By Daniel Anderton
It had been nearly 3 years since I last completed an Ironman where I’ve done all 3 disciplines. (I’ve also wiped IM Ireland from my memory). I went into Outlaw feeling the best I’ve felt for a long time, i knew i had the fitness but i just needed to put it all together.
Saturday was the usual racking and soaking up the pre-race atmosphere, however this time we had a film crew following us the whole time. Zwift had sent a media crew to follow Rebecca’s race day and they were very keen to get see the Anderburys‘ in action. It was a little different, but something Rebecca took completely in her stride.
After racking they followed us back to our camper-van to film the night before, we even had to rehearse going to bed 😂.
We managed to get a camping space close to the race start, so at 4am the alarms went off and we set about making our rice and honey breakfast, something we’ve taken from the pros thats worked really well for us.
By 5am we were in transition checking over the bikes and ensuring all the last minute prep was done, all whilst having a camera stood close behind us. This had its advantages, people gave us space and allowed us to skip past all the queues and get to the front of the jetty for the 6am start.
The further reductions in restrictions allowed them to have more people jump off the jetty at once, this made for a good fight for toes for the first few hundred meters – something I’ve not missed!
This time Rebecca chose to go off behind me, i think she was hoping to use the 2 second offset to ensure she beat me in the swim. After about 500m i noticed her going past me into the distance. The swim was quite depressing with 1.2 miles in a straight line to the end of the rowing lake and back again,it certainly felt a really long way. At some point i must have got back ahead of Rebecca, making it out the water 5 seconds ahead of her…. Totally in control of that one 🤫 – 1.05
The bike course consisted of two south loops and a north loop. The first couple of hours i spent a lot of time making up for my swim overtaking the faster swimmers absolutely loving life. The disc wheel was purring and the miles seemed to zoom by and before i knew it i was at 56 miles in around 2hr15 – Flying
The north loop is the “hilly loop” with a decent climb about half way through it, but this resulted in a good 10 mile fast drop back down before heading back to do the south loop one last time. The final stretch brings you back to the water sports centre however this was best suited for gravel bikes – a word of warning for future outlaws and I’m glad we had done a recce to spot that before. Into T2 with a 4:38 bike spilt, 23.8mph avg and bang on power target.
Back into transition, another 1km run through to rack the bikes and put on the run kit. As i hit the run course i had a quick look at my watch and realised a sub 9 was possible with a 3:05 marathon – something well within my abilities.
Rather than use that buffer to run conservatively i let the adrenaline take over and went through 10k under 40 minutes and 10 miles not much slower. After the hilly grassy section you had to do a lap of the lake, just like the swim you had a depressing headwind mile where the end never seemed to get closer.
By 12 miles i was spent, legs completely gone and regretting my life choices, had i just blown a perfect bike? I hit the next aid station and swapped out my nutrition strategy and went straight to coke and water, by mile 15 i was back in the game, running 45 seconds a mile faster than when the wheels fell off. At this point i had enough of a buffer that i could afford to hold 7 minute miles and still go sub 3, but as each mile ticked by I didn’t need that buffer and my confidence grew and grew.
At 26.3 miles i hit the start of the orange carpet, i stopped my watch to soak up the atmosphere and not ruin those final pictures. Officially coming in 2hr59!
I went into the race with 3 goals:
- Execute the race I know i can do
- Sub 3 run
- Stretch goal – Sub 9!
I’m totally over the moon with achieving all 3!
A big thanks to Sarah, Katie, Nathan & Mark for travelling up to support – It makes a huge difference when the suffering hits!
🏊♂️ 1:05 – not last…
🚴♂️ 4:39 – 7th fastest
🏃♂️ 2:59 – 4th fastest
🏁 8:53 – 5th overall