As I eat what feels like my 100th carb based meal in the last 72 hours, I’ve had time to reflect on what both Tom and I have achieved since we set out on the road to Hamburg.
Sunday was the penultimate triathlon in our race calendar, to be topped off by the bad boy itself on 28th July. And maybe just saying “triathlon” undersells the Yorkshireman Triathlon we competed in. The full distance event is the same distance as a full Ironman – 2.4 mile swim; 112 mile cycle; 26 mile run. To test ourselves we signed up for the “half” to gauge our level of training. As simple as halving all of the distances across the disciplines.
The Half Yorkshireman is the exact same as an Ironman 70.3, you just don’t get the credit or kudos as if you’d have competed in the branded event. But it’s just as hard and most definitely an almighty achievement for anyone to do one.
When we signed up for Hamburg last year, most people we told were quick to tell us we needed to train for a later event, “why don’t you do one in 2020? It’ll give you more time to train”. And we’ve had our fair share of awkward silences when we’ve told many an experienced athlete about the challenge we’d set our sights on.
I have to say the most memorable comment was at our first foray into open water swimming less than two months ago. As I turned up stinking of booze and drinking a red bull to ease the “flu”, I reckon we couldn’t have looked anything farther from Triathletes if we’d tried. When asked what we were training for and giving them the old “Ironman Hamburg in July” response, the chap from Wakefield Tri Club asked “oh so do you do half’s now then?…” – looking back, I don’t even think I responded. Maybe just laughed. Or the internal monologue answered for me in my head. Who knows.
But now, that response is a firm yes. Yes we do.
We are your average Joes if you have ever seen one. We eat crap. We drink pints. We haven’t followed a strict training regime to the minute and hour. But what we have done over the last 6 months is lived and breathed everything triathlon with Hamburg in our sights. I’m sick of talking about energy gels and bum butters. We’ve both had some ups and downs in 2019 so far, but we’ve trained every hour we possibly can in our busy lives.
We’ve squeezed in the long rides at 6am on a Saturday morning in the wind and rain.
We’ve dragged our arses out of bed on a Sunday morning to jump into a murky lake, our 3 balls retreating into the depths of our body for warmth.
We’ve got ourselves out in all weathers to fit in our 5k and 4 mile runs on our lunch breaks when we have an hour to spare!
We’ve laughed. We’ve fallen off bikes. We’ve broken bones. We’ve squeezed each other into figure hugging Lycra. We’ve probably cried at some point too.
I couldn’t have asked for a better training partner to share all that with.
We are average swimmers. We are average cyclists. We are average runners. But all in all, we are pretty damn good at this triathlon lark. But we have grafted to get there. If you’d have asked me 6 months ago if I thought we’d have a “half” distance under our belt at this point, I’d have shook my head. We not only finished it, we both had cracking times to boot. Mind over matter every single time. People train for years to achieve those medals.
Now we’ve got our own.
And we deserve it.
We’ve just got one more to collect come 28th July.
Me and Tom are fundraising for Movember, a charity addressing some of the biggest health concerns that men face; prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention. By competing in Ironman we aim to raise awareness for the Movember and have pledged a target of £5000.
Check out our JustGiving page below👇🏻