Saturday, 20 June 2009

Lanzarote Ironman 2009 - Bring on the wind!!!

The motto says it all. "Normal limits do not apply." and Its billed as "The toughest Ironman in the World".

It's hard to say what makes the Ironman Lanzarote course so tough. There's heat, high winds, and a challenging bike course that winds its way up and down two mountains.A swim is a swim, and the 2-loop ocean swim is a great way to start the long day. The bike course is where things get really tough for roughly 1300 competitors. By the time all is said and done, we will have climbed more than 2,600 meters (that's 9,000 feet!). Oh, lest we forget, there is still the run. The out-and-back run course is relatively flat. What makes it so tough are the winds, and the heat ... and the fact that it's a marathon

I had a great race with everything more or less going to plan. We had typical Lanzarote weather with a head wind from Yaiza all the way to Mirador del Rio; we even had 10 mins of rain!!!
It was a tough day for age groupers and Pro’s alike with Bert Jammer narrowly missing a herd of goats, crossing the road, whilst on the decent to Famara.

The swim was frantic and the current was pushing us into the buoys. Exiting the water for the second lap was exhausting, but good for the spectators, and I managed a smile before entering the water for another pummelling.
The head wind from Yaiza was tough and strung out the field, Going up Haria I was pushing 450 watts, holding just 8kmh!!
I could have walked quicker….

I had a solid bike and I managed my ‘Ironman marathon PB’, so I was really happy. I used only Infinit on the bike and gels and water on the run… I had no stomach issues and felt strong the whole way through. Getting your nutrition right is as important as all the hours you put into your training; I took two bottles with six scoops of infinit in each and consumed 1/3 of a bottle per hour, chasing it down with water from my aero bottle. I’m sure this contributed to my 3.08 marathon as I ran pretty consistent splits off the bike. The crowds support was awesome and because it’s a loop marathon course, where you collect a different coloured band each loop, it’s easy to focus on attaining the next band to stay motivated.

Although I qualified for Kona, I’ve decided to make 2009 a build year, for a dream year in 2010.
It was a tough decision, but I didn’t accept my slot for Kona. I want to attain a top 10 position in my age there and I think I will need longer than 4 months to build for this

I have a place at IM Wisconsin (Sept 13th) which has slots for 2010 and it will be my goal to qualify there.

To sum up, Its nice to finish first British Age grouper, 20th overall, and its good to come away from a race believing that its still possible to go faster. Lanza is such a well organised race and Kenneth Gasque the Race Director makes all the competitors feel really welcome. I’ve already registered for 2010!!

SWIM 1:03:48
BIKE 5:33:17
RUN 3:08:34
DIV.POS. 8th in age group

1st Brit

Copyright ©2009 Stuart Anderson

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