Ironman UK...My Why?
As I'm writing this, I'm just a couple of days out from finally doing my first Ironman since 2019. Exciting times!!
It's not been because I haven't wanted to do one since, actually following doing Ironman Copenhagen I wanted to use the momentum from that race and continue to work towards transferring the decent Age Group results I'd had at middle-distance over to long-distance. So I should have been on the start line for Ironman South Africa in 2020 but unfortunately, this coincided with when the world began to lock down due to Covid-19 and was postponed as a result. Following this, I transferred my entry to Ironman UK for 2021. I'd always wanted to return to do what essentially is my home race. For those that don't know, it's in my home town, I live right by the bike course, it was my first Ironman and was excited to go back after 5 years. Whilst the event took place in 2021, unfortunately, covid-19 wasn't over, and travel restrictions to the UK from the UAE meant it wasn't financially viable or even a sensible thing to do. So I had to pull out of the event 4 weeks before it took place. Luckily Ironman Europe was very understanding and allowed me to transfer it to this year, 2022.
So now we're here, why Ironman UK?
Well for me, this is where I got inspired to take up triathlon. Spectating on Chorley New Road one year, seeing the streets full of people supporting the athletes during the marathon after they'd already completed a 3.8km swim and 180km bike, I just thought wow! Then after doing the event for the first time in 2016, I found a new respect for anybody who's completed this event as you're one tough b*****d if you have as it was tough then and with changes to bike course over the years, I believe it's harder now (in my opinion). So this race is home, it's tough and an honest course. You will not see packs of riders blatantly cheating unlike in many of these flat courses.
What are my expectations?
Pre-event last year, I really just wanted the event over and done with. I was really tired and fatigued from the early mornings, suffering in the early summer humidity/heat that the UAE serves up and training in general. If I'm totally honest part of me was dreading building back up for an Ironman again as last year felt like a sufferfest every day. Clearly, something had to change this year as that shouldn't ever be the case. So I took a different approach with my training and I was extremely lucky that my current employers and clients were very understanding when I asked to come back to the UK to race this summer, could I stay between races and work remotely. So I'm forever grateful for their support! This change of approach has brought me to race week feeling strong, fresh and raring to go. I couldn't ask for anything more you'd say. So what's the plan...I haven't set any targets or ambitions apart from going out there, enjoying every minute of it and giving it the best I possibly can on the day. Ironman UK attracts some of the strongest athletes from the UK and other parts of the world every year. So to be on the start line with so many talented athletes and many that I've actually looked up to since I got into the sport is a privilege, so I'll enjoy every minute of that. I will have family and friends on the sidelines too which always means a lot! Some may be disappointed I'm not saying I'm going to do this or that, but that's not me! I love racing and when the gun goes it's every man and woman for themselves, but I respect so many of those competing this weekend and I can't wait to share the course with them. If anybody reading this is competing, good luck, have a great race and stay safe!
See you on the others side! @mdewhursttri
Special thanks to my family, friends, all of the Innerfight community, my coach & my sponsors for then amazing support all year round! I know I'm in a very lucky position to be supported by them. So please check them out