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Ironman Frankfurt, Germany

Buddy Bear!

A couple of athletes arrive in Frankfurt
and a photo with Buddy Bear!

Three Holmfirth’s Triathletes headed over to Germany to take part in Ironman Frankfurt. Allowing for acclimatisation and relaxation ahead of this significant challenge, Jeremy Holye, Jason Haigh and Darren Hanson left the UK on Thursday arriving in stifling hot Frankfurt with all their equipment, in good spirits and ready to race!

All had put in months of training; 5.30am starts for running, swimming and cycling and were all ready to go.  Each had a plan but nobody had been able to train in the intense heat which was causing some concern.

 
Iron man trademark An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile (42.2 km) run, raced in that order and without a break

Jeremy Hoyle reports...

The hotel was OK and had air conditioning; it was more than a walk from the event and to conserve energy, we travelled everywhere by taxi. 

IMhanger

Race briefing

We attended the race briefing in the centre of Frankfurt in the afternoon.  The temperature was measuring 36 degrees so we climbed underneath the fan staging to get out of the sun; it was blisteringly hot at this point we were reminded that the IM Frankfurt had a 15 hour cut off and not the usual 17.

We took our bikes to the Swim Lake and T1; with the queuing to get on the bus and then getting stuck in traffic we ended up on the bus far too long, doing our best to keep cool and hydrated.

Race day

Race Day:  We woke early for breakfast at 4am; the predictions were that it could reach 40 degrees by 1:30pm.  We joined around 20 or so other competitors for a good breakfast before joining the bus to take us on the one hour journey to the race start.

T1 had a massive buzz about it with 3,000 or so competitors all preparing their bikes and swim gear. IM organisers advised us to reduce the pressure in the tyres as there was a risk they might explode in the heat!

IMBeach

Race start, on the beach!

We managed to lose Daz in T1; Jason and I stood on the beach together… a reassuring word and 'The Look' before entering the water.  After a quick hand shake, a hug and best wishes we were away.  I thought to myself “this is going to be a very long hot day” (how true it would be).

Swim – 2.4 miles

For me and Daz it was our first non-wet suit swim. After a couple of early scrapes and punches one which brought my goggles off, (whilst not my best time) the swim seemed quite quick at 1:26.  Jason was out in 1:15 and Daz just under two hours.   Jason was at an advantage, being an old pro and having previously completed an Ironman with no wetsuit (albeit for different reasons).

Into T1 I managed to get delayed whilst sharing my talc with fellow triathletes, lesson learned do not take talc (I wanted fresh feet from the sand of the beach onto the bike).    

Bike – 112 miles

Jason had been through T1 and was out and away for his strongest discipline - his bike.

IMbike

Jeremy completes bike section in 6:44:44

It was hot and on the bike I went through 18 bottles of fluid (4 / 5 over my head).  I struggled to eat anything solid throughout the whole race and was desperately trying to force feed myself flapjack.

On the second lap of the bike I misjudged my bottles and had to cycle about 12 miles without fluid;  I took my foot off the gas and tried to enjoy the scenery – forcing myself to hold back and avoid the temptation to race passing cyclists.  I had no idea where Jason and Daz were at this point, but assumed Jason must be in front if he hasn't overtaken me during the bike leg.

With a recorded temperature of 38 degrees, at one point on the bike it actually felt like we were pedalling straight through a great big industrial fan oven, a long straight road for about 2 miles with a head wind. I found myself cycling past many 'bodies' at the side of the road; athletes that just couldn't go on any longer were dropping like flies, some of them on drips, others waiting for medics to arrive.  I learnt afterwards that approx. 6/800 didn't finish and hundreds needed medical attention with extra medics being drafting in from all over for the whole race.

Run – 26.2 miles

Extra feed stations were available on the run but they struggled to keep the drinks cold.  All refreshments were warm which tasted horrible.

I walked through every single feed station from the off and struggled to run at all on the first of the 4 laps, managing short jogs only and looking for shade under the few trees there were available.  My final two laps were my quickest, thanks to Daz who ran with me part of the way.  I thought I wouldn't make 15 hours at one point; funny how your mind plays tricks with you…  in reality I had 2 hours 5 mins to run 6.5 miles.  Even at my pace on a bad day that's just about OK!

Daz Hanson proved to be the best marathon pace maker you could ever wish for, although I did have to pull him back a few times as his pace and my pace are poles apart!

Ironmen!

We did it... It was without doubt very hard going and by far my toughest race to date by a long way. Jason and Daz agreed the non-wetsuit quarry swim in 26 degrees followed by the constant 38 degrees heat on the bike and the run was totally horrendous.

Unfortunately Daz didn’t complete the race; more importantly we were all OK and able to return home safely.  On Monday in Frankfurt we enjoyed the odd drink or two.. we even found Cider for Daz.. oh and ice cream!!

Words of advice

IMpie

Nutrition!

Holmfirth Harriers have a number of athletes doing long course races this year.  It's not for me to 'preach' the necessity of consistent fluids and food on both the bike and run nor do I want to sound that I know what I am talking about as everybody should have their own individual plan(s). 

Plan A and Plan B is good but with the heat sapping energy of Frankfurt we needed Plan C and Plan D!  Your mental strength and character comes into play when your legs run out on long distance races, we all needed every ounce of mental strength from very early in the race on this occasion.

From our experiences on this particular occasion and a GB age group athlete sadly passing away in Frankfurt due to lack of food/ salt / fluid I think it would be wise to stress the point to all.

In my opinion fluids and nutrition is probably the most important factor along with a very good sleep and rest programme.

What next

I am taking a month off from serious training and plan holiday with the family.  Daz is on holiday from today and Jason is going soon too.  All well-deserved and I am sure I may enjoy a couple of curries and a few beers and maybe the odd red wine as well.

Triathlon is addictive.. so much so that Jason will be competing in IM Wales in a few weeks.  Good luck 'slim' and all the best!  I hope you enjoy the jelly fish as much as they will enjoy you !!!

Our official results

Name Div Rank Gender Rank Overall Rank Swim Bike Run Finish
Jason 251 1322 1460 01:17:16 06:14:06 05:30:02 13:16:28
Jeremy 348 1636 1837 01:26:02 06:44:44 05:51:26 14:19:34
Darren       01:58:20     DNF

Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/emea/ironman/frankfurt/results.aspx#ixzz3gS6GA8Qz

Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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