Holiday Hijinks

In Which I Go On Holiday

Last Thursday myself and Sarah (and lots of family and friends) flew out to Lanzarote to watch Ironman Tony and Ironman Rob compete (once again) in Ironman Lanzarote.

Our flight was two hours delayed which we spent (expensively) in the bar, staring at the departures board but before long we boarded (no longer bored-ed) and bound for Lanzarote.

The best thing about the delay was it gave a chavvy family plenty of time to get VERY drunk and annoy every single passenger, which wasn’t in the slightest bit irritating and reading this back I realise I have no way to convey sarcasm in my writing. Might try using italics next time.

Plane landed, drunk family got arrested, we picked up our bags and also a taxi (taxi from outside the airport, didn’t take our own) then got checked in. Straight out for all you can eat Chinese food, then to bed.


HA! Look how sarcastic Friday looks! Stupid Friday.

I woke up quite early and straight away got up and dressed into my running gear before my head said “You chuffing wazzock, go back to sleep.”

Out the door of the apartment and my word was it hot! 8:30am and it was already 23 degree C! I walk down the hill to the main strip of Puerto Del Carmen and turned left to start my run. Would’ve been a better idea to have brought water though.

I set my GPS watch going and felt smug. There were LOADS of runners out and about and probably all of them had a bottle of water, so looked smugger-er than me.

Puerto Del Carmen is brilliant for runners and cyclists as there’s a cycle path which runs (pun!) the whole way along the beach side, and plenty of shops where you can stop for a bottle of water so long as you remember to bring some money out (which of course I didn’t.)

Checking my watch, I turned around after 2.5km and ran back the way I came. (Obviously.)

Before too long I looked and it said 5km (3.1mile) so stopped running but carried on sweating. Walked back to our apartment and drank about 8 litres of water, then straight in the shower. 5km time was 25:19. My second ever fastest!

Me and Sarah had frozen yoghurt.

Saturday – Ironman Day
Our Ironman Day was pretty much the same as last year, due to it being the same race and everything. Which is why I’m not doing as much of a recap as last year. Suppose I could copy and paste it, but I’m a bit lazy. Not even gonna link to it to be honest. Anyway!

We watched Tony and Rob complete the 2.4mile swim then set off on their bikes to ride 112miles.

Back at the apartment complex we had some food and mooched around for a bit and I decided to get in the pool and try some swimming. As you know (because you remember everything about me and my life) I only learnt to swim last year. It’s been about 10 months since I last swam though, and the furthest I’ve ever swum was about 8 lengths so just decided to swim til tired. I set the swim function on my watch and got going.

Sarah was sat at the poolside for a while so kept stopping for a little chat, then carried on swimming up and down, keeping an eye on the distance. I swam half a mile. HALF A MILE! Not the fastest in the world (33:25) but it’s a good base!

Ironman Rob finished Ironman Lanzarote in 12h 19m, Ironman Tony finished in 15h 05m. All very proud of them both! (Again!)

Me and Sarah had ice cream.

After the business of the day before, it was organised as being a ‘lazy poolside day.’ I got up early again and went for another 5km run, same route as before but this time I took a bottle of water. For some reason, this slowed me down a bit (I know it wasn’t the water, it was due to the long swim!) but I still managed the 3.1mile in 27:11. Happy with that!

The afternoon was a BBQ in the pool bar, all you can eat, so made good use of THAT!


Decided to try a bike ride today, and had a wander down to rent a bike (which is the main ingredient needed for a bike ride I hear.) A mountain bike rented for 2 hours, plus helmet and bike lock, 5 Euros! Bargain! (When I asked for a helmet he looked at me and said ‘your head… Is a large.’ Yeah, thanks Pedro.)

I decided to aim for around ten miles so set my watch going and got the bike going. Zigged and Zagged through the runners and slower cyclists and made my way towards the airport along the cycle path. On one section it narrowed slightly, and there were a group of elderly people all along the cycle lane. No problem, my bike has a bell on it for situations such as this, but as my bike was at home and I was on a cheap 5 Euro rental bike there was no bell attached.

