5-6 Feb – Double Iron Lanzarote
27 Mar- Kingston 16M Breakfast Run
DOUBLE IRON LANZAROTE
Just a little race to kick the season off…!
I’ve been looking forward to this race since crewing the Double Iron UK event back in summer 2010. This will be my third attempt at a Double Ironman-Distance race. My record so far reads:
2008 (Aug) Double Iron UK – 3rd (24hrs51mins)
Swim – 2:05, Bike – 13:45, Run – 8:47
2009 (Aug) Double Iron UK – DNF (10miles in to run – illness)
Swim – 1:58, Bike – 13:08
Both races took place at the end of a packed season and three weeks off the back of an Ironman (9:20 Austria and 8:58 Challenge Roth). So I was race sharp but missing out on the perfect taper. The 2008 being my first race was a little more tentative with the emphasis on completion. There were a couple of moments on the bike that I was close to quitting. The run was painful and broken up with many short breaks (although a MacDonalds breakfast care of some friends certainly perked me up and I was running solidly in the final 15miles). The 2009 race was upsetting. I went into the race wanting to win, had a spec-experienced crew (Peter Cusick and Scott Garrett) and planned the race to the min before I even started. It was bang on the money up until halfway into the bike when a combination of underlying illness and bad weather conspired against me and after struggling through 10miles of the run I had to head to the tent before I passed out. I’d say most of those who train for an Ironman can get through the double swim and first half of the bike. It’s the second half of the bike, at night that does the damage. Food is a struggle (you won’t want to look at another energy bar or gel), pace drops and when you’re not bored you start seeing ‘ghosts’ out on the course.
So, after the fiasco of 2009 and the opportunity to race in a potentially warmer (and more attractive) climate in Lanza, I decided to have one more crack and try to do myself a little more justice. This is the first time Enduroman have ventured out of the UK for a long distance triathlon event and will also be holding a festival over the same weekend to include olympic, half distance and full distance (ironman) races.
The race is also part of the International Ultra Triathlon Association (IUTA) circuit, so points will be allocated on that basis. This means there should be interest from the European ‘big fish’, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they handle the race. One notable inclusion is Spain’s (lives on Lanzarote) Gregorio Caseres Morales who has finished Top10 (overall) in Ironman Lanzarote on a number of occasions. On the UK side I know Paul Thompson, winner of last years Triple Iron UK, will be competing and should be strong on the swim and bike if his previous form is anything to go by. I only recognise a couple of other (UK) names from the current list. The majority are British or Spanish but a few other nationalities are in there too.
I hoped to be able to carry out some very long bike rides over the winter and spend a lot more time in the pool (at least 4-5 am swims) but this hasn’t happened. The longest bike ride I’ve done has been around the 70mile mark and (broken) pool swim of 4500m. However, my running is strong over distance and I’ve never had a problem running off the bike. I fly out to Lanzarote on Thurs 27th so I have one week to practise open water swimming in my wetsuit (a new one that I havn’t tried since I bought it last summer!) and a couple of medium length bike rides to check out the course. The race course will be light undulating (for Lanzarote!) with one hill in the middle. My main concern is of course the wind which can get up to 40-50mph on some days. I’m not the most technical of riders, and I hate the wind. So the friend I’m travelling with is bringing a low rim set as back-up to go with my Zipp-404 and PlanetX-101. I won’t even bother with the aero SpiUK helmet and instead will use my light training helmet which has plenty of vents to attach a strong headlight. I lost a lot of time (30-60mins) in the previous Double Iron events because of failing bike lights, so I need to make sure everything is sorted this time around. The battery for the front light is quite heavy and I may need to hold it in a small camelback but if its cloudy it will be invaluable.
I have no specific race plan at the moment but I’ll be walking through the race with my friend/crew Dan beforehand. I prefer a mass start race and will probably do my fair share of drafting in the swim. Will be looking for a steady transition(1) and get straight into the bike. Aerodynamics will be taking a hit for this race (added weight and no aero wheels or helmet) so, along with the hills and wind, I won’t worry too much about bike speed. I’ll want to get as much done as quickly as possible before dark, because that’s when my performance will take a hammering. The second 112miles will be the test for me. If I can get to transition(2) then I know I should be alright for at least 25-30miles of the run. I have a few new ideas for the bike and nutrition this time around but will keep those cards close to my chest.
I’ll provide a race report in the week following the event and perhaps an update next week, particularly on any live updates. Nothing has been announced yet but you may be able to find something at the following:
The Double Iron Lanza starts at 8am on Sat 5th February.