27th July 2016 - Post Ironman UK Update
I could write pages on this, but will try and keep this brief and let my athletes do the talking.
What a fantastic race made even better by the support throughout the day – if you were one of the supporters – well done and thank you.
As for my five intrepid athletes – well they all arrived at the start line injury free and in the best possible shape that I could get them in – and they all finished strongly making me a very proud Coach.
Graeme Courtney finished in 12:32:30 (his 1st Ironman).
I started 'doing' triathlon in 2012, a few sprints, a couple of standards. I followed my own training plan, running when I fancied or having a bike ride when the weather was good. I had no real direction and was not really improving. I met Pat and told him my ambition was to complete the ultimate triathlon, an Ironman. In 2015, with Pats guidance I completed a couple of half ironman events in respectable times and 2016 was going to be my big year. Ironman UK on Sunday 17th July 2016 was my first Ironman. I finished it in 12 hours 32 minutes. To me, any time with a 12 in it was going to be a fantastic result! I work, I have a family and I have other interests so training sessions can sometimes be a problem. Looking back now I can appreciate the massive part PTC played in helping me achieve my goal. Over the last 12 months the structured training plans I received ensured my fitness and stamina was always improving. The motivational pep talks which kept me focused when I doubted myself. The amendments to my training schedule and reassurance when I picked up an injury 4 months before race day. I am immensely grateful to PTC and I am certain that without you I would not be able to say "I am an Ironman". And now under Pats authority I sit in France drinking beer and wine, eating smelly cheese and doing feck all!
Toby Hamer finished in 14:00:43 (his 1st Ironman).
Well that was a long day! Just like to say a massive thank you to all the well wishes and the amazing support given, it really did drag me out of some dark places. Big thanks have got to go to my coach Patrick Walkington without his skill, knowledge and guidance I would have failed. The months of pain and early morning sessions paid off and now I can officially call myself an IRONMAN.
Dan Hatton finished in 14:07:55 (his 1st Ironman).
So I guess it's time for me to say thank you to a few people for making my goal a reality. Coach Patrick Walkington at Performance Tri Coaching for getting me to the start line fit & prepared for the task ahead and all the other PTC guys for sharing ing the long training rides.
James Henderson finished in 15:15:56 (his 1st Ironman).
So after a very long year on my Ironman journey it came to a massive climax on the infamous (in the wold of triathlon) red carpet - there have been ups and downs, smiles and tears, good days and bad days, mostly injury free with a few niggles (after all I am 47) - it was my goal to complete this before I became 50 (which started as a dare / joke around the dinner table) and that has occurred - it was nails but in the words of my coach Patrick Walkington who I cannot thank enough for getting me through the dark times "it's not meant to be easy or it wouldn't be called Ironman". I really couldn't have done it without your guidance and coaching.
And truly inspirational was Lee Cramp who despite several issues, finished in 15:57:02 (his 1st Ironman) proving that anything is possible.
I wanted to write a huge thank you to Coach Pat. All through my IRONMAN journey he was there planning my training and there with me and his team on many training sessions to support his athletes. He gave super nutrition advice and most importantly built the mental strength needed to complete an IRONMAN!! And yes I did complete my first IRONMAN as did all Pats athletes taking part in IRONMAN UK, which says a lot about his approach to coaching, the team he has built around including the support network you get from other athletes competing in similar/same events. If you are thinking of taking up Trialthon; maybe even doing an IRONMAN... The best (bar none) investment you will make is to have a coach. I choose Pat and I've never looked back... I'm fitter and leaner (2 stone leaner) than ever before and ready to take on my next challenge - thanks coach!
As for me, well I had my best Ironman yet, managed to actually enjoy this one and even managed to PB by nearly 30 minutes finishing in 12:36:45.
If I could give anyone any advice about doing an Ironman – it would be to buy a pair of Hokas to run in. My picture (20 miles into the marathon) says it all.