Triathlete Chris Heys had a good day out at the Ullswater 70.3 Half Ironman triathlon. Fuelled by the food of champions (lasagna) and washed down with real ale….

As a half Ironman, races don’t come much tougher than this and paired with choppy lake conditions a tough day out just got even tougher.

We rolled up to Ullswater on Saturday set up camp, registered then bumped in to a few of the usual suspects from Lancs Fire Fighters. What followed was a trip into Pooley Bridge for some carbohydrate loading and hydration. After a dubious horse meat lasagna and garlic bread the suggestion of a beer in the Royal Oak was banded around and we all agreed on one. Then boom there it was – the holy grail of real ale – Iron Maiden ‘Trooper’. After a few of those it was back to camp to rest up for the race.

The swim was 1.2 miles in rough conditions which went off pretty uneventfully. I posted a time of 37.36 which was 4 mins slower than last year but I was happy just to get out alive.

Onto the bike for 56 miles over the Kirkstone Pass and Shap fell. The bike is always a tough one to call with regards to time trial bike or “regular” road bike. I opted for the latter and was soon picking off some expensive carbon bikes up Kirkstone Pass. Feeling strong with extra horse power from the previous nights lasagna I pushed on hard over Shap fell putting me into a good position for the run. My time for the bike leg – 3hrs13.

The final 13 mile fell run has two main climbs. The first comes straight after transition 2 and is runnable even by my standards. Lots of other competitors opted for the power walk so I made up 10 positions at the start. The second climb is at 7 miles and running it is a definite non starter so striding it out is the only option. By the 10 mile point the route hits a road which rolls all the way into the finish and although it’s only 3 miles, ย it’s a grim three miles to say the least. This section was definitely my downfall last year so i was pleased to keep good pace into the finish and recorded a time of 2 hrs 9 minutes, my overall time for the event wasย 6hr 03;40.

I would have loved to have gone under 6 and with better lake conditions I would have. This is still one of my favorite races on the calendar, ย made better with the local ale selection.

I’ll definitely be on the start line again next year, but next up for me is Ironman UK ย in August.