A descriptive report by Ian Green on his first Ironman triathlon, the first ever attempted and completed by an Ely Runner

On Sunday the 8th July 2007 I took part in and completed what is seen as
one of the toughest single day endurance events, the Ironman Triathlon. The
event consists of a 3.8km (2.4Mile) Swim, 180km (112Mile) Bike, rounded off
with a 42.195km (26.2Mile) Run. The race took part in the most wonderful
and idyllic location of Klagenfurt which is in southern Austria.

The day of the race started at 3:30am with having to be up to eat
breakfast, and get the bus to the start of the event, which was around
5km's from the hotel that we were staying in. The race was gun was due to
start at 7am, hence the early start.

I have to say that I have never felt quite as nervous as I did that morning
standing on the end of a lake with roughly 2450 other people about to start
this event.

Swim  100/2:04

The day started off a little overcast, and it looked like it was going to
be a perfect day for racing.

Not sure this is fair to call it a swim if you are mid packing it! But that
is what they called it anyway. The swim start of an Ironman is a mass
start, so 2450 people all setting off at the same time to try and complete
the distance. It can get a little interesting with people swimming over
each other, grabbing ankles, elbows flying. But after all this I cleared
the water in a reasonable time and in one piece.

T1 change from swim to bike

Out of the water and stripping the wetsuit off, felt good at this point and
was looking forward to the bike

Bike 27.13km/h

By the time we were out on the bike the sun had started to break though the
cloud and the sun had started to beat down, by the end of the first loop,
and by the second the loop the sun was starting to take its toll.

The bike course was a two loop course each of 90km. I think it is fair to
say that the that this was far more challenging then people were expecting,
with two quite long major climbs on each of the loops. I suffered a
puncture on the second loop of the bike, which cost me a bit more time then
expected as I managed to refit the already blown tube back into the wheel.
Also on the last long climb of the day I started to feel the effects of the
day in my legs and knew at that point the run was going to be an
interesting affair.

T2 change from bike to run

Came into T2 not feeling that bad and sort of looking forward to the next
part of the day. As I was getting my run shoes on managed to a few words
with another guy also doing his first Ironman, and we both wondered what we
were doing.


To say I hit a wall would be understatement of how I felt when I tried to
start to run as I left T2, I started slowly or what I felt was slowly. But
all I could do was feel the pain in my legs, my heart rate raising and my
breathing becoming short and harsh. With this I started to walk, this was
not going to beat me at this stage of the day! I tried to run a few more
times, but each time I felt my heart rate going up once again, so instead I
just walked as quickly as my legs would carry me to cover the distance.
With this I just pushed on until the finish.

The sun again was strong on the run, but as the day due on the day started
to cool and it made the run/walk a little easier.

To say to finish an Ironman is a dream come true is not giving it justice.
To come down the finishing chute on the red carpet with people on both
sides cheering and clapping you is amazing, and the only thing I can
describe it to is like, is to say it must be the same feeling as winning an
Olympic gold medal. If anyone is thinking of giving one of these events
ago, I would say do it. In fact I have already signed up to go and race
again at Ironman France in June 2008.

                                                                                      Ian Green 7/2007