Ocean Lava Race Report – Worst race to date

Right strap yourselves in for an emotional rollercoaster and a long drawn out race report. Back in January I decided that I would quite like to do the middle distance triathlon of Ocean Lava as a prep race for Ironman Wales, little did I know what would await me. My terrible preparation began with driving to Fishguard the night before to register not knowing where I was going only to find out I actually needed to be in Goodwick. Anyway got that sorted then went home to ready the trusty steed. The steed let me down and the front mech was not playing ball even after my slightly intoxicated mechanic Tom Arnold came down to try and fix it. So the decision was made to ride the road bike and just deal with it.

I arrived on the day with plenty of time and got a decent parking space. Got the bike out and pumped up the tyres only to snap the presta valve end off when screwing it back up. Not a problem as the air is still held in but it did mean that my foam and Co2 canisters in my repair kit were rendered useless! I grabbed a spare tube off Mikes Bikes and put that in my jersey as I didnt have time to change it before the start. Once racked I wore my race belt back to the car as the marshal said I would need this to get back into transition, what I didnt know (as I hadnt read the online race pack) was that transition closed at 9.30 so when I strolled back at 9.45 I was unable to get in. However a young lady in a panic had slept in and had turned up and was begging to be allowed to rack. The marshals allowed her to so I jumped over and helped get her bike in and casually dropped my race belt with my bike on the way past. Job Done!

Down to the start and into the swim. Water was cold but I hung back, got into some clear water and just did my own thing. 15 minutes for the first lap then back in for the 2nd longer lap. Coming out of the water I felt good and after my usual pathetic attempt at a transition jumped on the bike and headed off on the way to St Davids. It was into wind all the way and a steady drag for the first 3 miles but I just tried to concentrate on feeding and hydrating. Apart from a few front brake issues I had a pretty trouble free bike section and completed the 56 miles in just under 3 hours. Safely back into transition and bike back on the rack.

Once out onto the run the problems started, turns out the gels that I have used for the last 2 years have now decided they dont like me and half a mile in I had to turn back to find a marshal and ask the location of the nearest conveniences, which was back near transition. After some emotional times within I headed back out to find Leanne outside waiting for me as she had seen me run back and was concerned. I went over to her and started talk of a possible DNF. I decided to give it a lap and see if things settled down. So out I went back onto the run which takes in a couple of the most brutal climbs I have experienced running! After the first lap things seemed to have settled and I was happy to keep going, cheered on all around the course, this is certainly one of the best courses for spectators due to the 4 laps.

As the final lap went by I couldn’t of been happier to be completing possibly the hardest triathlon I have done to date and been the least prepared for. Hopefully used all of my bad luck up there!

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