IMUK 2020

Rookie goes for 4 in a row @ IMUK ‘DIY Style’ Week 24 of 28



After the relative hedonistic thrill of trying to race ten mile TT’s and having a good crack at a single lap of the 47 mile IMUK bike circuit, it was back down to earth with a bang this week as I took part in the annual training session that I simply refer to as……..


It goes like this….

45 Minute swim in pennington flash

14 mile ‘pre loop’ flash to babylon lane

2 laps of the iconic 47 mile IMUK bike circuit (94 mile total)

14 mile back to flash….

Total miles on bike after a 45 min swim…..122

Do you know where you can get to if you drive 122 miles north of Bolton?


Fookin Scotland…..

This is insanity…..

Here is how it went….

Swim…. 45 minutes in Pennington flash

Who in their right mind books a day off work and sets their alarm nice and early so they can go and train for an event that was cancelled months ago?

Who in their right mind goes for a swim in Pennington flash???

Thing is, when you are on holiday somewhere nice and hot, going for a dip in a tranquil, crystal clear, luke warm ocean is perfectly normal behaviour…

Going for a swim in the freezing cold, dull grey, vast expanse of water that is Pennington flash, which represents hardcore open water swimming on an Industrial scale, is not….

Even in the middle of Summer, the flash is icy cold….

True Ironmen beat their chest, let out a primevil roar, dive off the jetty and begin swimming straight away….

That is not what I do….

I ‘prance’ around by the side for a good 5 minutes waiting for my body to acclimatise…..

If you think I am diving straight into the flash you can get fooked…..

Once acclimatised, the swim went well….

I managed 4 laps before being kicked out by the lads in the canoes….

“That’s yer lot Rookie now piss off’

My own fault, I should have gone down earlier….

As I made my way to transition I spotted another ‘loon’ – wetsuit round waist, bike ‘waiting to go’ in front of his car…..

Turns out he was a kindred spirit who is also ‘going anyway’ making his own DIY Ironman circuit down Knutsford way…..

Maybe I don’t need to go and see a shrink afterall….

We debated whether to wear our jackets for our upcoming ‘monster’ rides….

Boy am I glad I chose to do that….

14 mile pre-loop flash to Babylon Lane 1 hour

This was fairly un-interesting really except for the fact that I got absolutely piss wet through and it took me an hour, just like this hellish 14 mile grind always does

47 Mile IMUK bike circuit lap 1 3:20

It rained non stop for pretty much the entire first 3 hours of this lap.

I was freezing, I was soaked, I couldn’t see properly.

The only thing I could see was my breath, which is a joke, given the time of year.

It felt more like the middle of winter than the middle of summer.

This really pissed me off.

It’s meant be June ffs.

I sulked all the way round like a big kid and was feeling far more fatigued at various points than expected…..

Whilst I was relatively pleased with my 3:20 performance given the conditions, I was more than a little apprehensive at what lay ahead…

47 Mile IMUK bike circuit lap 2 : 3:45

I have long since forgotten what lap 2 of the 2017 IMUK bike circuit feels like after ‘all of the above’

‘Racing’ a single 47 mile lap is extremely enjoyable and a lot of fun…..

2 laps is the complete opposite of ‘enjoyable’ and a ‘lot of fun’

It’s horrendous…..

The pain you experience the whole way round lap 2 after the prior shenanigans…..

Your legs hurt, your arse hurts, your back hurts, your shoulders hurt, your neck hurts……

Everything hurts….

Your body is screaming at you to stop….

And who could ever forget that dreadful feeling 80 miles in when you have no energy left but still have a further 2 hours of pedalling left to do???…

Sheep House lane 2nd time round is simply horrific…..

The many smaller climbs are magnified ten fold….

The bit from Croston to Hunters 2nd time is a complete slog….

Hunters Hill 100 miles in is bang out of order….

I’ll be honest with you….

Numerous times today I said to myself ‘this is ridiculous’ and ‘never again’……

Don’t think I have ever been so pleased to see Babylon lane in my entire life….

Babylon back to flash

Limped back a broken man


45 minute swim then just over 8 hours for the important bit of the bike (112 mile)

Change the swim to 90 minutes which is what it will be on ‘race day’ and that little lot gives us 9 and a half hours versus a cut off of 10:30….

Bang on plan

Question is….

Could I have ran a marathon after all that?


No chance….

All I wanted to do was to eat food, have a bath and go to bed…..

Slightly worrying that isn’t it?

Let’s have it right….

This is madness….

Utter madness…..

But you know the worst bit?….

After a couple of days……

You’ll want to do it all over again my friend….

Next update 20th June – 3 weeks to go (oh shit)

Strava link to ‘pre loop’ & lap 1

Lap 2 (bat died – can anyone lend me another watch? – mine is clearly designed for Kona qualifiers only)

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