Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Allan Amey A.K.A Batman tells us about his first IRONMAN

 Allan is a glass half full kind of guy, Forever positive and some what contagious (in a good way, not the contagious bird flu kind of way) We've enjoyed the journey and look forward to many more!!! Well done buddy!!

Allan Amey’s (AKA Batman) first Ironman

First ever mass start so many people.  Do I start in the middle, at the back, on the left or right.  But I stick to the plan my coach Guy Crawford set for me.

Walking down to the beach final check.  Ear plugs check.  Cap check.  Goggles check.  Final wave to my wife (Vic), Mum and Dad who flew in from Canberra.  Around 1700 competitors all on the shoreline preparing themselves for this massive Ironman event.  I was pleased to see Brad and Jarrad in the crowd, two great blokes I met at a training camp through GK Endurance.  We exchanged handshakes, a pat on the back and wished each other good luck. 

Swimming is my weakest leg (apparently most triathletes aren’t keen on swimming or so they say).  It was only 3 years ago when I started this sport and I couldn’t swim without a snorkel and flippers.  I never wanted to get into this sport.  I wanted to run, I was good at running so why on earth would I put myself through this sport where I have to swim!  But my wife encouraged me to test a decent road bike.  I remember taking it out for a test ride and came back to the shop grinning from ear to ear and then I was hooked.  BUT I still had to learn to swim.  Fast-forward 3 years, and here I am on the shoreline at Busselton about to swim nearly 4km. 

When the race started I had only four things to think about: pace, no zigzagging, find some feet to draft and FINISH.  The ocean was picture perfect and I could see the bottom of the ocean floor.  Seeing the bottom was a great relief, whilst I can’t stand, it relieves my nerves.

I completed my first Ironman swim in 1hour 14minutes.  I was running up the sand with a smile on my face feeling great that I just finished the hardest leg of the day. Now the bike and then the run, feeling great I think to myself, this is what I have been training for, so smile and soak it up.  On the way to T1, I couldn’t help but stop and kiss my wife.

T1 was a new experience, the volunteers packed up my wetsuit and other swimming gear into my bag while another applied sunscreen on me.  I felt like a PRO, now I know why I’m in this sport.

I get my Rocket Ship (Cannondale RS) and head out on the bike, for the longest ride I have ever done.  Guy is in my head again, must focus on watts, pace and nutrition- Infinit.  I didn’t get far on the ride and I could hear my number one supporter, Vic screaming out my name.  A smile beamed across my face and then thought, how did she get there so fast!

I knew the course from the GKE camp I attended so I knew where to push and where to hold back.  First lap 2hr 40min.  Couldn’t believe my time.  I was going faster than Busselton 70.3 pace.  A quick stop at the special needs area then a roaring cheer and high fives from family.  This time Vic had a megaphone, no need to scream! 

Second lap was slower, less bikes so more work for me to do!  At the 150km mark I had a caffeine gel shot – wow what a buzz and I was flying again like Batman.  At 160km the same bike with a Zipp disc passed me for the 10th time WOOSH WOOSH.  Can’t wait to buy a new set of wheels.  He slowed down, this time I sat behind for too long before passing and didn’t hear the motorbike sneak up next to me.  Yelp, scored a yellow card- 4minute penalty.  I had one  more caffeine gel shot and I was off, not caring about watts or pace.  I had 4min of standing in the penalty box 300m from T2 so pedal to the metal.

In T2, mental check.  3.8km swim check, 180km bike check, now to complete a 42km run- I CAN do that.  And I was keen to take Kate’s advice and break it down every 2km.  Once again I feel like a PRO.  A lovely volunteer racked my bike and reapplies sunscreen on me and I was off (I could get used to this).

The run was all about pace and not thinking too far ahead.  In 50% of photos I was looking at my Garmin watch (pace, pace).  The first 5km was hard to slow the pace because I felt great and just wanted to run.

One lap down, first wrist band and 3 more to collect.  Pace was good, feeling good, feeling strong.  Passing the club tents I saw my family supporting me which made me pick up the pace again.  But this time Vic was running after me with the loud megaphone.  Not sure what she said but didn’t matter it made me smile and her support was amazing.

The aid stations gave me a 20sec opportunity to walk to refuel with water, ice and coke some Vegemite sandwiches on the 3rd and 4th lap.

Two laps down two to go.  As I went to get my wrist band I was followed in with a guy who said this deserves a celebration walk so we walked through, put the wrist band on, shook hands, smiled and then we were off running again.  Whilst this is an individual sport, I have met many great people who want to support each other and share their knowledge.

During the 3rd lap my toes were getting hot and sore each time I turn at a bend or turn around, but the personal chalk messages on the footpaths from Vic, kids, Mum and mother-in-law, and seeing all the GKE team racing really helped to support me.

I see Vic and tell her it’s the last lap.  She tells me to go harder, so close to a sub 11.  I think she’s joking but I knew I could not go faster.  I looked around and thought what a beautiful place to run- the ocean and jetty was stunning.

Guy and Kate came out to cheer all of us, what a boost.  Guy gave me some words of encouragement, which gave me what I needed to finish the last 4km strong.  I was yelling to myself 4 more km and I am an Ironman.  One more aid station, no need to walk this one.  Last wristband, turned left and down the finish shoot.   What a feeling, with a time of 11hr7min43sec.  Vic, family and friends dotted along the finishing shoot cheering and clapping for me, and then I heard the words I’d been longing for- ALLAN AMEY YOU ARE AN IRONMAN…

The first person I wanted to see was Vic.  I am always emotional after a race, I love her so much and when I race she is in my thoughts and heart all the way.  I couldn’t wait to give her a huge cuddle and kiss.  As I was coming out of the finish tent who do I hear, Vic, yelling, “That’s my husband, he’s an Ironman”.

I love you Vic, this is for you.

Guy here!!! I wanted to add in these last few pic's I stole from Allan's facebook Page. "Ironman battle scares". Next up.....Missing toe nails. Well done Batman.

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