Derby Triathlon Club

Ironman UK by Naomi Warr

Ironman UK race report Naomi Warr

It seems that three brave Derby Tri members took on the challenge of the notoriously tough UK Ironman in Bolton of Sunday 4th August. Despite worries of a wash out the rain held off for most until the run. Results as below:

Kev Crisp 1.21.11 0:09:45 7:06:58 0:07:23 5:03:00 13:48:15

Mark Fowell 1:09:24 0:04:20 6:02:29 0:02:05 3:38:56 10:57:12

Naomi Warr 1:06:08 0:03:57 5:53:51 0:09:06 3:49:59 11:03:01

Well done Mark, you passed me early in the run, I really thought I might catch you later on but you held me off, my excuse is, well I am a girl and if it wasn't for my time penalty..... excuses excuses, no seriously well done!!! 

Kev, excellent time on a very tough course well done.

As I didn't' t get chance to catch up with the others and they probably didn't recognise me in my angry wasp outfit (Bike Science) I shall continue this race report on how the day went for myself, I'm sure the others will write their versions of events for us all to enjoy in due course. So here some of you know I've been lucky enough to have someone coach me this year (Mark White also in the Bike Science team - an ironman triathlete and former Kona contender several times over) so expectations were high, after missing out on the Kona Worlds Champs and a top ten female finisher spot last year  I decided to give it one last go after having a chat with Mark (one of his comments on last year's results were ' what were you doing on the run, having a nap'), so I did and it paid off.

In terms of the race ... well I'd like to tell you a little bit about the days before the race if I may because they were not pretty, I seriously thought someone was sending me signs to say please don't do it you will fail as everything I seemed to do just failed, broke etc take Friday for instance, I thought I'd drive up on the Friday to register, have a practice swim etc so me and hubby could have a less stressful day on the Saturday as you have to drop your bike off then you're running gear in a different location etc etc, Anyway car broke down, husband had to fetch me home, got home at 9pm Friday - great!!!! My husband by the way is a very quiet and patient man for those of you that don't know him. To cut the pre race stuff short basically I was really nervous, shouting at everyone one minute, in tears the next, lack of concentration etc etc, you get the picture - WARR temper tantrums (Andy Grigg can tell you all about them in due course!) for about 3 weeks prior to the race - I didn't realise until now how important it was to me. The night before I got literally hundreds of good luck messages which were great but also really stressful (Steve Tatem - Kona spot waiting! you wind up merchant!). Thanks again for all the messages.

Anyway the race:

Got up at 3am, I actually slept well! first good sleep in 3 weeks by all accounts - weird! Off we went to the start, it was raining quite heavily at this point and I was worried about the bike leg and getting up the big hill on a wet road, had to forget about that though, too late to change anything now! I put the drinks / gels on the bike and went off for a warm up - yes a warm up, never done one before an ironman in the past but coaches orders. Took my gels, drank my High 5 (incidentally I was already sick of high 5 at this point!) and I was ready to go. 

The Swim:

I was really nervous once I got in the water and wanted to find a safe place to start, I opted for the inside buoy a couple of rows back but actually started on the far side of the buoy when the gun went off squeezing between the canoe and the buoy for protection from the other flailing ironmen. I went off reasonably hard to get out of trouble hoping to find a nice spot to get into a rhythm, unfortunately the first lap was a bit like being in a washing machine, I flinched every time anyone touched me and couldn't breathe every 3 strokes like normal due to panic, didn't feel like I was swimming well or at all efficiently but managed to do the first lap in 31.24 for 1900m! I jumped out and ran round, jumping in for the second lap which was a lot nicer, got into a nice rhythm and exited the water in 1hr 6 mins (second lap 34 mins). First learning point I need to 'grow a pair' and stay in with the group.

The Bike:

I opted to just go out on the bike with no extra clothing so T1 was pretty swift with no real issues. Pinky was there waiting for me and ready to roll. Pinky always gets more attention than me - nice bike!!! the girls love it cause it's pink, take note single guys Hayden? The bike course consists of a point to point of about 15 miles from the lake to the start of the bike loop which you do 3 times. The loop includes some interesting hills, one in particular, sheep house lane, named that because only sheep are stupid enough to go up there I think. It's basically a big hill which is probably about a mile or so long and you won't get too much double figure MPH on it either. It certainly sorts the men from the boys. Incidentally they are making it 2 laps next year so only twice up the hill, great, wish I'd known that earlier!!! anyway I was aiming to get to the start of the loop in 40 mins and then do each loop in approx 1hr 40mins. I got the start of the loop in just over 40 mins and started the long climb, once at the top the guy next to me said, ah that wasn't so bad, I looked at him and said tell me that on the third time, 20 mins later he'd fallen back somewhat - peaked too soon! I have to say I was amazed at how many people enter the race as their first Ironman event and also don't practice the course, I can't begin to imagine what a shock they get on race day when they realise they have to go up that hill 3 times! Any way things were going really well on the bike I'd caught all the girls bar one and was now in first place for my age group. I did the first loop in around 1 hr 42 so was pretty pleased I was on target. All was going brilliantly until 80 miles, I'd just turned onto a main road with a group of guys one had just overtaken me but because we were about to slow and turn at a junction I hadn't backed off and unfortunately a marshal deemed that I was drafting, personally I felt that everyone gets into this situation at least once in a race and it's very difficult to be 10ms from the bike in front when turning but I thought just accept it and carry on. I have to say it really knocked me and I started to panic about how long the penalty would be, what if I got disqualified etc. Lesson 2 learn to pull yourself together and get on with it quickly. I decided I'd have to put it out of my head until I finished the bike leg. It didn't help that my supporters had since moved from the usual supporter spot which made me panic, I thought they had discovered I'd been disqualified or something and they had gone back to the car! silly things start to go through your head when you've been pushing your body for so long. The positive thing was I hadn't had a puncture so I tried to focus on that bit of good fortune. I tried to push hard on the last lap to gain some time for the penalty but inevitably I did slow a little but was still on target. I actually did the bike 7 mins faster than I had aimed to do in fairly windy conditions, I clocked the second fastest amateur women's bike time on the course overall - it must be all these TTs I've been doing oh and the beetroot loading! (pink wee) 5.53 was my bike time 23 min faster than the previous year PS Griggy there is no way you'll catch me now!!!

