ....... not many appear to have believed me for some reason!

I love the pre race atmosphere of Ironman weekends, but Pembrokeshire makes it extra special. The whole area laps it up and makes a huge fuss of each and every triathlete. Pre race went smoothly and I slept well so all was good.

Ironman wales swim

TRIATHLON SWIM

Tide was low for the swim, so we started 100 metres down the beach. Because of that, we missed out on hearing the opera singer belting out Land of my fathers. A bit of a shame is that creates in incredible buzz, whether you are Welsh of not.

The swim on North beach took me back to 2011. The big seas then, were due to the tail end of a hurricane, this time the wind was much lighter but firing straight into the beach - result - choppy sea. This didn't bother me as I am comfortable in the waves - being extra buoyant helps! On the 2nd lap, you could hear guys throwing up with sea sickness. In 2011 in did 1:07 in choppy seas. I was shocked to get out in 1:35. I clearly wasn't aggressive enough, in that sea, you have to drive into every wave, I clearly let the waves push me about.
I understand there were about 90 DNFs on the swim - much higher than the usual 5-10.

I was really pleased with my reaction to the cr@p swim. I deliberately took transition easy - using it to clear the swim from my mind. In Tenby, you put trainers on at the beach and run 1k through the town to transition - incredible atmosphere and every step is supported by screams of support.
QUESTION: Is it just me who gets questions from supporters as to what LBT means and if there is a G missing?

BIKE

Focusing only on my bike time, I held off any nutrition for the first 30 minutes to let the stomach calm, and then settled into position for the first 60k which is on undulating roads. The fun starts after that with either up or down for the remainder of the bike. One of the benefits of having done a slow swim was that I didn't spend the first 2 hours being overtaken by hundreds of poor swimmers - my position in the field was staying about the same - less dispiriting.

My climbing has improved but I have found that since my crash in Nice, I have got very tentative with my cornering on descents - embarrassingly tentative!, a couple of times, I practically stopped to go round corners. 3 months ago I would have flown round them!
I rode well and pretty consistently and got round 10 minutes faster than last year - under 8 hours for the first time in Wales - I went in happy.
It was tough to set off on the run and see cyclists coming down into Tenby, who were clearly going to miss the bike cut off - the combined look of exhaustion and desolation was heart breaking.

RUN

By the time I started the run, I knew I had missed my target time, but again was really pleased to close off the bike and head out for the run with sub 6 in mind. It is a tough run with very little flat but settled into walk up run down routine and stuck to that pretty well throughout.
It was fantastic to get loads of support from triathletes and supporters alike - thanks especially LBT and COLTs. Running through the town, past the pubs increasingly populated, lubricated and rowdy is superb.

My run was 45 minutes faster than last year so was delighted to be called across the line by Paul for the 4th time as he announced "Philippe, you are AN IRONMAN, you are AN IRONMAN, you are AN IRONMAN, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

CONCLUTION AND RECOMMENDATON

Great day - no regrets. Will no doubt be back next September as I believe it would be illegal under Welsh law for me to miss the 5th!
Anything is possible - if I can do this.

Ironman Wales 2015

Hi all you IM trackers and supporters. I'm afraid I've pulled out, so here is a rather alternative match report! I'm ok and chilling in my hotel room. The reality is I'm just not fit enough.

Triathlon SWIM

Wow! Under 1:10. A perfect swim. Great technique and sighting. A perfect start.

T1

I took my time, knowing I was going sto get on the bike well ahead of schedule.

BIKE

Was going perfectly to plan until 90k then started to feel "not so good"! No details required but I started to slow down .... Badly!

I still made the bike cut off by 17 minutes but was not feeling god at all. Had a lie down in transition and struggled to get up again. There is no way this was going to happen. I pulled out. The medics checked me out (strange, they seemed to think somebody lying flat on his back needed investigation! All clear from them.

The Ironman Race day experiance.

No regrets about pulling out, no self pity, I just wasn't fit enough.

When upright again, I went to the finishers tent for a sugarry cuppa. I sat there chatting to the pros and the world class age group athletes (sub 10 hour finishers). Good fun and very different from the usual 16 hour plus tent. I think I stood out a little!

One of the pros head butted a jelly fish, got stung and still smashed it. Then the "missed cut off" guys and girls started coming in. There were tears galore! One guy missed cut off by 2 seconds .... 2 seconds !!

One guy missed cut off by 9 minutes, having spent more than 5 helping another triathlete with a mechanical. One guy was heading for a 6 hour bike but somebody crashed into him and he waited 2 and a half hours for a mechanic. Loads more tears. As for me, I know o did the right thing. Yes, the reign in Tenby is over, but blimey, worse things happen.

Then, I had to walk my bike and bags the 1km back to the hotel ..... Passed the 1,000s of supporters cheering their loved ones on the marathon. OMG! Well I held it together but many didn't. They spotted me, knew it had gone wrong and cheered me all the way. Blimey!

I got back to my room and went to reception to ask for my key. "I wondered what happened to you " said the manager. He had my tracker open on his screen. Now back in the room. Still no regrets about pulling out. As I watch all the triathletes suffering out there now, I realise there is no way I would have finished.

C'est la vie, as they say in Europe!

IRONMAN Triathlon - Anything is possible