Ironman Race Report from Ryan Hepworth of the We Love Mountians Racing Team for the Ironman 70.3 UK Championships, Wimbleball, Exmoor on the 17th June 2012.
On Sunday 17th June, I travelled down to Wimbleball in the Exmoor National Park to compete in the Ironman 70.3 UK Championships. This was my first outing for We Love Mountains over what I would consider to be my better distance, so I was keen to put in a good performance.
The 70.3 event is a half Ironman distance race, consisting therefore of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run. Add to the mix the torrential rain and strong wind in the lead up to race day, and that the UK event is widely believed to be one of, if not the toughest 70.3 event on the world circuit, I knew I was in for a long day.
The 1.2 mile swim got the race under way, and after the usual fighting for space expected in an open water swim, I exited in the water in 26 mins 36 secs. This was really just a warm up for the main event, a 56 mile bike ride with a hill for every mile. Ouch. Many of the athletes opted for a road bike set up to tackle the hills, but the Orbea Ordu handled just as well on the hills as on the flat, giving me a huge advantage over the other competitors. I finished the bike in 2 hours 49 mins, and in 30th place overall, and headed out onto the run course. The terrain didn’t get any easier, and after completely the hilly off road half marathon in just over 1 hour 25 mins, I found myself finishing in 19th place overall in a total time of 4 hours 47 minutes and 50 seconds.
Considering nearly 2,000 competitors started the race, around 40 of which were professional triathletes, I was very happy with the result. My position also earned me a qualification spot for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas on 9th September, which I accepted.
I will now take a while to rest, recover, and plan my training over the next couple of months in preparation for the ITU Long Distance World Championships in Spain next month, and now the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in September.
Exciting stuff and a great performance from Ryan, we cant wait to see how he does next month.