After far too many hours spent in lycra in the company of only another man… it was finally race day!
Germany was apparently suffering from a ‘heat wave’ although for Clint and Matt having spent hours training in 45+ temperatures, the main downfall was they called a ‘non-wetsuit’ swim, and due to road works they extended the bike course by 5km, but really whats another 5k when you have already done 180km??
Joining us to cheer Clint home was his Mum (Denise), Hans, his brother Mitch, my sister Fi and her partner Steve- thanks guys for the support for Clint and the help with the kids! And good luck to Fi and Steve who are both doing their first half Ironman in September (we will be thinking of you from Borneo)!
The kids and I did not make it out to the lake for the start of the 3.8 km swim; I could blame that on the fact that it was miles out-of-town and there was no organised spectator transport out there but the truth is, even if there was an easy way to get there…letting the kids sleep in ready for the long day took precedent. It is simple insanity to wake sleeping children at 4 in the morning! Clint was really pleased with his swim time- 1 hour and 14 mins, so even without the wetsuit it was faster than the Australian Ironman he did in 2008.
Our hotel was perfectly positioned overlooking the river that was the run course and only a couple of hundred meters from where the competitors rode in on the bike course so we were in position (with at least 2 mins to spare) to cheer Clint on as he rode into town, and out again, and in, and out and finally in to complete the 185km bike course. Clint kicked some serious butt on the bike leg finishing in 5 hours and 22 mins and smashing the hills even thought there aren’t any to train on in Abu Dhabi.
As expected, the kids needed some entertainment while waiting for Clint and Matt to come past:
The 42.2km run course was really pretty, along both sides of the river (not that Clint got to appreciate the scenery) and with lots of spectators cheering the athletes on it was also a great atmosphere.
Clint was making great time for the first 2 laps of the run and looking good, unbeknown to us though, he had left his computer (watch face) on his bike and thus had no idea of his time but more importantly couldn’t monitor his heart rate he found this leg the hardest but finished with a smile.
Crossing the line 11 hours and 9 minutes
After he crossed the line, the very weary support crew headed for dinner and a beer while we waited for him to recover in the athletes section.
Clint was happy with his time and also thrilled with the support he got and the money he raised for the John Maclean Foundation, thank you to all who donated to this worthy course. Matt did a fantastic job as well, finishing his first Ironman in just over 12 hours.
Overall it was a great day, no doubt there will be another Ironman at some stage, I never really believed the ‘just one’ line was given a few years ago!