It’s less than 2 weeks away now, but on Saturday 2nd September I’ll start and (hopefully) finish my own ironman as part of September’s challenge (and challenge number 10 of the year)!
I’ll start at Shepperton Lake at 6:30am (bright and early!) to complete the 2.4 mile (3.8km) swim. This will consist of 4x750m laps, and 2x400m laps.
After the first leg, I’ll change, scoff down some food and caffeine before hopping on to my bike for a 112 mile cycle. The route will go out via Windsor and Henley, into the Chilterns before looping back to my flat in Putney. It should be fast and flat (ish) to maximise my strongest discipline.
The final leg will be the marathon and the part I’m most scared of! I’ll follow the Thames path from Putney Bridge westward, before dropping down to Richmond Park. I’ll then do 2 laps here on the Tamsin Trail before heading back along the river to home and my own finish line!!!
When I explain September’s challenge, most people look astounded that I’d even want to do an Ironman, let alone organise my own! I’ll admit, this one is pretty crazy, but since discovering cycling just over 2 years ago, I’ve always wanted to attempt an Ironman. The scale of the challenge to bring 3 disciplines together over a big endurance event was too enticing!
I had looked at organised events but struggled to find one for September and at (what I considered to be) a reasonable price. Should that stop me completing this challenge? It’s stopped me in the past, delaying it for another year or two, it’s planted that seed of doubt and been used as an excuse not to do something. Not this time! I had a goal, I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. If you have a goal, the biggest hurdle (I find) is committing and saying “yes”.
Organising your own does have its drawbacks – thinking of logistics for food, water, transitions, minimal traffic on routes, accessibility and support were all questions to consider, but when you break those down they’re often solvable by asking for support.
But it also has some huge plus points – there’s less pressure on the day (though I’ll still be aiming to complete it within the ironman timings), I don’t have to travel far to the start and can transition in relative comfort, it’s cheaper and it’s pulled people together. In organising my own I wanted others to be able to take part in all (if they wanted to!) or part of the event, whether it was swimming a couple of laps with me, cycling alongside or dragging me round the run.
So thank you to everyone that has helped so far or has offered to help on the day. It’s been invaluable in getting this crazy idea off the ground and become a (very scary!) reality. I’m excitedly-nervous for it to arrive, bring it on!