Thanks for the reading Part 1. I felt that I needed to share that stuff as a lot of first time racers read my race report and those who are looking to do this race in the future either as their 2nd 3rd or 100th will also find benefit.
So finally on to my race day experience!!!
I managed to share a cab down to the start line with two lads, Stephen and Barry, staying at the same hotel as me, due to the power of Facebook! Both of them had completed Ironman before. Really nice guys and they both went on to have good races.
Transition was open from 5am – 730am and as my swim start was not until 730am, I was definitely not getting there any earlier than I physically had too. Very grateful to the lads wanting to get there for 6ish. Taxi from Tivoli hotel to T1, Amager Strandpark took about 10 mins, cost about £30 total. (Freaking expensive)
Headed into T1 with the guys, it was already daylight, weather was overcast, full of clouds but thankfully not raining at the time. (The forecast was rain)
As I walking in, I saw my friend Chantel. Gave her a quick hug and hello and then I didn’t see her again until her 3rd lap of the run leg. She had a freaking stellar race. So proud of her.
I continued to my bike, set up my speedfil on the front, added my race nutrition of gummy bears and jelly beans. Made sure tyres were fine, checked gearing was in the right place. Once satisfied with the bike, I made my way over to a quiet spot and chilled till putting on my wetsuit.
My general start of an Ironman is chilled. I stay to myself and get focused. As I was preparing my mind for what lay ahead of me, I get a message from my coach, Perry. He is honestly such a legend. We work so well together. The WhatsApp message said ‘Remember this race is a big training day for you ok, nothing more’. I knew exactly what this meant.
Don’t get out there and smash myself silly, as I have Ironman Wales in less than 4 weeks. Don’t worry coach, I listened.
Wetsuit on, dropped of my white gear bag in the designated bins and made my way to the swim warm up section.
Got into the water and who do I see, both Barry and Stephen. I am like how on earth did you recognise me, and Barry says ‘You cannot miss those nails’. Love it.
We all had a little warm up swim. Note – it is a salt water swim in a man made lagoon off the ocean. Very well protected. Conditions were perfect. No wind, water temp was fine and no sign of any jellyfish.
It was time to get into our allocated pens.
When we got closer to our turn to line up, there was a further breakdown of times. I chose 1:13 – 1:15. I have not swum a lot in the past couple of months. So I felt that a PB swim wasn’t in the tank but I was hopeful for a 1:15.
Swim – 1:15:29
If you watched my video on Instagram or Facebook, I mentioned that when it got to my turn to line up, and the 6 second sound goes off, a particular song came on and I was like you have got to be kidding me.
I quickly digress, many weeks ago during the early weeks of my sudden breakdown in my marriage, I sent a song to my ex ‘Wish you well’ sung by Sigala ft Becky Hill. The lyrics is so on point. If you haven’t heard it before, here is the link to the song.
Anyway as I stand there waiting to enter the water, the song blasts and I am like, you know what I wish myself fucking well now too. Let’s go and have great training day!
Buzzer goes off and off I went.
To be hones the swim was really quite fun. Swim out to the first buoy, buoys on your left and then turn to swim straight down to the bottom of the man made lagoon before turning left again, then straight down to the other end. Under a couple of bridges out and back. Spectators cheering from each of the bridges and there were nice signs letting you know how many meters you had swum.
Once at the bottom, a couple more buoys to turn around and then straight in.
The swim was great. I loved every minute. I found some fast feet when I wanted a little break. Love my wetsuit too. So freaking comfortable. Plus I was testing my Stomp the Pedal trisuit. Felt bloody great.
I exited the water and as you can see from the pics below, I was wrapt. No idea of time. Cause even though I was wearing a watch, the universe wasn’t having it. It literally died just moments before the race. It would not even turn on.
T1 – 6:35 (this can be a lot faster)
All went smoothly. Grabbed my bag. Ran to the end where there was plenty of room. Got my wetsuit off, all the gear on, and then headed out. It was a long run down the red carpet to my bike, but I was grateful it was soft underneath, as I was running on my cleats in my carbon bike shoes.
Bike – 5:50:31
Once on my bike, I am so in my happy place. Now, if you follow me on social media, you will know I pretty much ride my bike 99% of the time on trainer. For many reasons really, main one being it is so bloody convenient for me and safe. I don’t spend all this money on races, coach, travelling, accommodation etc for some twat to knock me off or to be hurled abuse. So all my bike fitness comes from riding the turbo. (I have a Tacx Neo, thanks to my ex husband who bought it for me for my birthday one year).
Right so, the course. The first 10kms out of the town centre is technical. Lots of turns, cornering, some tight corners, a no pass zone over a small bridge, a few rises and speed humps. All doable, just be smart about it. I was cautious purely as it had been raining and there are a lot of white lines, and the last thing I wanted to do was slide and come off and worst take someone else out.
Once out of town, it is a sweet course. Yes, it is fast. A fucking load of drafting was going on. Really pissed me off to be honest. I spent a lot of sections, having to pass large trains of people. Then out of nowhere a pack of riders would go past. Mate, I had no shame in calling them out. Some were so damn close I rode past them and said to the guy on the back, ‘why don’t you go even closer and get even more of draft from the guy in front’. I didn’t care. As packs went by, guys and girls, I yelled ‘Cheats’
The worst is when you are riding a good 12 meters behind someone and some twat of a bloke comes up next to you as he is passing (cool) and then he slides directly in front of you. When that I happened, I yelled out ‘Sorry mate, you are gonna have to ride a freaking further up than that’.
