Stephen Porter Ironman UK Race Report

Ironman 2017 Race Report
Thought it was going to be a nice easy run up the few days before but boy was I wrong. Thursday, Friday and Saturday flew by, probably because I was so busy going backwards and forwards to Bolton, Pennington Flash and Middlebrook for all the things that needed to be done (some optional but I wanted to get everything I could out of this weekend so I did everything).
Saturday night came and in bed for 8 ish, alarm set for 3am so we can be out the house for 4, not a problem getting to sleep but did wake up early at 2:20am. Jumped up to look out the window at the weather, not good, Dark, Dismal and throwing down with rain, plenty time for it to change yet I thought. Wasn’t getting any more sleep now so just lied on the bed thinking about the day to come until my alarm went off at 3.
No nerves yet and not a problem eating breakfast, 3 Weetabix and a banana, everyone is up and ready, make sure I have everything for the swim and after the race and off we go.
Arrive a Sports Village about 4:20, it’s still dark and raining a bit, quite a few people and cars about but still quiet. It’s a funny feeling walking over to PF, can’t explain it just a funny feeling. Thinking I have plenty of time I hang around for a while before going putting food and stuff on the bike, when I do go and do it I take my time to make sure I have everything right and then head back out of T1. I get near the Invictus crew and stop, I’ve forgot something, Debbie B shouts to me ‘are you ok Stephen’, ‘I’ve forgot something’ I replied and run back to my bike. Fleetsmart tracker was still in my tri-suite pocket. Maybe not the best idea to swim with it. That sorted a quick change into wetsuit, pictures done and in the swim que. Seamed like a long wait to get going but managed to see the family as we passed and in the water, we went.
Not a lot to tell on this, No fists, No elbows, No dunking. It was quite roomy and had a good one, a bit of drifting but nothing to bad and got out with the time expected.
T1 felt like it was taking me ages, I did finally get to my bike and onto the mount line at the side of Jack, took it easy out of PF and had a quick chat and then off we went. Nice steady start was the thought in my mind for a good few miles. First time through Sheep House and an encounter with the Wrestlers and the Belmont Bunny. Going down into the dip before the car park at the top the Wrestlers stood, 4 of them with their hands held out for the high five. Big grin on the face as I pass, 1, 2, 3, hold on 4th one isn’t a hand, that’s the Belmont Bunny. Can’t take my hand away in time, High fived the bunny, God only knows where that thing has been, Gloves have been disinfected and washed. Belmont was windy and wet so nothing new there, Hunters was steep and hard so nothing new there, what was new was this load racket coming from the top of Hunters, I could hear it before I could see it but I already knew it was the INVICTUS SUPPORT CREW. Now looking forward to a trip up Babylon Lane, another trip over sheep house and then round to hunters the time and miles just flew by and I was soon heading to T2
T2 felt like it was taking me ages, didn’t help by the fact that I had needed a wee for the past 2 hours and my feet where in really bad pain from the moment I stepped off the bike. I couldn’t walk properly and my first thought was how the hell am I going to run. Now I had refused to stop for a wee on the bike and seeing as I have still not had one in my wet suit I certainly wasn’t having one on my bike but my feet pain made me forget about that and I missed the toilets going in. Sat down with my bag and got ready putting my trainers on last after giving them a little bit of TLC. Decided to take a couple of pain killers and then remembered they are on my bike, luckily, I had packed some Iburofen in my bag so took them instead as I was no way going backwards. As I came out of T2 I heard someone shout me, looked to see my sister on the other side of the fence, what a boost that was at just the right time. Ran around for a big hug, forgot about the feet and the wee that was needed and off I ran, for about 100 meters to the biggest hill I’ve ever seen. Walked up the hill then off again. Seemed a long & lonely time to get to the run loops, by the time I got there the pain in the feet had almost gone but needed a wee again. Being my first time, it was all new running this loop, SOOO many things going through my head on the first loop, how far do I have to run before I turn to come back? How far am I from a feed station? Where will the support crew be? Where will the family be? How far from the town centre am I? And the most important one Where do I get my bands from? I’d probably needed a wee for over 4 hours now (don’t know if I’ve mentioned it already) and I couldn’t wait any longer. Id finished my first lap and was heading towards the top turn around, there was 4 toilets there with only one person in the que so I thought it was a good time to get in. Didn’t have to wait too long, good I thought not losing too much time, stepped into the toilet, locked the door, OMG, the smell was terrible, I turned and the look was worse. There was S*** everywhere!!! On the toilet, the back and sides, the seat, even on the floor. I’d waited so long I wasn’t going back out without a wee so big breath, nearly sick, had a wee and out. The guy waiting next didn’t go in, hope he didn’t think it was me. Anyway, on my 2nd loop now and was getting tough, heading back to Bolton I passed Zoe and Rob, Rob came and had a chat with me for a few hundred yards which helped get my head back in the zone. Passing the Invictus crew on every lap is a brilliant lift and I thank each one of you for being there. Town centre 2nd lap I see Jo, Sophie, Sam, My Mum and Sisters and get the must have hugs. 3rd and final lap, got my last band and heading home, Smiles start to come on my face whilst heading back to Bolton for the last time, now I know for sure that I am going to make it. Went pass the support crew for the last time to the normal cheers and round into the town centre. All the family have moved from where there were so I assume they will be on the finish chute. Onto the red carpet and a quick look for them, nowhere to be seen, so onwards I go, point to your number if you want your name shouting they say so looking down to straighten it out and point is what I did and at the same time tripped on the carpet and nearly fell on my face. Managed to turn it into just a slight stumble forward I carried on to the line and to the finish of a day I will never forget