Zurich and Budapest with the Turners
Submitted by Sam_Bennett on 10/09/2014 10:54
Just to keep the records straight - in July Mike, Greg and Tom competed in Ironman Zurich. The weather was dreadful 2 days before - really hot. The day before it did nothing but rain but the morning of the race was perfect conditions. The support crew consisted of Tom's (then) fiancée Clara, another friend Simon's girlfriend and Katrina.
Tom was not looking forward to the longest swim he had ever done as you can see in the photo. However they all set off and we watched them amongst all those green caps. They all came out quite some time after Greg - but he knew they would be chasing him down on the bike. Mike did everything he could on the bike because he knew Tom would be chasing him on the run. As for the support, well we watched them set off on their bike, found somewhere to cheer and sat and checked our phones to see where they were.
Finally they all came towards Heartbreak Hill - all smiling. We then saw them on their return to start their second lap. Knowing they were going to be a while we set off in search of a picnic with some sparkling wine! This went down so easily (well cheering can give you a dry throat!) so we had another bottle.
The cheering got louder! When they came back none of them were smiling as much as on the first lap. They then started the run. There was a gap of about 12 minutes between Mike and Tom but by the time they got to the second lap it had reduced considerably and finally Tom caught Mike. He offered to run with him but Mike persuaded him to go.
Finally the guys all came home in some fantastic times - especially for Tom's first Ironman.
Clara was not worried about Tom's time, she just wanted him to finish and be able to walk! Why? Because he had to walk up the aisle just 8 days later! Now he was smiling.
Mike and I were persuaded by our old swim coach, Peter, to visit him in Hungary. Oh and while we were there to take on the new 70.3 I was told it was a flat bike course so agreed. The swim was lovely, a lagoon off the Danube (and I even overtook some people).
Well the bike was flat apart from the one hill which seemed to go on for ever and we had to do twice. Also it was a very technical bike course with lots of turns, going over tram lines, roundabouts etc. and anyone who knows my bike skills will appreciate what that meant to me!
However I managed to finish 34 minutes faster than my first attempt in Florida which I was pleased about. Mike did not have such a good race being still tired from his Ironman 3 weeks before so not his best time.
If you have not been to Budapest I would recommend it - it is a beautiful city with so many wonderful buildings, many on the bike route. Peter sends his best wishes to all.