5 in a row @ IMUK : Race Day

Rookie Goes for 5 in a row @ IMUK – What happened on race day


I managed to do it….

5 in a row like….

It was another tough day at the office…..

Here is how it went….

Pre race

At least 2 stone overweight and 4 hours kip – not exactly the best start to proceedings is it?

Swim : Lap 1 : 45 mins

Lap 1 was certainly the most physical Ironman swim I have done to date…..

In the past it has all been very gentle and civilised….

Not this time….

It was ‘going off’ all over the place….

Elbows and fists flying everywhere, people trying to swim across you/over you/on top of you, thrashing around like a one legged duck that has just seen a shark….

What the fuck are you doing dude?


If you plan to do an Ironman yourself at some point, my advice would be to go down to your local open water swimming session, ask them when their next ‘pack’ training drill is then purposely position yourself right at the front so you get pummelled over and over again…..

You’ve got to learn how to handle it when things get tasty and not panic…..

Very frustrating though that first lap today….

45 min which I was over the moon with as it was bang on plan….

Lap 2 : 53 mins

This was chalk and cheese as lap 2 was a tranquil stroll through the meadow by comparison – had the perfect line all to myself with not a single ‘fracas’ the whole way round…..

14 mile ‘pre loop’

Around 50 minutes which I was really pleased about as annoyingly I couldn’t get into the water until 6:25 which put me 10 minutes behind schedule but managed to make the time up on this section so started lap 1 bang on plan

Lap 1 : 2 hours

The main thing we are looking forward to on this lap is who is going to be where on the supporter front…..

We had the umpa lumpas of warrington on the feed station in the town centre, tri rivi everywhere, the wrestlers on sheep house, COLT had a great little spot going at the top of Horrobin and the black dog was packed mainly with chorley and countless other clubs no doubt…

They were all ace but for me, Rochdale stole the day with an absolutely brilliant effort at the top of the golf club climb exactly where you needed it most – there were loads of them and the music was pumping – they were still there on my final lap – roaring us on piss wet through – thanks Rochdale you were absolutely awesome today

Lap 2

I had ridden lap 1 way too hard and had plenty of time in the bank so decided to take it easy on my second, the heavens opened and we got absolutely drenched…

One lad had gone through the fence at the bottom of a really steep descent and I hope to goodness he is areet…..(according to FB he got up and walked away thank god)

Over sheephouse and I saw another lad running with his bike….

“Wtf?” I asked him…..

Turned out his bike was knackered, he was on his final lap and was running the rest of the way…

What a legend….

He clearly made it as I never bumped in to him again!

My favourite part of lap 2 came when I got near the black dog and one lad came over with a pint in his hand, pointed directly at me and said “Now then, it’s in the bag”

He was right…..

I had over 3 hours to do the final lap,,,,,

The medal was now mine to lose….

Lap 3

You never stop worrying about tec issues the entire time you are on the circuit…..

Bikes were upside down all over the place & I didn’t half feel for the poor sods…

You find yourself constantly praying to the iron gods….

“Please don’t let that be me”

Thankfully the bike held up….

As I struggled on the hills of Breightmet for the final time, someone stuck in traffic coming in the opposite direction yelled ‘Go on Rookie’ in a thick lancashire accent…..

The haunting cries continued from another lad on the run course as I cycled past him at speed on my way to T2….

Sorry, but an ‘average joe’ can’t experience stuff like this without their soul being touched by it forever…..

Total swim + t1 + bike = 9 h 53 versus a cut of 10h 30

I had arrived into T2 well over 40 minutes inside the cut and now it was time to relax….

I had a brew (yes they actually made me a brew lol) and I was chatting shit to anyone that would listen….

The referees were congratulating me on my 5th, they know more than anyone that once you make T2 within the cut, the sacred medal is virtually guaranteed…..

17 minutes I was in there for which is hilarious but I don’t give a toss, it was time to celebrate, relax, and prepare for what lay ahead……


I decided that I was going to jog the first 20k or so and then take the rest of the day off….

After my second circuit I still had over 4 hours n the bank to complete the final 2 laps and you can walk it in way less than that, which is precisely what I did….

Not the ‘spirit’ of Ironman that, is it?

“Walking” the mara…..

Sorry, but I don’t give a monkeys….

The only way you will understand the pain you experience when you try to jog up Chorley New Road in Bolton as part of Ironman UK is to come and do it my friend….

After 2 laps I was a broken man….

The supporters get you through it though…..

The crowd outside Retreat were absolutely sensational, I haven’t seen support like that since my first IMUK in 2017 – you should all be very proud of yourselves, you were incredible the lot of you…..

In addition to the crowd, the other athletes get you through…..

It felt like hundreds of them were shouting me and the sensation you get when they do that is out of this world….

I don’t deserve it really…..

Afterall, who am I?

I’m a nobody…..

Every single one of you that shouted my name today (as well as those of you in the crowd doing likewise) thank you – thank you from the bottom of my heart – i’m not even going to attempt to name names, you all know exactly who you are…..

16:25 and the 5th sacred medal in a row at Bolton…..

#6 Rookie?

I’ll see you next year cock……

***Massive thanks to Ironman for putting the race on in very difficult circumstances, Bolton council for allowing the show to proceed and every single volunteer, without whom none of this would be possible*****

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