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Race Report - Port Mac IM 2024 - Nathan, you are an Ironman

Updated: May 17

Race Report for my first Ironman. I’ll try and keep this brief. Sorry in advance.

Swim: 3.8km

Very happy, PB’d by a country mile. Felt comfortable, focused on technique. Only hiccup, got kicked in the face.

Ride: 180km

Not so good. In the days leading up to race day I was not feeling 100%, confidence was low and unfortunately, and very unexpectedly, I was met with my first challenge in the first few kms on the bike. I couldn’t engage. Don’t know what happened, but no power in the legs and couldn’t get heart rate up at all. It was a cold morning too, so a low heart rate wasn’t helping. I tried to figure out what was happening but just couldn’t figure it out. Clear now that it was mostly psychological and illness. Decided to try and be patient stick to nutrition plan, regular self check-ins and hopefully I’d warm up and activate before hills.

Despite regular check-ins with myself, low body temp and clearly due to the lack of power, stress kicked in which caused neck pain, then a headache, then blurred vision, all in the first 20km. It began to occur to me that it wasn’t going to be my best performance. Those symptoms remained the entire ride. I lost a bottle of nutrition a few hours later approximately 40kms from my special needs bag. Just another thing to worry about. At the 150km mark I almost quit. I just had to remind myself that ‘You’re actually in an Ironman mate, this stuff happens, it’s not meant to be easy, just keep moving’ words to that effect. I had to dig deep at that moment.

I got to a point after Flinder’s (175km mark) where I didn’t care much for self-preservation and stayed full aero along the coast. Mind wasn’t in a good place. I just needed to get off the bike.

Run: 42.2km

A classic tale of a three-part series, I rolled into T2 and suddenly lifted.

I think I realised that I’m off the bike and all I need to do is put one foot in front of the other and I’ll be an Ironman. Changed full kit (dry clothes, you beauty!) due to anticipated wet weather which helped motivation.

Loved the marathon! The crowd, the volunteers, Sherie’s pep talks, the support crew were all amazing!

My moving time was about 4:50hrs but due to maximum stress sustained for over 7 hours on the bike my cortisol levels must have been through the roof and I had to use the restroom quite often which added to my finishing time.

However, I got it done and heard the words “Nathan you are an Ironman!” Couldn’t have been happier!

Special thank you to ‘Coach Paul Skelton’ for all your training and expert advice over many months to get me over the line. It undoubtedly got me over the line. Thank you to all the SSG MultiSports gang for your support, wisdom, inspiring me and for being my training buddies. Thank you to Sally at The Body Specialist for the emergency injury management in the lead up and most of all thank you to Sandra TheRiver for all the other things. Holding the fort while I was out training, the countless hours of support in every other way, for believing in me and most of all for helping me get back to the hotel room from the finish line 100m away, that was tough!  Appreciate you more than ever. Love ya!

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