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Race Report Copenhagen Ironman August 2018 by Trycha Darling

I thought I’d let Jonty write this then I realised his race as a NINE times ironman was a very different one to mine. A year ago I entered this ironman so there was a very long build up. Jonty said he would do it as well because he does at least one each year and he hadn’t done this one. I also got my brother in law Nigel to enter he us always up for a challenge.  I signed up with a coach from Challenge Tri Camp and started training in November. It was relentless.

The training occupied a lot of my physical time but what I didn’t expect was it took up a lot of mind space as well . We jetted off to Copenhagen on the Thursday morning early. Large breakfast in the oyster and caviar bar to get me started.  We were staying in house very near the start . It was a great place to stay easy tube to town and airport and plenty of space. After various recce and trying but not succeeding to outdo Jonty with ironman gear the start day arrived. The day was perfect. Warm but overcast.  The swim was in a sea lagoon so salt water but protected. I had decided to go off at the front of the last swim wave this proved to be a good decision as I swam freely all the way round. Nigel who started 6 sec behind me did manage to have a head on collision!!!  I had decided anything under 1:30 would be fine so when I looked at my watch and saw 1:20 it felt great to have a good start. Now off on the bike. No nudity allowed so I picked up my bag and headed into the tent to change into my CWTC cycling kit.#

The bike course was lovely. The first section through town and then a very flat 25 km up a coast road. We then turned on land and were on pretty country roads with a rolling terrain . Nothing too steep so I stayed in my big ring all the way. Towards the end of the first loop of two was the steepest part and this hill was decked out with spectators like the Tour. It gave me a great boost and I powered past lots of young guns.  At 95 km I started on the second loop. This was a bit hard as the road was quieter with a lot of people off to the finish. However I knew my wonderful support team were just up ahead and that kept my spirits up I had also decided to stop just past 100 km to pick up water bottles and go to the loo .I passed my support daughter Alice and nieces Joan and Jane who had just flown in from a family wedding that morning. Big shouts of encouragement and a SLOW DOWN. They were worried I was going to blow up as I was well inside my target of 8 hrs.  I enjoyed the flat sea stretch for the second time and when I turned to go cross county started thinking only 60 Km to go. After another 20 km I realised I could go under 7 hours if I kept pushing. The hill was much quieter second time around but shortly after it I headed back onto town. I nearly got wiped out by a cyclist crossing the road and I heard a very Scottish CAREFULL come from my lips.  My hands shoulders back hips and knees were really painful by now and I concentrated on thinking how lovely it would be to be off the bike. I didn’t let myself think about running s marathon at this stage. I did 6:47 on the bike so I now knew that unless I collapsed I was going to finish this race. I had been worried before the start that I might not make the cut off time of 15:45.

T2 was down a small slope into a car park. My bike was whipped away I picked up my bag and went into the changing area to get into my run gear. No rushing but no dithering either.  On exiting T2 my support had now swelled as daughter no 2 Jills and her partner Miles had arrived from the aforementioned wedding. A quick hug to all and off I ran. Someone had said to me to run the first 10 km before you start the run walk thing that lots of people do so my plan was to run 20 km then let myself walk a bit if ness. The course consisted of two out and backs in each direction from the finish and you did 4.5 loops picking up 4 different coloured bands. It was a bit depressing picking up the first band and seeing people with 3-4 bands on heir wrists so I concentrated on getting to each water stop drinking there and told my self I could get a rest at 20 km.  My support were in a great place and I passed them at the start and finish of each loop. At 20 I’m I felt ok so said to myself keep going and rest at 30 km. I did walk as I went thro the drink stations as it’s difficult to drink and run and I didn’t want to run out of steam.  I had expected to run a lot in the dark but it was only the last few km. as I turned into the finisher tunnel the night lights were on and a huge smile came on my face I had done it in 13 hr 45. Nigel and Jonty were waiting for me and we all had a quick massage then off to the pub for a Mojito for me with all our entourage  It was an absolutely wonderful experience the day was marvellous and the whole weekend was made brilliant by my amazing family. I won’t say I couldn’t have done it without them because I could but it wouldn’t have been so wonderful. I couldn’t have done it it however without my coach Michael Hallas I trusted in his program and it didn’t let me down.

Big thanks to all of you at the tri club for inspiring and encouraging me.