What do I say? Had to think quick, getting closer. Do I cough? Closer still. I could just slow down and say ‘excuse me?’ Whoops, hidden dip! I’ve sped up! Quick!

“BIKE!!” I yelled, causing the oldies to part like Moses parted that sea. (Thinking on it, one looked old enough to BE Moses. Poor bloke.)

Phew. Safely by. Followed the route by the airport and noticed a large hotel in the distance which I knew to be in Arrecife. Aim for that.

Got there and pulled over to the side to have some water. (Remembered my water!) Checked my watch and it said just over 8 miles. Felt good! Few minutes to catch my breath, then headed back the way I came.


There’s a bit of the cycle path that’s been dug up at the moment so had to go inland a little bit but there were no cars so felt confident enough. That lasted until I realised I was going up a one way street the wrong way. Also, as well as going the wrong way, due to Lanzarote being part of Spain they drive on the opposite side of the road to us, so rode on the wrong side of the street for a bit too. Was very happy to see the cycle path!

Got my legs pumping and got back to the bike shop having riden just over 16miles in just under 1h 16mins, then handed over the bike. Gave the spaniard my large helmet too. (Snigger.)

Me and Sarah had frozen yoghurt.

Sore legs today so took it easy most of the day. Mentioned to Nigel I was thinking about trying another swim so he decided to swim too. I wasn’t expecting too much from this swim, having swum my furthest ever two days before, but pushed it and pushed it and, in a time of a little over an hour, swam A FULL CHUFFING MILE!

Me and Sarah had a strawberry/cream/yoghurt thingy.


Told Ironman Tony I was off to rent a bike again and he said he’d come along. Did the same route as before, but went further this time and turned around in the centre of Arrecife at ten miles. Came back along a VERY windy cycle track and back to the shop having completed just over 20 miles in 1h 42m. Very very glad with all the holiday training!

Sarah had an ice cream.


Went home. 😦

After talking with both Ironmen (and Ironman Mark who owns the pool bar) I’m very VERY set on doing Ironman Lanzarote next year. I’m not a fool though (no matter what ANYONE) says so am going to assess my fitness and training in August, to see how I’m getting on.

In Other News
Hope you’re all well!

Ironman UK (Bolton) Spectator Re-Cap

In Which I Become A THREE TIME IRONMAN…………….. event spectator

3rd August

With Ironman Lanzarote not being enough of a challenge in May, Father In Law Tony had also entered Ironman UK. Two in three months.

Everyone went over to Bolton to check into the Premier Inn sometime on the Saturday afternoon. I was working until six, so made my own way there via Manchester and McDonalds. I thought everyone would’ve eaten by the time I got there, but they’d been waiting an hour for a table in the restaurant so Sarah text me pictures of the menu and I then text Sarah my food order. (Technology is MARVELOUS!)

Everyone was fed, I had a few beers, then it was off for an earlyish (not at all) night.

4th August – Ironman Day

We got up early. And I mean EARLY. When we watched Iron man Lanzarote the event began at 0700. That meant we got up around 0600 – 06:15 and had a short walk down to the beach to watch the swim start. For what ever reason, Ironman UK starts at 0600. And we were staying nowhere near the swim start. Luckily, the events organisers put on coaches for the athletes and supporters. The coach left at 0515. Ugh.

photo (1)

Going In

The Ironman UK swim course is in a lake thing called Pennington Flash. It’s a two x1.2mile lap course, and the athletes have to start in the water. Before the gun goes, they have to tread water for 5-10minutes or so which must use some much needed energy. After the first lap, they have a run of about 80m before doing the second lap. Pretty much every athlete that ran out of the water slipped on the mats. Not very safe.

Coming Out

Coming Out

Tony came out of the water in just under 41minutes then got straight back in for his second lap. After we’d cheered him on, we moved up the course towards where the bike part would start. We got a good spectator spot and waited for him to run passed. We were also keeping an eye out for another family(ish) member. I think he’s my Wife’s cousins cousins husband. Or something… Anyway, while we were waiting for Tony, we heard “And coming out of the water, Martin Stoney!” and because that’s my wifes cousins cousins husbands name, we looked out for him. I think he’s done marathons and such, but this was his first Ironman event. A minute or so passed, and then he ran passed looking strong.



