Ironman 70.3 UK Wimbleball Lake 2011

The weather was appalling and made camping conditions horrendous but on the day the rain and wind finally stopped.   I managed to get good night’s sleep and was ready for battle.  Nothing in this world could have prepared me for the mass swim start, 1600 people taking off at the same time, arms, legs, bodies EVERYWHERE!

I got hit on the back of the neck and was forcefully pushed under the water as I was trying to take a breath and ended up taking in lots water and air.  This resulted in a panic attack and I swam the first 500m in some bizarre fashion whilst trying to regain some composure.  I managed to swim the 1400 m back to shore and claimed back some valuable time even though I did go slightly off course.  Cut off time beaten 49.22

Ironman 70.3 - Wimbleball 2011

The bike was hard even though I had cycled it in training on numerous occasions.  The hills just sapped your energy.  I realised I was going to be cutting it fine so managed to find some spare energy from somewhere and caned the last 6 miles home and  entered transition. Cut off time beaten 4.20.14.

I was somewhat relieved to be able to run and completion was the focus but the thought of running half marathon was somewhat daunting.  I had a bloated stomach and pains that I had managed to dismiss during the bike ride probably due to the intake of water and air in the lake.  I hadn’t taken on many gels or nutrition because it had just aggravated the problem.  The plan was to walk the hills and conserve energy and the first loop went well.  The second loop and my stomach became more painful and I walked a bit more.  The third loop was hard work, I was very tired and cramped but the sight of Julian, Bev and Mark on various points on the run kept me going.  Thanks guys!

I met lots of fabulous people on the course who motivated, inspired you and kept your moral up in those dark moments.

I crossed the line in 8.01.35 after running/walking my slowest ever half marathon in 2.39.02.

Ironman 70.3 - Wimbleball 2011

A tough race that presented me with problems I didn’t anticipate but I finished and now it’s all over I feel ecstatic.  The organisation was incredible and everything ran very smoothly and the crowd support was awesome.

Michelle Francis

Ironman 70.3 - Wimbleball 2011