Friday, 10 September 2010

Challenge Roth. The aftermath.

Well, i did it. And yes, So did Chrissie. Her time of 8.19, was a new world record by 12 minutes. She is an incredible woman.An incredible athlete...and incredibly nice! She was there, at the finish, as FT and i crossed the finish line, chatting and smiling at people, and handing out medals. I think FT fell just a little bit in love that day. He, along with the rest of us, fell, just a tiny bit under the spell of Chrissie Wellington, triple world ironman champion, MBE, and all round lovely person. And he got a medal! Chrissie, in fact gave both the children medals. And they deserve theirs, as much as i deserve mine. Mine i earnt for achieving my goal, to complete my second IM distance race. They have put up with my distance, my absence, and my grumpiness, tiredness and general grouchiness that comes along with IM training. and W deserves one too. He has supported me, helped me, listened to me moan for months. And i couldnt do it without him.

So. what happened next? I crossed the finish line, and was enveloped in a huge hug, from my children, AND CW....i chatted with her, then headed the athletes arena to collect my stuff. Handing the kids over to S, i collect my finishers t shirt, and head into a marquee, full of people....eating, being massaged, milling around. I can only focus on one thing. i have to get my bags. Where are my bags? I cant find them, and i dont even know where to begin looking......

I approach a helpful looking chap, who, in near perfect english, asks if i need an ambulance. No, i need my bags. I am just tired, i just need to get my bags and sit down.Am i sure i dont need an ambulance? No, I am just really tired.

Suddenly, it is all just too much. The tears start rolling down my cheeks, and i lose the ability to stand. I dont need an ambulance. But it is very clear that i need help. And i need it now.

Now, have you been paying attention? Remember the water bottles? i have not, with the exception of a small handful of crisps, taken on any salts all day. I have been exercising, in 26 degree heat, in the blazing sun, in the wind, for nearly 15 hours, and my body has had enough.

i am helped by two attendants to the medical area, where it is quickly established that i am in dire need of electrolytes. Within 10 minutes, i am hooked up to a drip of Ringers solution, with added calcium. Within half an hour, i am feeling better. At this point, i realise that W is probably worried about me. i try and find someone with a phone that works. No phone appears to work. I cant get through to him. I am starting to stress. Suddenly a motherly looking woman appears, telling me a friend of w's is outside. It is S, who has, at W's request, come looking for me. After searching the marquee, he concludes i might just be in the medics area. Within 10 minutes i am reunited with my bags, my t shirt, and, more importantly, my phone. I manage to text W. It transpires that his phone was out of credit, so was unable to accept incoming calls. By the time he realises something is up, he has added funds to the phone, and we are able to speak.

After an hour, i am able to go. I find W and the sparklers fairly soon, and we return to the car. We are all tired, weary and hungry. But most of all happy. S and S have collected Ruby from T2 (thank you!) and i reluctantly relinquish my faithful, hard working (and still muddy) bike, back to the Berkshire fire service. She did me proud.

Heading back to the hotel, the kids fall asleep in the back. W, bless him,carries the 2 sleepy bodies to their beds, while i make my slow, painful way upstairs. I am hungry. SO hungry. and salty, in need of a shower. Except the shower in the hotel, is a bit...crap. So, a bath is in order. Which is fine, except it is a corner bath. which means i cant lie down. So, 21 hours after i first get up, i can be found, kneeling in 6 inches of warm water. Eating. Cheese. A whole packet of cheese. God i love cheese.


  1. Cheeeeese, Gromit!

    Love these posts--as close to knowing what it really feels like to do & finish and Ironman as I am likely ever to get!