One of our sponsored athletes Sam Proctor has just completed his first ever Ironman event. Not only did he smash it, but he finished 8th with the 2nd fastest time on debut by a Brit ever! Sam has very kindly provided us with a blog of his race report.
IRONMAN Texas North American championships would be my first start on an IRONMAN start line.
My first attempt at an IRONMAN, and something that I was truly excited about doing. It being my first I didn’t really set myself any expectations other than to finish and put together a performance I could be proud of. Nerves seemed low leading into the race, just excitement about racing my first IRONMAN.
While out in Texas, I was staying with my training partner (Kim Morrison’s) family. This was a great set up prior to the race as I felt so at home and relaxed it seemed to take any pre-race stress out. I’m sure they loved my constant cleaning and OCD ways…
Race morning we were faced with the decision that it was going to be a non-wetsuit swim. At 06.25 I lined up on the start line in my Zone3 ‘sleeeeved’ swim skin. 52.12 later I was climbing out of the Woodlands canal and swim complete.. ahead of Skippy!
Onto the bike I rode the first 45 minutes solo, the swim had broken up and no real groups formed until a bit later on. After about 30k I was joined by Kyle Buckingham and then shortly followed by Matt Hanson and Joe Skipper.. Just saying that to myself gives me goose bumps… I know, newbie PRO.
I managed to ride with these guys until around 120k until Michaell Weiss came along and pulled the stronger cyclists away. The last 60k I rode solo, coming into transition with a bike time of 4.26.40. Unknown to me at the time Kim was dropping some watts and rode within 10 minutes of my bike split and setting a course record in the process.. That’s another bottle of red I owe her..
Time to run a marathon.. First thought, don’t be a dick Sam, remember it’s a marathon. But, it is a race I didn’t come just to beat Skipper out of the swim.. Remembering to relax, keep form strong, keep hydrated and fuelled. 2 laps down, 1 to go. 8th.. a ‘pay day’ at a regional championships for my debut IRONMAN! Please don’t F it up Sam… first role down slot for Kona, keep pushing on. I tried, but in front was Michaell Weiss who had already got a slot, catching him wouldn’t have made a difference, the goal was Kyle Buckingham in 6th. That kept me pushing on through the last lap, I gave it everything but the guys in front were running just as ‘quick’. A marathon time of 2.50.18 (the GARMIN said 2.49..) and crossing the line proud of the performance I had strung together.
IRONMAN Texas – 8th in 8.14.12
To round off a great day it was nice to find out that my time is the 2nd fastest British debut IRONMAN time, Tom Lowe did 8.10 at Arizona in 2010.
This weekend has really exceeded any expectations I had coming into IRONMAN Texas and I’m looking forward to lining up on another IRONMAN start line soon.