Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ironman Western Australia

I can honestly say I have never worked so hard for anything in my life. So many early morning weekend rides, long evening swims and runs in between. A co-worker who did an Ironman years ago, once told me that the Ironman is the most selfish event you can ever do because of the amount of training that is involved. I now believe him, and so does Cari.

Busselton Ironman was an extremely well organized and fun event. Busselton is located 2 hours south of Perth Australia. The whole town gets involved so the vibe is awesome.

Athelete support tents.
Lucky number 265. On Saturday I dropped off my transition bags and bike.
There I am!
Setting up in transition....
Things happen a little different in an Ironman. Usually all my run and bike gear would be set up next to my bike in transition. At an Ironman you place your run and bike gear in separate bags, as you enter the transition area you yell out your number and someone grabs and passes you your bag.
Swim start. Busselton has the longest wooden Jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. It's almost 2km long which makes it perfect for a 3.8km swim.
Lot's of people wrote messages along the run section of the race. It made for some funny reading during the run. My favorite one read, "If your spouse still loves you, you haven't trained hard enough"

Race morning! Alarm went off at 2am. I actually slept really well the night before the race. Got up, ate, even had a shower to help get my head straight. The morning of was beautiful, 15 degrees and no wind.
It's a good thing sharks don't eat long sleek black creatures that swim in the ocean.

Only minutes to go.
Ironman has a mass swim start, when the gun goes off all 1200 - 1400 people go at once. It makes for a pretty close and personal swim for the first 500 meters. I did the swim in 1hr 13min, it turned out a lot better then I expected. I've trained hard for the swim, many evenings spent in the pool doing 50 - 70 laps at a time.
Coming out of the swim they had a fresh water spray which was nice.
End of lap turn around on the bike, that's not me in the pic. It was a 3 lap course, each lap was 60km. The bike leg of the race was really good, a slight wind came up during my 2nd lap which stayed for the rest of the ride. I held back on the ride, kept my heart rate down to make sure I had something left for the run.
Game face....
Don't ask....
I did the bike leg in 6hrs and 3min. They had bike catchers to take your ride and rack it for you, that was another first for me. As soon as you dismounted someone was right there to take it away.
Off for a run. So after a 3.8km swim then a 180km bike ride you have to run a marathon (42km). The run is the biggest killer of an Ironman, and it chewed me up and spit me out. I ended up with a time of 4hrs and 54mins. I'm not happy with my run result but I learned a lot from this race and will change my run training to help bring the time down. The first 15km off the bike I felt pretty good, the last 10km of the run I actually still felt pretty good but the old legs were really starting to complain. But I finished, and at the end of the day that's all I cared about.
At the finish you are greeted right away with a helper, they grab your arm and talk to you, making sure you're ok. Someone else drapes a Ironman finisher towel around you and then a 3rd person places a medal around your neck. The "helper" walks with you to the recovery tent and then goes back to help someone else. It was a very smooth and helpful process.

Steve (getting a tattoo) Dickinson


heather m said...

good job steve.. you did awsome :)

Anonymous said...

We are so proud of you.


Anonymous said...

Again congrats to you Steve. A job well done. We are all very proud of what you have accomplished.

Kaserine said...

Congratulations on an awesome accomplishment!

MacPurdys said...

Wheeeeee-hooo!!! Great job Steve. Don't be worrying about your run time, man! You did it!

Anonymous said...

Great job Steve !!
Were proud of you !

Joe and Kathy