I’m writing this in 2014, so it will be brief and contain only the most memorable monents!
This was my first Ironman and I had absolutely no idea what I would be in for.
So how did I get here?
I had just moved back to Australia in 2005 and had previously completed one Sprint and one Olympic distance tri. I soon hooked up with the tri club here and found myself signed up for my first half ironman in Meningie (SA) in 2005. I had no clue, and an absolute shocker, coming dead last and just making it inside the cut-off of 7:30. BUT this was probably one of the last times you needed to qualify to get int an Ironman. Although I came dead last, there were only 3 in my age group, and none of the above wanted to do an IM. So the spot on offer rolled down to me and I was in!!! Scary huh?
Come race day, I had pulled up with a bit of a chest infection after inhaling some water during a practice swim. So all was probably not going to go well. But this was the first year the race was in Port mac, the atmosphere was fantastic and I was nervous as hell. And determined to finish. Can you say stubborn?
The start was quite emotional, with the mass of people, cannon for a start gun, and choppers overhead. I tried to keep out of the worst of the washing machine, and tried to keep a slow and steady pace. Comfortable.
I began to get wheezy within a few km of getting on the bike, and although I kept taking my ventoin, I didin’t improve. Needless to say it wasn’t fun. I crawled off the bike after 7 and a half hours, having consumed only 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup flat coke, owing to the fact that my breathing difficulties meant I couldn’t keep anything i my stomach. I was feeling pretty bad and getting loads of cramps in my legs – I had to get off the bike a couple of times to stretch.
The run didn’t help things much, and I managed to get into a rhythm of jogging 50 steps and walkign 50. My breathing couldn’t cope with the running effort, but my legs hurt more when I walked. Frying pan-fire sort of stuff. I kept re-calculating my splits as I was determined to make the cut-off. It wasn’t pleasant, but I made it in 16:24. The finish line emotion of that first one was amazing – but the next few weeks of recovery weren’t so inspiring.
I wanted to do another one, but it ended up being a few years until I managed to get all my ducks in a row (including training a heck of a lot more!) and made it to Busselton.
2006 was also the last year you needed to qualify for IM Aus – not you just have to be quick on the keyboard to enter online.