Not too long after, we saw Tony running up towards us and he stopped for a quick chat before running up to Transition 1 (where they get changed) and then he was off on his bike.

Sarah Helping Get The Wetsuit Off

Sarah Helping Get The Wetsuit Off

It’d be AGES until we saw him again due to the course set up. We got on the free bus back to the hotel, and we all had breakfast. (Which was our Transition 1.)

photo (9)

After about an hour we made our way to the train station and got on a train (obviously) to the centre of Bolton. Only took about 10minutes and so that wasn’t enough time for the conductor to come round and sell us a ticket. When we got off they had a couple of guards checking tickets so we went up the counter next to them where you could buy a ticket for the journey you’ve already done. I think if they’re too lazy to come round with tickets, it should be free. But it’s not.

When we were waiting a scruffy lad tried to run down to the platform but Guard 1 stopped him because he didn’t have a ticket.

Guard 1: “Tickets please.”
Bloke: “My f***ing trains there, I don’t have time for an f***ing ticket.”
Guard 1: “You can’t go passed without a ticket.”
Bloke: “That’s f***ing stoopid. My f***ing trains there.”
Guard 1: “You still need a ticket I’m afraid.”
Bloke: “F***ing F***ing F***ing F***ing.”
Guard 1: “The ticket counter is over there.” (Bloke goes to ticket counter, f***ing all the way)
Guard 2: “He could use the machine, no ones using it.”
Guard 1: “He’ll be too stupid to use a machine.”

The bike course for Ironman UK starts where the swim finishes, but ends about 6 mile away from the centre of Bolton. This meant that we could make sure we were in plenty of time to see Tony and Martin on their run. The bike course is a point to point 14 mile ride, before then going into a three lap route that starts at Adlington in Lancashire and takes in quite a few hills and villages. It then finishes at a high school where Transition 2 is waiting, after a total of 112 miles riden on the bike.

Our Transition 2 was the pub.

Finishers Chute

Finishers Chute

There were plenty of splits on the bike course so it made it easy for us to track Tony and Martins progress on the Irontrac App. (Lanzarote only had one split so had to be more vigilant.) Plenty of splits on the run course too, which makes it much easier as a spectator. Looking at the App, we saw that Tony had finished the bike section in 6:44 and Martin in 7:11. The Marathon for Ironman UK is a six mile run into central Bolton, followed by a three lap course for the other 20 miles. The first split the app tracks is at 10k, but then they’re every 1-3k or so. We thought that the first split was near where we were stood, but it wasn’t. We were expecting them to run passed us at anytime, but it turns out that we were closer to the 4th split, so didn’t see them for almost an hour later than we expected. And it poured down.

photo (5)

Before long though, we saw Tony running up towards us and he stopped for a few words. Then he was off again. With part of the run being 3 laps you see the person you’re cheering on six times. (With the last time being the finish.) We figured out which splits were which and made sure we were at the road side in time to cheer. (Inbetween was a combination of McDonalds and a pub. Or two.)

When they were on their final laps we made our way to the finishers chute and got a place in the stands. Again, using the Irontrac app, we had a good idea of when they’d be finishing. Martin came passed first to finish in a time of 14hours 17minutes. As we were waiting for Tony, the big screen broke and didn’t get fixed until after he’d crossed the line which was a shame as you could’ve got a brilliant picture of him finishing. Maybe next time.

Tony came down the chute and we all cheered. Susan had made her way to the front of the barriers and Tony stopped to give her a hug, before going over the finishers line in a time of 14hours 24minutes, (almost half an hour quicker than Lanzarote) and becoming a Triple Ironman.

photo (8)

photo (6)

5th August

After breakfast we went and had a look at the Ironman Expo. It was a LOT better than Lanzarote, with loads on sale. I bought myself an Ironman training book as motivation. Hmmmm……

Tonys Medals

Tonys Medals

When we got home we went and got this:

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily

Our new kitten. Indy seems to be tolerating her so far, so that’s good.