So this is where I burnt a number of matches. Outside of that, I was loving the bike. There was a little bit of wind, crosswind, a little bit of rain, and it was overcast, but overall a freaking cool bike leg.
We rode through some cool scenery, and onto bike paths. Quite enjoyable.
Now I had no idea of my time, and to be honest I didn’t care. After riding indoors on the trainer, I was just having fun riding outside.
My nutrition was fancy mix of gummi bears and yummy sour jelly beans. I had Tailwind and Precision Hydration in my bottles. I grabbed bananas from the aid station and a couple of bottles of Enervit to fill my speedfill, but I kept my concentrated PH and Tailwind in my main bottle.
Coming back into town, again was a bit technical but hey at this point you just want to get off and start the next leg, ha ha ha.
As I came into the dismount, I had no idea there were bike handlers, this was not mentioned at all during race briefing. I was not disappointed at all. I handed the bike off after having an enjoyable ride.
T2 – 3:42
Grabbed my run bag, ditched the bike gear, put the Stomp the Pedal trucker on, run shoes and off I went.
Time to show off my gorgeous suit and test out the rest of it on the run leg. The suit performed beautifully on the bike. Chamois got the #hoohahproof approval. I can say that it is #hoohahtastic ladies!
Run – 5:32:43
Now for my weakest leg. My coach and I know this is not my best discipline. So we train my strengths. Swim and bike. Works well for me. But the day will come where I will need to pull my finger out and actually run in training.
All I knew was that I had 4 x 10km loops ahead of me and honestly at this point I am like, this is a training day Tarsh, so let’s get the shuffle on and get to that finish line.
I must have been I don’t know 3km into the run, where I see Hayley. I run up to her, stop and ask her, Hayley what did I swim and bike.
Bless her, she got her phone out and pulled me up on the tracker, as she was tracking me an she was like, Tarsh you did like a 1:15 swim and I was like, oh fab. I was happy with that. Then she said to me, but Tarsh, you rode a sub 6 bike. I was like, no freaking way, you are lying. Then she showed me the tracker, and there it was 5:50. I was like fucking no way!!
I was so freaking over the moon. I said to her, OMG that is like a 30 min PB!!!! She then said to me, Tarsh go run lol.
Well that news kept me on cloud 9 for at least two laps. I honesty could not believe it.
I have wanted to ride a 5:40 bike leg for so long, that has always been a little goal for me, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I was capable of getting so close right now. Especially with all the emotional shit I have endured the past 2 months!
Look the run was uneventful for me other than seeing friends along the course, getting loads of cheers, so many compliments on the suit, seeing fellow friends racing and cheering them on.
Note – the food at the aid stations was crap in my opinion. Shit loads of Enervit stuff, some biscuit and the usual Red Bull, Energy drink, Cola and water. I highly recommend for this race, you have special needs with the food that you will want to eat. i.e., salty chips, snickers bar, mars bar, anything that your heart desires.
Also, the special needs bags are help yourself. I.e. no one is finding it for you and handing it to you. Got to do it all yourself. Also you had to sift through the bags to find yours.
Oh I lie. I did have 3 port aloo stops, so great opportunity to test the suit coming on and off quickly, and whilst wet, as it was raining for a large part of the run leg for me.
Happy to report the suit again, freaking worked a treat. Also it dries pretty quick too.
As I came in for my final 100ms of the run leg, I saw the red carpet, turned the corner and freaking celebrated every second of that that finish line.
My photos show you how freaking grateful I was for my mind, body and spirit getting me to the finish line of my 12th Iron distance race.
When I crossed the line, I still didn’t know my finish time, I was still celebrating in my head o my epic bike leg, that when I saw my name and finish time with a 12 in front of it, I freaking cried my eyes out.
I had done it. I had finally gotten that elusive 12 hour Ironman time, during one of the most difficult time of my life.
Final time of 12:49:18
Thanks to EVERYONE who has/have and still supports me in everything I do. So many of you I have never met in person, but yet with the power of social media, I feel like I know you and you know me. I am the same person in real life as I am in the social media world!
Big CONGRATULATIONS to the following first time Ironman finishers that I know – Connie Tram, Anne-Marie Benoy, Laura Ongaro. Shout out also to the all my friends that finished another Ironman, Stephen Palmer, Mike Huckle, Chantel Coetzer, Laura Fidler, Rob Arkell, Kerry Wiltshire, Elena Fletcher, Dave Mantle and I am sure there are loads more. YOU ARE A FREAKING IRONMAN!
Finally, my coach, Perry Agass. We have only been back together since 1st July and holy shit mate, I have such respect for you. Not only did you get me prepared for this race, you have been such an emotional support the past 6 weeks, I am so grateful.
Bring on Wales hey!
Thank you for reading my epic long race report.
I hope you find some of it beneficial.
Till next time
Copyright Tarsh Wendt 2021
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Hey, I'm Tarsh! Passionate, fun-loving Aussie now based in London. Founder of activewear label Stomp The Pedal, podcaster, motivational speaker and multiple Ironman triathlete. Thanks for visiting my site!