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Ironman UK by Aaron Dawson

I started on the 1st January 2019 and finished at 20:30pm on the 14th July 2019. The 6 months of relentless training for one day. But that one day will turn out to be the toughest and most challenging one in my sporting life!!!!!!! But I loved it.

Alarm goes off at 03:10am and all the training and nervous for this day have now gone. It’s game day, the big day, a day to shine, a day to become an IRONMAN.

Overnight oats seem to be the order of the day on most race days over the past year. Sat in the car travelling to the flash. Breakfast and 2 coffees like always. Then water, plenty of it.

All suited and booted, all the hugs and kisses then it’s just me. Big Lonely me for the rest of the day. First up the swim, 2.4 miles, the furthest Iv ever swam. The music is playing and I’m stood in my wave. No place to move other than look forward. We start walking towards the water and boom Ironman UK 2019 has started. I swim really well which I’m very pleased about. Best Iv swam all year. 2 loops of the flash seem to go by so quickly.

Transition onto the bike. My strongest discipline of the 3. Iv ridden the course before so I know how to ride the next 112 miles. The support on the bike was fantastic from everyone. The cow bells, the shouting, the encouragement was just like the Tour De France on a mountain section. Once in a life time so I take it all in. The course in one word was “brutal “ the hills the corners that you can’t see around because of high walls and trees, the road surface and constant changing of gears. Two things on the bike stand out for me, the first one was from a young lad who looked straight in my eyes on a hill and said to his friends “this man is making it look easy” I’m sorry mate but I have a brilliant poker face. The second was again on a hill and I was laughing at my friend Jake who was following me and filming me. On the hill a man said how are you still smiling, you look like Vincenzo Nibali “ a pro cyclist” it’s because mate I was absolutely loving how tough it was and this is what it was all about.

bike complete, transition 2, the run, legs feel like they are in quicksand in the first 2 miles but in my head I am nearly home. I can almost tough that red carpet. 4 loops of what seemed to be a very tough run. The run through the park, killer, the gradual incline on the 3 mile switch back, killer, the run down the hill back into town, killer, seeing friends and family, waiting and supporting, one hell of a feeling. I see all my team mates on the run expect for Steve, the lad has finished. Everyone giving encouragement and motivation. I bloody love these lot. I count the bands from 0 to 4. The 4th one is special. It means I’m nearly home. I noticed when people see you have the 4th band they tell you not far to go. The support staff and everyone at the drink stations telling you that you have made it. As I run on the small section of cobbles just behind the town all I can see the red carpet. I can feel the atmosphere around the finish line. I do a little switch back and run in front of the town hall. I’m here, quick look over to the red carpet to make sure Zoe is where she has been for the last 4 hours “bless her” and all my team mates and friends. I high five close friends of ours on the last corner. The I turn and look down that 30 metre carpet. I look up to the sky and have a little tear in my eye. I think about Zoe, Zack the sacrifice they have gone through for me. Family days out cancelled or cut short. The shortness of my attitude when the pressure became to much. The past 6 months for just putting up with me. I head towards Zo and she has a tear in her eye as do I. I high five Steve and turn towards the finish line. I cross that line clapping my hands and tensing my fist and letting out a big COME ON. Over the mic the MC says “ Aaron Dawson, you are an IRONMAN mate” the words I have dreamt about since the 1st January. I’d like to give a standing ovation to all the people who take or took part in any IRONMAN or Ironman distance event. We are an elite group of people and know one can take it away from us. We are not professional and it is not our full time occupation but we have spent our money and sacrificed so much for what we have achieved. The biggest of thank you goes to Steve, Craig, Gemma, Shawnie, John, Dan, Rhyd and Andy. We did it, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN Sent from my iPhone

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