Veni, Vidi, Vichy

September 1st 2013 was a big day for me.

It was my 29th wedding anniversary, my first ironman and my first time in a GB Tri-suit. The race was the ETU European Long Course Championship and was held at the same time as the Challenge Vichy ironman race (over the same course and distances) and the Vichy 1/2 ironman. That meant about 1400 or so athletes on course and in transition. Challenge run a really good event. The organisation was excellent and it will be no surprise to hear the pre and post race food was awesome. It was in France after all. My wife Karen and three of my children came to support me and we had a really great week's holiday. I am not sure Karen's idea of a great anniversary is to be woken at 4:30 by a podgy guy in lycra, but she and the kids were amazing throughout the whole event for me. That marathon is a long way and knowing I would see them at least once on each of the four laps always gave me a lift.

I suppose you could look at the event in two ways:
Glass Half Full
Qualified for the GB team. Finished in 13:56 with a 4:55 marathon. First GB in my age group.
Glass Half Empty
With huge apologies to those who I know have competed so hard to qualify for worlds this year..... European Long Course qualification wasn't that hard. I finished just as it got dark, 90% of the field had come through by then. I was the only GB in my age group !

Huge thanks to everyone who have helped me achieve something I thought was impossible 12 months ago. In no particular order: Jane Wiley, Dave Willumsen, Huw Howell, Debbie Munton, Mark Horne, Neil Colvin, Glenda Goscombe, Paula Dewar and finally Sam from Solus Sports Injuries who put me back together every two weeks.