Total Time 15:31:51
The town of Pentiction is a great venue for an Ironman. The weather certainly played it's part, hottest day since 1974, high humidity and bush fires that made your throat sore.. The swim was amazing with over 2,600 finishers, you can be sure there were more at the start fighting for that same bit of water. Fresh water lakes are great, but the congestion at the turn around for me resulted in a kick in the ribs, which made freestyle quite painfull, so breast stroke it was for the final 1.8km, yet still put in a reasonable time.
I bitched and moaned about the pain from the swim, but this was nothing in comparison to the announcement that was made after the event - "Athlete Passes Away at Subaru Ironman Canada - It is with great sadness that Ironman Canada Triathlon announces the death of an athlete at the 2009 Subaru Ironman Canada event. Wally Wiwchar aged 66 passed away on Sunday, August 29th after experiencing difficulties during the swim portion of the race." It really put things into perspective.
Now I heard the bike was a bit of a tough course, so I left the P3 at home an opted for my Giant OCR Comp, which was better suited to the hills. I was flying on the bike keeping a nice average over 30 kmph for the first 70 kmph, but some very large hills soon killed me and my overall average dropped to 25.5 kmph. My olde mat Hooksey said, it's not sufficient to do a series of 3hr rides in preparation for an Ironman and I certainly got to understand what he meant as I struggled on the bike. Riding the hills was like climbing the mountains of the Tour de France, loads of spectators ringing cow bells urging you up the hills, what an experience.
Getting off the bike I soon realised that in all the heat I hadn't taken on enough water and was de-hydrated and the ribs were in pain. It's a times like this that you could easily give up as 42km is a long way to walk. I decided however that I was going to get myself that medal, so walked off the pain, re-hydrated myself and got into that slow ironman shuffle by the turnaround.
As always, met some great people of the run, Rachelle (a Canadian School Teacher) inspired me to keep shuffling along and get to the end as she was completing her first ironman. It was a long day at the office, I hadn't trained nearly as much as I should have done, but I got the t-shirt and the medal.
I have this theory that Ironman Canada is just like “The Mousetrap”, a murder mystery play by Agatha Christie. The Mousetrap opened in the West End of London in 1952, and has been running continuously since then. The play is known for its twist ending, which at the end of every performance the audience is asked not to reveal to preserve its long running tradition. As Ironman Canada has just celebrated its 27th running with people queuing up the next day to sign-up for the race which has already sold out for 2010, I think that athletes must be sworn by the same secrecy about how tough the race is, otherwise nobody would do it. I didn’t go to the awards ceremony, just in case this was true, opted for a few drinks with some like minded people instead.