T2 when I arrived I saw the penalty box and ran straight up, I was nice to the marshals so they let me take my hat and shoes off which saved me a few seconds I suppose but it was nothing in comparison to the 6 mins I had to wait in there, it seemed like forever!!! No other girls came in during this time. A very grumpy Italian man joined me in the penalty box he didn't take it as well as me!  I was still in first age group place as far as I knew at this stage and I was confident about the run.


The run:

Mark said stick to the plan which was to do an 8.5 min mile for the first mile and then get 5 seconds faster on every mile thereafter until I got to 8 min mile pace then stick at that for the rest. We thought I could stick at that after looking at all the HR data from my training sessions. I had my time plan stuck on the back of my race number to help me keep track because as other ironmen will know trying to work out things in your head at this stage is impossible. I was really enjoying the first part of the run and had to chuckle to myself, Mark said to me about others in the race running from t2 too fast, he said 'stick to the plan you'll catch them again at 8 miles' he was so right, 6 men ran past me on my first mile going really quite fast, I caught them up and pasted them on a steep hill which they were walking up at exactly 8 miles! Hare and the tortoise..... I have to say though I had forgotten how hard the Bolton run is, they send you down the canal which is fine but then when you come off you have to go up a very steep hill for about 1/4 mile before re joining the main Bolton road, it's here you start your 3 loops of the run down into Bolton and then uphill for 3 miles again. There's a nasty little hill as you come out of the centre as well which really hurts you mentally and physically. I was running really well up to 15 miles when something awful started to happen in my stomach, the only way I can describe it is if any of you suffered from the neuro virus at the start of the year when your stomach blows up like a balloon for hours and then you  spend a day on the toilet! that's exactly what happened, fortunately I managed to hold off the toilet issues for the last ten miles but had serious stomach cramps, annoying but another lesson to be had I need to look at my nutrition, last year I was under fuelled maybe this year I was over fuelled on the run as my HR was well down in the 130's for the whole of the run, my legs felt fine and post race, my legs are not stiff and as painful as usual. So in conclusion I missed my run aim of 3.45 by 5 mins. Unfortunately the second age group lady came past me with about 3 miles to go, I tried to stay with her but my stomach couldn't take the increase in jiggling!!! Maybe I'll get my position back on her in Kona as she also took her slot - if it wasn't for that time penalty who knows but hey ho it is what it is and I'm really chuffed that despite issues I managed it - bring on Kona hope it's my perfect race!

Final result: completed in 11hrs 3 mins and 1 second - 147th overall, 8th lady overall, 2nd in age, Kona qualification and a new PB, 32 minutes faster than last year, biggest improvement  was on the bike leg.

I hope you found the report interesting and not too boring!! what I would like to say is I couldn't have done any of this without my wonderful husband he is so supportive, he's cooked me dinners, biked with me carrying water and gels on my long runs, been shouted at, had to come home early with me from nights out due to training and racing, been on a low carb diet with me etc etc

Mark White my coach has been amazing he's such a nice guy, taught me so much about eating and training, I enjoy it so much more now. Most importantly he knows you have to have a life as well.

his facebook comment was 'he built those calves' which made me chuckle

Thanks to all the people that sent texts and face book messages, cards etc you are all so thoughtful and I'm really touched that so many people are so interested in what silly old me is doing.


Highlights of the race

Man on bike course saying the hill wasn't that bad then running out of steam shortly afterwards

Me apologising for passing wind on the run and the guy saying thanks I hadn't heard!

The lady outside her house in Bolton shouting come on Naomi you are really digging your costume! (bike science kit looks like a Skelton outfit!)

Man in swim who kicked me 3 times before the gun sounded treading water (wasn't funny at the time)

Catching the silly fast running men up at the 8 mile point on the run.


My favourite training and racing Quotes 

'When you' re going through hell keep going' Winston Churchill  (Ironman Bolton used this - I liked it)

Pain is temporary, failure is forever (on my supporters banner)

Training plus rest = a better Naomi (Mark the Coach tells me this all the time)

Go slow to go fast (Mark the coach says this for base training)

Success is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration (my old chemistry teacher - so true)

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