I won the race to enter the race and next was to put the planning on place. I booked a room in the Adina Hotel (hotels.com) and got flights from London (BA). The planning was now in place to focus on Ironman Frankfurt as my A race for 2015.
Swim started at front and once out of the crashing legs got I got a very clear swim in open water. Grabbed some feet on 2nd lap but also slowed down by red hats that were in front. I ended up in second wave and the red wave was just random. Once I got out of water I raced to the tent but struggled to get my Huub top on as my upper body was still wet after the swim, I took longed than I wanted in t1 and washed my feet to remove any sand. The last thing to do was to put on the HR monitor and I was good to go.
The bike was a surprise as the power was not reading so then I focussed on keeping my HR under 80% again this is a zone I should have been aware of when power fails. I also went on feel on the bike and pulled back where I felt tired. On the cobbles and hills many passed me and I simply eased back and then focused on the flat.
My race nutrition was 14 gels mixed with water and I took this equally over the race time with nothing left. I had a water drink and used the hydration tablet (powerbar). I figured out I was drinking a 1.5 bottles of 750ml water an hour. I also took salt tablets during the race (3 in total) and 2 more hydration tablets. I remember feeling sick on the bike a few times and passed urine twice on the bike.
Just before the last hill I ran out of water and was a little dehydrated until I reached the water station this was probably around 5 mins.
The run was funny and mentally I had decided to walk each station taking on 2 cups of water / any salt and ice / sponge. The pace didn’t change and I took 2 gels during the first 20k, I also picked up pretzels. When I got to the station after the 2nd counter I started to switch to Coke but started to feel very sick. My head started to feel funny and I realised that I was gone. I stopped took on coke and carried on walking. I tried to run (ha ha 9min/mile) but only felt sick. When I finally arrived Del (my wife) my hands were shaking and my friend who is a diabetic suggested 2 gels and some rest but I was cooked and couldn’t see an end in sight.
I suppose some would say I should have carried on but I feel I did the right thing for my body and although I did not finish I have experienced one of the greatest races of my life. I had a touch of sadness as I realised that with a 4hr marathon I would have easily done sub 10:30 and with a 3:30 marathon I could have done sub 10 that I never thought I had the ability. I will return one day.