Kona hat trick!
Kona hat trick!
IM UK had 50 slots for the 2013 World Champs in Kona and 3 were won by club athletes... Glen Karpeta, Richard Westover and Jane Wiley. Andy Fields who got an entry to the Bolton IM as a sub for a cancelled 70.3 did an astonishing sub 12hrs @his 1st attempt. Ironman UK is a tough and gritty course – with over 5600 ft of climbing on the bike and a very hilly run. Glen was 2 in age by seconds (pesky loo stop) with PB splits’ by miles’ in each discipline and Richard was 4th in age. Jane was 1st in age and 25th lady, chicking over 1300 men. Despite Richard’s improvement vs last year, he’s got more time to shave and elected to pass on his slot for when he is even faster. Full race report on the website.
Richard 10:11:35 38th
Glen 10:36:43 88th
Andy 11:55:05 315th
Jane 11:59:02 325th
I am less than competitive in hot conditions, on flat and windy roads and where long distance travel is involved. Ironman UK promised none of these so depite its reputation as a ‘hard’ course , I signed up a year ago to have a second – and last – go at IM distance. Glen and Richard narrowly missed podiums and qualifying last year – and were eager to find the seconds that would make the difference and have another go. Andy Fields had signed up fo a 70.3 in Switzerland but after it was cancelled he was offered this instead (comparable?).
The race has a chequered history but new management 2 yrs ago has resulted in a simpler course; significantly more spectators and slicker organisation. However there’s not too much they can do about Bolton – or the weather. The forecast was for perfect conditions – but we were buffeted by heavy head winds on the bike’s 3 laps and heavy rain on the run. We all agreed the latter was much preferable to humidity and heat. The swim takes place in an attractive lake setting and was relatively non eventful – I had my usual little deviations and was grateful to being shepherded back on course by an outlying kayaker. Glen pulled off a PB off 1:00:19 – reflecting the focussed training effort he has put in. Richard of course was sub 1 – 56:23.
The bike course is the ‘maker or breaker’ – if you don’t like hills – don’t do this course. Sheephouse Lane is a lovely narrow road that twists and turns its way up to the moores – finishing with a sharp bend to a steep little extra hill at the top. There we were met by banjo playing men – each wearing tiny old fashioned speedos – and nothing else. By the 3rd time, when my stomach was feeling a bit dodgy – I gave them a thumbs up but tried avert my eyes. Shortly before we finished this last lap, I was surprised to see a 7oaks tri outfit and introduced myself to Andy as I cycled past. His time was faster than mine – so he may have slowed down by that time. Richard, in hindsight, didn’t take on enough nutrition at this stage. Once gone – this can’t be undone – and this was to plague him later. On route spectator support was lots of fun – a lot of local clubs gathered on inclines or corners to shout and bang and wave at us all.
The run is a course that really plays with your mind. The first 6 miles takes you into Bolton – relatively flat – and then takes you up a hill that is not dissimilar to Hubbards Hill from the bridge, on to the 3 lap course in Bolton. Once on this loop – you don’t get a ‘hairband’ for your lap until a further 7 miles- first gradually up and then gradually down and into town – repeat. However the loop is not straightforward - there were all sorts of loops within loops. I was delighted to see the Mile 15 marker – only to realise about 20 mins later that, that wasn’t meant for me – I had actually only done 11 miles by that point. Severe depression. All of us had family support on the course. As I got close to the Town Hall finish shute for the 2ndtime, my husband yelled out that sub 12 was ‘possible’. I groaned and swore – as I knew to do that I would have to resume my earlier pace. I forced down a caf gel – and gradually picked it all up again. I could hear the announcer say ’90 secs’ to go to get under 12 hours – I raced down that shute with a very large smile on my face.
Richard is without doubt one of the most talented endurance athletes – and has decided that when he races @Kona he wants to be the best he can be. Glen has now done 3 Ironman’s in the last year – getting faster at each attempt, culminating in his astonishing performance on Sunday. Andy no doubt surprised himself by achieving a sub 12 hr Ironman in the year that he was going to attempt a 70.3. I am delighted to have gone sub 12 ( age group course record) – having avoided GI issues etc. However I now find myself in the position of contemplating a course that will be in extreme hot conditions; windy and with a further distance to travel as I have ever done before.
Richard 56.23 5:44:15 3:25 10:11:35
Glen 1:00:19 5:49:57 3:40:59 10:36:43
Andy 1:25:04 6:16:46 4:01:14 11:55:05
Jane 1:15:40 6:23:23 4:12:13 11:59:02