We asked our athletes (some who had followed an IRONMAN 70.3 UK Training Program, either 3 months, 6 months or 9 months, and others that we met when they joined us for thetrilife.com’s IRONMAN 70.3 UK Preparation Day) to tell us about their day.
We were overwhelmed by the response, from lengthy race report type detailed emails which gave us a real sense of the athletes experience, through to proud (and some disappointed) one-liners.
There were some really inspiring stories from our athletes, who have all experienced ups and downs along the way but most battled through to cross the finish line. For some this has been a dream they have been working towards for a long time and for others a challenge that they have set themselves and now conquered.
It’s been a pleasure to support these athletes on their journey.
“The whole experience, from signing up, training, losing weight, the sacrifices, the training day with thetrilife, has been an experience I will never forget. To say it’s been difficult, emotional, enjoyable is an understatement, but one that has been one of life’s great experiences for me.
Thanks to everyone and anyone involved with the whole set up, words are difficult to explain it, however those who have done it, you know!”
“I had a DNF as I missed the cut off time on the swim. Hard luck I think, but finished the swim so happy with that at the end. Going to have a go in 2016. I’ll be back stronger.”
“Won my Age Group.”
“The whole experience was fantastic, what a great venue, beautiful location, fantastic weather and really first class organisation.
I turned up with the goal of just being able to finish. The swim was just amazing, to line up with 1700 people in front of a stunning lake with sunshine was unbelievable. The whole atmosphere at the start was overwhelming with everybody feeling nervous and emotional. I completed the swim in 40 mins and was very pleased with that.
The bike ride was really hard work with some serious hills. The support out on the road was fantastic, from the marshalls, the motorbike riders, the mechanics and also the crowds. When the going got really tough the support of all these people kept me going. I was wearing a Welsh cycling top and it turned out that the motorcycle support team were all from Wales so I had my own team of mobile supporters cheering me on. The bike took me a little over 4 hours and then came the run.
The run was all about survival, putting one foot in front of the other for 13 hard miles. But yet again the fantastic support of the crowd kept me going……along with huge amounts of water, bananas and gels from the feed stations. At last after a long and hard run I crossed the finish line at 7hours and 30mins. A huge welcome from the crowd and especially my wife who had finished about 15mins ahead of me. All in all a truly life changing event. And in the words of the terminator…….I will be back!!!!!!”
“I did the Half in 6:50:29 and thetrilife Prep Day was invaluable. Having cycled the route with the trilife team and then I drove it with my father on Friday 13 June, it made a huge difference.
The swim was fabulous. I was first out of the water in my age group and I think I did it in 32 minutes (could have done better too), bike I am not sure and run was about 2hrs 15 minutes.
I had to stop a few times on the bike, the chain came off once and I stopped to put an electrolyte tablet in my water as could not get the lid off my bottle on the move! The bike was far better than I thought but I have been ploughing up some hills here in Wales….. The hills didn’t bother me on the Prep Day and I overtook a lot of Army and Navy guys walking up the hills with their bikes! The run was a killer. I was really, really disappointed with my run. I just could not get into my stride. I wasn’t tired in the true sense, I don’t know what happened and I am a runner. As a normal run on its own it’s my kind of course, but on Sunday I let myself down badly.
I know I could easily do better….
The whole atmosphere was amazing. I loved every minute of it and the emotion at the end was out of this world! IRONMAN organisation is second to none and the volunteers were brilliant.
Thank you again to you and your team … brilliant.”
“I had a great race. Did the best I could with 7 months experience in triathlon! Each element was improved by the great day I spent with thetrilife. After a major hip operation I rode the course with expert help and my confidence improved instantly. Race day went well and my first 70.3 was completed 8mins ahead of target! 6hrs 22mins…. Back to the training and hard work!”
“I came along to the preparation day on the 3rd May and I can safely say, I would not have been able to complete the IRONMAN 70.3 UK without taking on board the advice from your coaches and experiencing the course with their support beforehand.
As a result of attending, I had just enough time to make some essential changes to my training programme, incorporating the nutrition and pacing tips. I finished with a 7 hours and 45 minute time, which was about 45 minutes quicker than I thought I would be able to do it.
