Friday, 3 October 2008

UK IRONMAN TRIATHLON, 7TH SEPTEMBER 2008

Once again, Shaun Boorman completed this most daunting of challenges for the third year in succession. Our congratulations go to Shaun for this hat-trick of achievements. Here’s Shaun with an account of the day… "Well here I am again with another race report for the UK Ironman, having not been well three weeks prior to the event I was lucky to be able to make it but was not about to miss out on another crack at this ultra endurance event. The event consists of a 2.4 mile lake swim, 112 mile cycle around the Dorset hills followed by a 26.2 mile run. I turned up at the campsite leaving my family in our caravan a few miles away to find the place looking like a battle field - mud and loads of it. We had been soaked once again by heavy rain and severe weather warnings were in force. (deep joy I thought !) For me and two rather mad colleagues this was home for the next three days. Right up until the night before the event it just rained and the wind blew, all the three of us could do was to look at the weather and each other with lots of moans about flaming summer! On the day of the event we got up at 0330 and went down to the on site catering marquee and had porridge with honey for breakfast, bananas, tea and carbohydrate drinks. We then made our way down to the swim start followed by around 500 other athletes. Apart from the wind you could hear a pin drop. In the main transition area we changed into wetsuits, took energy gels and had a drink prior to the start. By 0615 we were swimming with 1290 others to the mass start some 200 meters from the shore. After the horn started the race I swam hard off the start to gain some clear water but found my self being kicked pushed and elbowed as I went. I finally got into my stroke after about 1.2 miles and completed the swim in 1 hour 15 minutes, not a bad time. Out of the water and into bike gear within 6 minutes then push the bike to the start, as I leave the mount line within 100 metres 4 other athletes are seen fixing punctures. The bike goes well but the wind is blowing hard slowing progress on certain sections of the 3 lap course. The laps have 3 feed stations offering energy drinks, coke, energy bars and banana. You also need to carry anything else you need to eat as well as spares for the bike in the event of a puncture or other problems. All goes well for the bike and I finish in 6 hours 50 minutes. Back now to the changing area (transition) for my run kit which takes around 5 minutes then off on the marathon straight into a long uphill section, legs are stiff from the cycle and it takes a while to adjust to a running motion. Feed stations are about 1 mile apart on the 3 lap circuit (just over 8 miles a lap) but I manage to plod on and take it steady. The affects of being unwell are still with me and affect my ability to retain and absorb energy from the feed stations but nothing is keeping me from the finish line and my medal!! I finish the run in just under five and a half hours "fantastic" I’ve done it, what a feeling to cross the line and have survived. Around 100 people have dropped out, some have hypothermia and one of my friends suffers back problems on the second lap of the cycle and fails to finish, this is one tough event but so worth it.