Rookie gets 6 in a row @ IMUK : Race Report

Rookie Does 6 in a row at Ironman UK : 2022 Race report

I managed to do it, 6 in a row at Bolton like…..

Make no mistake…..

Ironman UK has the best supporters in all the land…..

More about them in a minute…..

Today was another tough day at the office….

Here is how it went….

Pre race

4 hours kip because i’m all excited (pathetic given this is my 6th) plus 2 stone overweight which is also pathetic and disrespectful to Ironman really……

Not exactly the most ideal start to proceedings is it?

Swim Lap 1 : 47 min

I did something that I have never done before at IMUK – I spent a good 2 or 3 minutes acclimatizing in the water, also known as prancing about at the side of the pontoon like a fairy, however the stewards appeared to be very impressed about this, giving me a big thumbs up, which didn’t half make me smile ……

Finally gets stuck into it, as you do like and have to say this was one of the most challenging swims I have ever done at IMUK, largely due to the current, which was stronger than I have ever known before, coming directly at you of course….

I felt like I spanked loads of energy fighting it….

I’d arrogantly said my first open water swim of the year was to be at official race practice and was beginning to wonder if this nonchalance attitude was about to bite me in the arse….

By the way, if you are a first timer, it is vital that you spend lots of time mastering the open water swim element (see my book) however for me, it’s a bit like learning to ride a bike….

Once you’ve cracked it, you’ve cracked it cock…..

100 pool lengths does me just fine these days….

Besides, I hate swimming in the flash, don’t get me wrong, Steve and the crew do their best at the weekly sessions but for me, swimming in the flash outside of race day is downright dangerous…..(apologies to those who love it, but unless it’s race day, I am not one of them)

47 minutes and I worked harder than ever, even having doubts if I would make the second lap to be honest…..

Lap 2 @ 48 mins

Lap 2 felt a darn site easier than lap 1, either the current had died down or I needed the ‘warm up’……either way it was a piece of piss by comparison…..

It never ceases to amaze me the way some people swim at IMUK……

You know when you’re on holiday and you see some dad trying to swim front crawl in bermuda shorts with no goggles and doing this shocking version with his head out the water the entire time, moving it from side to side in line with his stroke and stopping after half a length like a nonce?…..

Well I kid you not, but I see people swimming like this at IMUK…….

Wtf are u doing dude?

Get your head in the water lad……

1:36 for the 2 laps, 6 minutes behind plan…..

T2 : 6 minutes – a world record for iron Rookie

12 mile pre loop’ flash to Horwich : 45 min

Nothing of note really other than the fact we turned at the Beehive when I was expecting to turn at the other end of Horwich, a wonderful surprise that saw me starting the main circuit after 2hr 30, bang on plan and over the moon…..

Lap 1 : 2:15

What we are looking forward to here is who is going to be where on the supporter front…..

We had the umpa lumpas of warrington on the feed station in the town centre, a brilliant group dressed in blue at the edgworth turn, the people of churchtown in fine voice, the ever present wrestler dressed in bright yellow having it large outside his mansion……

Tri Rivi on the entwistle feed stop, A lad in the middle of nowhere stood piss wet through with a massive speaker having a one man rave (love that shit) Colt on the climb 3/4 of the way round closely followed by chorley who were doing a great job of making an arch for us to cycle through….

The excellent wrestlers on the big climb near the end, Rochdale further on. and plenty of support on Smithalls dean where we needed it most…….

You’ve got to bear in mind its pissin down with rain and howling a gale yet thousands of em still come out to cheer us on…..

Tugs at yer heart strings that, don’t you think?

For me though, the following stole the show…..

Imagine, if you will, a bloke stood at the top of Green arms road blowing into a fukin cow horn and when he blew into it, it made this noise, like a medieval wilderbeast crossed with a cat type noise, kind of like a ‘Waaawawa’…..

You could hear it for miles and he kept blowing it…….

What makes someone do that shit?

Absolutely brilliant…..

I will take that noise with me to the grave, I really will…..

Lap 2

What was ace about this lap, was the banter with the other athletes as we grinded it out…..

It went like this…..

“Are the pros racing today?”

“No” one lad replied

“Why not” I asked

“Because they are sick of the bloody hills” came the response…..

Love that…..

Further on, a farmer was hard at work in his field next to Smithalls Dean…..

“It absolutely reaks round here” One lad piped up

“It’s him, I swear he’s spreading shit” said another…..

“Bastard could have waited till tomorrow”

I laughed that hard I nearly fell off me bike…..

I was really looking forward to seeing the cow horn bloke again at the top of Green arms but he’d moved to be with the guys in blue at the edgworth turn…..

I wish he would have stayed where he was really as we needed him there but he gave me a final toot on the cow horn all the same…..


That guy is an absolute legend and I hope he comes back every year….

Lap 3 : 2:45

Hurt like hell, I could feel time slipping away but got round all the same , buzzing with 10 hours total for the swim + T1 + bike versus a cut of 10:30……

I counted over 2000 athletes on the start list yet only 1127 made the finish line…..

How many didn’t turn up, time will only tell, but plenty sadly missed the cut on what was yet another tough bike circuit, the wind and rain not helping matters in the slightest…..

I saw a couple of lads being tended to by the ambulance staff at various points today and I hope to goodness everyone is areet…..


I normally get a brew in T2 but this year they told me to piss off as the brews are only for ‘those who need it’…..

In better news, Big G’s mrs was doing some volunteer work in T2 and she kept me going with the chat and a power hug that set me up for the run just perfect


The only way you will understand how it feels to try and run up Chorley new road as part of Ironman UK is to come and do it my friend…..

Pain isn’t the word…..

The supporters get you through it though…..

I seemed to have acquired little pockets of support dotted all around the town centre once again and what I have done to deserve that I will never know…..

Some had megaphones and they weren’t half making me laugh……

In addition, you can imagine what happens when you get a load of pissed up Bolton fans stood outside retreat and I start singing Wanderers songs at them with a big Bolton badge on me tri-suit….

The place erupts mate….

The other thing I adored was plenty of athletes were coming up to me and saying they enjoy reading my blog or liked my book and stuff like this means the world to me, it really does….

Can I just say thank you to every single one of you that did that, you know exactly who you all are…..

In terms of my strategy, I adopted the tried and tested walk up chorley new road then jog back down – stack the cards in my favour like and this worked a treat…..

By the time I got to lap 4 I had over 3 hours in the bank and declared to anyone that would listen the final lap was getting walked and that is exactly what I did….

I walked the entire lap……

“Not the spirit of Ironman that is it Rookie?”

“You’re a disgrace Rookie, walkin the mara”

“Cheating Bastard Rookie”

Do I look like I give a monkeys?

Look at the smile on my face….

Here to here baby…….

As I made my way onto the red carpet and celebrated with the crowd, I spotted one lad who first shouted for me at Pennington Flash over 16 hours ago…..

16 hours he was on his feet for us in the pissin rain……

16 Fukin hours……

And you doubt that Bolton has the best supporters in all the land?

I’ll see you next year cock…..

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By the way, have you heard about this book? its nearly 500 pages crammed full of hints and tips detailing exactly how I was able to go from zero fitness to completing an Ironman triathlon and covers super sprint, sprint, olympic 70.3 & full iron distances all from a ‘first timer’ perspective – please take a moment to read the reviews on amazon

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