On the morning of the event, it was exactly as the guys said it would be, which was very reassuring and allowed me to just focus on my race. I was passed by quite a few people early on, burning matches running up the hill after the swim and in the early stages on the bike. It was clear that some of them hadn’t attended one of your days. But, I stuck to the plan and found myself cheering them on as I passed them later on in the course.
Thanks to you and the team for helping me achieve something I can brag about for the rest of my life…
I’m an IRONMAN (half).”
“It was AMAZING!!!! I swam my fastest ever time to get out of the water in 44mins which considering I have only swum once a week since January when I could only manage 50m was very pleasing. I also only got one open water swim in at my first triathlon three weeks before, due to not being able to do it at the coaching day and when I realised how cold 16 degrees was at Roadford Tri, I was really happy we hadn’t tried to do anything in the 10.9 degree water at Wimbleball in May!!!! I did a practise swim in Wimbleball on Friday and it was lovely in there…..
I also did my fastest ever bike but sadly was 0.2 mph too slow, so when I knew I was going to be out of time after doing Blights Hill the second time, I got a nice steward to call me a lift back to the venue. I had hardly ridden a bike in my life until last year and had limited time to ride over the winter so really all my spare training time was taken with bike training from February onwards and I knew it would be a close thing. Ironically my run times are always fine, so I think if the cut off had been even fifteen minutes later for the bike, I would have got the run done within the total eight and half hours cut off, but hey ho….. At least my legs weren’t aching yesterday when I got up!!!
So next year, I would like to do the relay…. I don’t know if they let the same person do the swim and run but I hope so, cos I have a friend with a very fast bike to do the middle bit!!!
I loved the coaching day we did, it was all part of the experience and I have had several people say they think they might give it a go next year….. I have recommended they do the coaching a day as well….
So while I may not have finished the IM 70.3 I am still glad I tried….. And I bet all those fit muscly cyclists couldn’t ride a horse as far as I can….. ;)”
“thetrilife preparation day was extremely valuable to me. It made a huge difference to me to arrive on race day, being familiar with the surroundings. thetrilife team were all very friendly and very informative. As a complete novice, I wasn’t made to feel intimidated or out of place. They were great support, it was a great day and I’m so glad I went.
The day itself was amazing. The support from the spectators was outstanding. They just kept on cheering for hours on end! I’m still on a cloud floating around somewhere! Finish time of 07:13:10. There’s a part of me that wants to do the race again but another part that doesn’t – I don’t think I can match the sheer joy I have felt from completing the 70.3. Last November I bought a road bike. January I started to learn how to front crawl. In May, I took my first, disastrous plunge into open water. June 15th, I did it, and I enjoyed every minute of it, even the hills!”
“The race day was fantastic and the weather for the whole weekend couldn’t have been better. For a first timer like me I was bowled over by the organisation and camaraderie of the event, everyone was friendly and positive and really clubbed together to make it a day to remember.
The swim was the killer, I did the practice swim on Saturday morning and felt quietly confident but as it was only my 2nd mass start (and 2nd triathlon) the occasion took over and I went out too hard! The bike was a fantastic route and I quickly made up time lost in the swim, this is where the familiarisation day had really helped, not that I remembered the course, just that I knew there were a LOT of hills so I had no illusions of any easy riding. I did wish that I had brought my TT bike as they were nailing me on the downhills and I was passing them again on the ups. Maybe next time!
Nothing can prepare you for the run though, I came off the bike, confident. Went through transition with my plan to plod the first lap then gradually speed up, I ran around the field past all of the supporters (who were fantastic) and out of the gate, turned left and downhill for about 20-30m. Then all of a sudden this mountain loomed in front of me, I certainly didn’t remember this from the training day! Holy crap!! That set the mood for the rest of the run, portions were just difficult and painful and others I just ran and tried to think of other things… by this time the sun had come out and the temperature was rising quickly. I was also trying to remember what my state of mind was when I started this journey and why the hell had I signed up for the full in Tenby.
Anyway I finished in 6:08 and very rarely have I been as happy as I was when I crossed the finish line. Within minutes I was looking forward to the full IM in September and now know what I did right and wrong (Pizza counts as carb loading right??). Without a doubt the training day with thetrilife helped in getting me over the line and in a decent time, my target was top half of the finishers and I managed top quarter.
Thanks to everyone but it’s not finished yet so I’m back off to the pool….”