After the let down of not being able to race my first Ironman in Lake Tahoe due to forest fires I came to Arizona excited and ready to have a great racing experience at my first Ironman. I didn't have a lot of expectations, I just wanted to not make any major errors, stay on nutrition and race as hard as I could to the fitness I had.
I exited the water in second after 3.8km and swimming on the feet of the leader the whole way. I had a good transition (first time using change tents and bags) and headed onto the bike keen to see how my legs would handle 180km. I paced it really well choosing to not go with two guys on the first lap. By the second lap I had caught both of them and only the two strongest cyclists in the field had come past me but only got 3 minutes ahead. I rode the last lap just as consistently as the first two and didn't fade like many others and I maintained my 3min gap.
Onto the run I was confident I could catch the strong cyclists, I just needed to be patient and again, stay on nutrition and not fade. I caught the leaders at half way with a 1:20:45 half marathon and then continued at that same pace. The legs started to become agonizingly sore shortly after this first lap but I was able to maintain my pace if I could just get my mind to deal with the pain. I suffered through but kept pace to finish the second half in 1:22:45 for a total marathon of 2:43.30 and earn a course record breaking time of 7:55.48 for the win by five minutes.
Though I was solely focused on racing and managing the pain not worrying about overall time, this time of 7:55.48 is the World Fastest debut Ironman ever. There has also only been 26 men to go under the 8hr mark for an Ironman and I now have the 15th fastest time in history.
I can't tell you how excited but also shocked with how well this first Ironman went.