Ironman UK Bolton
19th July

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Official Results

  3.8k Swim 180.2k Bike 42.2k Run Total
Nicholas Beardow 1.23.07 6.17.05 4.19.35 12.13.12

Paul Coombes

1.09.40 7.07.43 5.09.28 13.49.01

I chose to do Ironman Bolton for one main reason. I reckoned that it would be my best chance to qualify for Kona, the Ironman World Championships held each year in Hawaii. To do so I needed to come in the top two of my age group (55-59) or get lucky with the roll down.

I felt I had a good swim, though the time was a little disappointing. Ironman has introduced a rolling start for the swim, with the time taken from when you cross the mat just before you enter the water. This was much better and appreciated by all. Not so much fighting!

I loved the bike. It suited me with lots of climbing, fast downhill sections and technical. The only reason I didn't ride faster was the strength of the wind - over 25km/h, and more on the exposed Pennines - and I don't like wind.

When I finished the bike, I was in 6th place and only 4 minutes behind 2nd and a place at Kona. All went well for the first 10 miles and then I bonked. I am not sure why. I had eaten plenty on the bike and even grabbed every opportunity to fuel up on the run. But I suddenly felt weak and dizzy and even wondered if I could carry on. I recovered for the next 12 miles or so and then it happened again. The last part, even though much of it was downhill, was a slow Ironman shuffle and wobbly walk. I was sure all my age group rivals were coming past me. Certainly it felt like lots of the old folks were passing me by. 

In the end I was 4th, so I had made up two places, and these old folks must have been younger than me! But I was not 2nd and it not good enough for Kona. Or was it? Incredibly at the awards ceremony and Kona slot roll down, it rolled down to me and I am off to Kona in October. I am so happy!