Ironman Bolton UK – Sunday 19th July

Last Sunday Martin Hallissey was in Bolton competing in the full ironman UK event.  Below is Martin’s report. Great result for Martin in finishing 3rd in age group and 18th overall and qualifying for Kona World Championships. So looks like continued long distance training for Martin…..

It’s quite a relief after spending so much time training and focusing only on 1 event to come to race weekend with no injuries and ready to go. The day before was a bit hectic, registration, swim in the lake, split location for T1 & T2 and checking the weather constantly for the next day. The big day started at 3.30am, coffee, plenty of nutella on toast and red bull. I could hear the rain outside so knew the storms predicted the day before had not pushed through over night. T1 was as hectic as every transition. I got there early so not to be stressed too much on setting-up and then the rain came. The swim start was a rolling walking start from outside the lake, you position yourself in time order (similar to a run race) and then walk over a timing mat – jump in and go. The buoys always seem like miles away ,especially in bad light but the time passed quickly. I got in with 2 guys who were targeting same time and pretty much swam the complete course with them without any of the normal washing machine start. Was aiming for sub 1hr so was pleased. The start of the bike was horrendous – torrential rain, rivers flowing down the road, people ending up in a hedges. The bike route is a good course, I was pretty confident after my recce 3 weeks before but there was no wind or hail storms that day. Felt strong to about 90 miles and then the head wind got me – The last big climb was a killer. Eased off at 105miles to get ready for the run. The first 1 mile is pretty much uphill and then it’s a good rolling course onto the loops in the town. I felt fantastic for the 1st Half Marathon, I ran with a competitor in the same age group and we kept the pace constant and had a good chat(he eventually won my AG). Passed through half way on for my target of 3.05 and then hit a very big wall and both calves seized. From running 6.30 pace to walking within 400m – From then on it was a fight. I had 2 dreams for the race – sub 10hr and a Kona sport – so was delighted to come out with both, getting on the Podium for my age group was a big bonus. For anyone thinking of doing a Ironman, I can recommend this one. The course keeps you honest but is not supper hard, the organisation is perfect, the support is amazing on both the bike and the run and the volunteers are so nice and helpful.  Overall a fantastic weekend, suffering now but it’s worth it – 2 weeks of recovery and then back into the training for Hawaii.