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…
A relaxed ride on Thursday after travelling.
Our amazing support team.
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!
The Ribble Ultra Tri ready for race day.
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..
Photo – Justin Luau
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 of 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.
Photo – Talbot Cox
IRONMAN Texas – 8th in 8.14.12
MPRO Top 10.
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.