Hey DSI Members!
I thought I’d give you a prelude to Ian Moore’s epic IRONMAN race! He lives in Norway and has been an active member of DSTC; this was one brutal IRONMAN experience but certainly a testament to his incredible willpower.
Enjoy the story!
I did the whole event around Stavanger Airport, which is next to where I live in Sola in South West Norway. Air temperature was 8-9C / 46-48F pretty much all day, and with the wind it was down around 3-4 (37-39) degrees C. It was a wind from the mountains, and these have a bigger cooling effect than normal. Humidity was around 90% all day and I guess it rained on and off for over 70% of the bike, horizontally at times due to the wind and similar % on the run. The run was all done in the dark, and I ran around the airport and then around a large fjord called Hafrsford, before running around a large office park nearby and finishing past Hafrsfjord, the airport and eventually home. Hafrsfjord is famous in Norway as the site of a Viking battle in which Harald Hårfagre (Finehair) united the kingdoms of Norway into one. This all adds atmosphere when you pass some of the monuments and landmarks as when you know the stories you realise you are running through VIking epics, this may resonate if anybody has watched the Viking TV series, which features Harald Hårfagre. You’re never far from the coast on the bike route I selected, and most of the run and this definitely adds to the whole landscape.
The bike was a farce. I underdressed for the weather and really suffered after around lap 3 (I was riding a circuit just under 11km, with moderate climbing), it was freezing and the wind increased steadily. When the puncture hit at 65km I was actually thankful, and thought it was the perfect excuse to quit. Then I had a couple of minutes to think and realised I’d taken a day off work for this race, and the swim was so good it shouldn’t be wasted. So I hastily warmed up the hands and fitted the new tube, then when I tried to use the CO2 inflater it literally exploded in my hand, the regulator part just blew to pieces. I couldn’t believe it and the thoughts of quitting raised again. This galvanised me though and I quickly walked/jogged the 2km or so home to use the pump, put some extra clothes on and out again. Got another couple of laps into the route and the Di2 battery quit on me. I’d charged it during the week, so I can only guess the bike was leaning against something in the bike store and this ran the battery down. This meant singlespeeding over 100km of the bike. Luckily it was in a reasonable gear, I spun out on the downs and there were 2 climbs into a headwind where it was overgeared, but it was manageable. All this meant I went from hitting a good target pace with a project time of 5hrs 15 ish to finishing in 6hrs 50mins. I was freezing and don’t remember getting to the house to get changed. Never felt that bad off the bike from what I remember, and I train in far colder weather.
The run was about survival, I snoozed in my son’s bedroom and then woke with a start and realised I had to go. Weather was constant rain and wind and it was very unpleasant. I raced somewhere near the revised pace for around the half marathon, and then after that it was into a head wind for a long, exposed stretch by the fjord and it became about survival. By the end my legs were gone, it was 12.45am and I was freezing, some fartlek was the order of the day to get it finished.
Took me a long time to get to sleep because I was freezing, and shaking so violently after showering that I was nearly bouncing out of bed!
All things told I am glad I found the resilience to keep going, I was basically out after 65km on the bike and it was a huge mental effort to keep going. Such a shame to lose time to mechanicals, which is only the second time I have suffered such a thing in a race (first time was a previous ironman with a single mechanical, nothing like this). Being honest I wanted to get under 10hrs, but on my original race pace I think something around 10hrs 10mins – 10hrs 30mins would have been likely. The bike itself ended up 1hr 35mins behind target because of the problems, and I estimate the impact on the run to be 30mins, maybe 35-40mins. Total time was around 12hrs 9mins if I remember right, might have been 12hrs 19mins.
My swim was 3900m 59:49. The bike was 180.34km in 6:50:13 total, moving time of 6:22:45, so 28mins trying to fix the various issues. This was after the first 63.2km in 1:51:54, which was comfortable and would have seen a finish time of low 5hrs without even the planned “putting the hammer down” (more I think about it the more I am going to find a decent day and set that PB anyway) The run was 42.25km in 4:18:07, around 10mins of that spent in the feed (petrol/gas stations)!