Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hey-up our kid - nice win mate!

Brazil, Lanzarote, Switzerland, Kona… Bolton.  Not really the shining gem in the Ironman circuit but an important race for many pro and age groupers aiming to qualify for Kona.  Fraser Cartmell was one such man, and having had to withdraw from his first attempt at the distance, he had many reasons to want to cross the line first today.

We caught up with a relaxed Fraser the day before for a quick few snaps and a chat prior to having a quick swim on the course. Apparently the tip is to keep your mouth shut to avoid the goose pooh.  Nice.

The weather did little to dispel England’s reputation for crappy summers but the conditions were great for the athletes.  Fraser led out from the swim and put in a steady and solid performance to hold off Stephen Bayliss from TeamTBB, finishing 6 mins ahead in a shade over 8hr 40min 17s.  Bayliss was 2nd in 8:46:18 and Axel Zeebroek in 3rd a further 3mins back (8:49:37).

The women’s race was not so straight forward, with blueseventy girls battling for the win.  Brit Yvette Grice led out of the water but was over taken by defending champ Bella Bayliss on the bike.  But it was not to be Bella’s day and Yvette put in a strong run to take back the lead and finish in 10hrs 1min 02.  Bella crossed 2nd in 10:06:52 receiving her medal from hubby Stephen – both having to settle for second.  Joanna Carritt taking 3rd 10mins further back in 10:16:22.

But forget about the pro’s for a moment – we saw some EPIC age group efforts.  Forget your carbon bikes, your fancy kit with your aero helmet.  In an effort reminiscent of the first Navy guys to do an Ironman in Hawaii, we saw two guys rocking out onto the bike course in a pair of casual cargo shorts, a plain cotton t-shirt and a pair of running shoes with toe clips.  Oh – and a backpack.  We initially thought they were spectators but the race numbers and timing chip bands proved me wrong – you guys are LEGENDS! 

We also won’t be too surprised if one guy has food poisoning after his race today.  Lets just say that it’s the first time I have seen unwrapped energy bars ‘moulded’ around the top tube of a bike, for, er, convenient access?  Maybe the plan is to gain extra protein from the midgets stuck to the protein bars along the way.  That’s thinking outside the square… but as Peter Kay says 'you never know where to look when eating a banana'.

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