Well what a weekend! Its all been a little crazy since Sunday. I wasn’t really planning on racing it this year, wanting to gain maximum points from races but unfortunately I didn’t have my best day in Frankfurt and so was forced to race in the UK. So not only was I trying to gain maximum points but I also had to defend a title. I actually was in a confident mood all week. I think after racing quite well in London and it not feeling particularly hard it made me very positive. I pulled up fine straight away after London and had a good week of training so in my head I was ready. I didn’t really get too nervous until the day before the race where I was met by the Ironman film crew for a day of filming. Something I am not used to so was a little worried about how it would go and if I would be running around all day but they were brilliant and made it very easy for me. It actually forced to me to probably chill out a little more than I normally would. As the day went on I did start to think how this really did change the game, I would have been gutted If I was on the “road to kona” finishing last after being filmed……how much would that have sucked. I think I managed to use that in a positive way on race day. I saw a few tweets Saturday night that were a little negative so thank you to those negative people because you bloody fired me up, it was just what I needed!
So race day started with rain, just what I didn’t want but about 30 minutes before swim start it stopped so that cheered me up a bit. The plan was to swim fast, i knew a few late entries would just sit in on the bike and out run me so it was my aim to make them work hard to catch me. The swim went to plan apart from having a few breathing problems. My wetsuit was pretty much new and tight on the neck. I like a wetsuit to be tight so I don’t get any water in but this was a bit too tight and just in the wrong place. After a while I managed to move it slightly down and all was good. Coming in to transition I knew Harry was in front, and had a quick look to see Stephen…..but no one else. We had dropped Fraser which was a bit of a surprise. I was certain he would catch us this year, he did in last years race.
The roads were still wet so I was being cautious around the corners but pushing the straight roads. Going up sheep house lane my legs felt great not just on the first lap but all of them. The crowds this year were awesome and the mankini men were brilliant. Compared to last year my legs felt a lot stronger, Fraser ran me in to the ground in 2012. Stephen and myself took some big turns and dropped Harry pretty early on. Coming in to transition Stephen and myself were neck and neck. Pretty exciting but we didn’t know where anyone else was.
Out on the run we were neck and neck running strong. It felt like one of many training days we have had but normally I am the one that breaks. Now I have been training hard on my own since being back from Lanzarote and have constantly been hitting good numbers so I was thinking in my head over and over again that I could do this. I am a pretty determined person and was only going to give up when my body did and hopefully on race day thats after everyone else. We found out eventually that we had around 10 minutes which was a relief in the head and meant this was between the two of us. Stephen was looking great and had raced well all day so I was starting to doubt myself but then Stephen had a low point and I cracked on. Going on to what I thought was the last lap because everyone was telling me it was I was a very happy guy, enjoying the last km’s and heading down the chute but I screwed up……another 10km to go! In my head that was a little tough and I headed out on the last lap pretty damn hard and started to feel pretty bad. I was so worried that I had lost my lead and would lose the race. I grabbed a gel and it kicked in fairly quickly and I was feeling good again heading back in to town. Lead in tact I could enjoy that last part. I had won! Having Chelsea and my friends in Bolton was awesome, gave them all a big hug before finishing. Thanks to Lee and Mike for the support on the day as well. They were literally all over the course. Seeing Stephen coming in to finish and having team TBB 1&2 was great.
Want to say a big thank you to everyone on the course for the support, really appreciated it!