Ironman Dublin 70.3 – The Run

10 Aug

I looked at my watch as I headed out and was shocked to see that it said about 4:30. I was confident that I could do the run in under 3 hours, so it would be a new PB for me, as long as I didn’t fall apart. There was also a faint hope that if I ran well, I might be able to take an hour off my previous PB.

The run was 20.1km as the transitions had been very long. I figured that if I could maintain 6:00/km then I would finish in about 2 hours.

As I headed out on a grass path towards the road, I felt great. My legs didn’t have that leaden feeling that so many people describe and I felt good. I could see Annabelle up ahead with her iPad and somewhere behind her were Claire and Stu. I gave them a big smile and some thumbs up and asked how Suzanne and Steve were doing. They said they were out on the run which was great.


Steve enjoying his run

IMG_6079 IMG_6080 IMG_6081 IMG_6082

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.30.12

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.30.20

We had been told that the run course was really flat, but when you’re tired, every little incline feels like a mountain. There were crowds on some parts of the course, but much of it was fairly deserted (unlike Weymouth which seemed to have spectators everywhere). My favourite parts were the out and back sections, where I kept my eyes peeled in case I saw Suzanne or Steve, but we didn’t pass each other. I also did some SOAS spotting – one lady was wearing coral lummi and another had on the Barcelona kit, which is one of my favourites. I think she confused my husband as when he saw the kit he assumed it was me, at first!

After a while, I started to feel fatigued. I knew I hadn’t eaten enough on the bike, but the aid stations didn’t really have much. I’m not sure whether some of them had bananas, but most of them only had gels to eat. I had some water, and tried some powerade, but the flavour wasn’t appetising, so I had some flat Pepsi, washed down with water as I care about my teeth!

IMG_6086 IMG_6090 IMG_6088 IMG_6087

The course was three laps long. The toughest part of the course was towards the start of each new lap – we had to run downhill with crowds cheering on either side. Halfway down was a turn around point, so finishers continued, but the rest of us with more laps to do had to turn around and slog our way back up the hill past the spectators. It felt tough. A few times, my breathing got ragged, but when I tried to use my inhaler at Weymouth, I dropped it and it fell apart. Bending over to pick it up really broke my stride, so I didn’t want to risk that again, which was probably a bit silly.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.30.42 Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.31.15 Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.31.22 Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.31.31

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.31.37I was really struggling at this point. My back was painful and I have had bruises on the tops of my feet since my ‘unplanned dismount’ last week. I stopped and stretched very briefly before carrying on. Then I heard a shout. Lots of people had been calling my name (or ‘Tasmin’ as my name is just too uncommon for most people to be able to read it at a quick glance), but this person genuinely sounded like they knew me. I looked up and was really surprised to see Amie from our Embrace Sports holiday on her bike. It really gave me a lift and I managed to pick up the pace a little.

There was some good camaraderie out on the run course and lots of people made comments as they passed each other. I was also really impressed by the grit and determination shown by a large South African guy, who was really finding it hard but pushing on. I also liked the witty signs that a group of supporters had at the side of the road, with my favourite being: ‘Smile if you pee’d on the swim course’ – it made me laugh 🙂

On my second lap, an American runner, Rebecca, caught up with me and asked if we could run together. It was her first tri and I think she wanted some company. I was so grateful as our conversation helped to distract me from the fact that the miles were ticking away very slowly. Whilst we were running together we managed to pick up the pace. I was a little disappointed when I saw 6:27 tick past on my watch, but I was still confident that I could finish in under 7 hours.

Running towards the finish line with Rebecca © Claire Cooke

Running towards the finish line with Rebecca © Claire Cooke

Rebecca and I continued down the red carpet together. We saw her husband and she called out to him. I managed a little sprint at the end of the red carpet and tried to look happy instead of looking at my Garmin.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.33.23 Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.33.39 Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.33.46 Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.33.54Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.34.10 Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.34.03  Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 20.34.21

After we’d crossed the line, Rebecca and I embraced as I think we were both grateful of each other’s support.

I collected my tshirt, medal and bottle of water, had my chip removed and then exited the finish area. Amie was there waiting – it was lovely to see her, I really appreciated it. I then went out and found Steve, Suzanne, Stu and the other supporters.

Overall, this was my best discipline. This shouldn’t surprise me as I was a runner before I became a triathlete and I am most confident about my running, but I found it such a struggle that I thought I would slip right down in the rankings! Because I had such a cracking run at Weymouth Classic recently, I thought that I might be able to maintain a pace of under 6:00/km, but that turned out to be totally unrealistic.

Weymouth run time: 2:26:38
Dublin run time: 2:17:13
Division rank: 64/107
Average pace: 6:30/km

Weymouth overall time: 7:27:54
Dublin overall time: 6:45:38
I know that it’s not possible to compare two different triathlons, with entirely different terrains, weather conditions and transitions, but I think that a 42:16  time difference must signal some improvement on my part. At the end of the swim, I assessed how I felt and was confident that I could do it again; at the end of the bike, I felt a little tied, but was sure that I could keep going; however, by the time I was 5km into the run, I felt shattered and just wanted it to be over. I definitely need to work on my cycling strength, bike handling skills and ability to fuel on my bike next year if an ironman attempt is ever going to be successful!


I decided to go wild and celebrate with an alcoholic beverage!

Post Dublin

The calm after the storm!


Wearing my new medal with pride


Ironman Dublin 70.3 finisher certificate


20 Responses to “Ironman Dublin 70.3 – The Run”

  1. unironedman 10/08/2015 at 11:51 pm #

    Fair play and congrats. Pleased to hear Dublin was a good host. My mate did this too, and I am due to race next month, all going well. Ironman next year, no bother!

    • tamsynsmith 11/08/2015 at 8:14 pm #

      It’s a lovely and welcoming area. I just wish that RyanAir would guarantee that bikes would be put on flights. I couldn’t afford to risk my bike not making it, so the door-to-door return journey took 12.5 hours 😦 I’ve heard rumours that there wil be a full Ironman in Dublin in 2017, which would be good.

      Good luck for your race 🙂

  2. emilyschmemily59 10/08/2015 at 11:56 pm #

    Great job – congrats on a great race (and thanks for posting – I’m going to keep my eye on this one as a destination race after I tackle IM Canada 🙂 )

    • tamsynsmith 11/08/2015 at 8:11 pm #

      Thank you. It is a lovely place to visit and the roads were great. Be prepared for COLD water – quite a few international triathletes arrived with sleeveless wetsuits, not realising just how chilly it would be. I had also hoped for a little more support on the run course… I guess that’s one of the disadvantages of being in the penultimate swim wave.

  3. rmarier2014 11/08/2015 at 1:30 am #

    Great work! Fantastic improvement! Thank you for a great race report!

    • tamsynsmith 11/08/2015 at 8:09 pm #

      Thank you. I realluy surprised myself… but can already see lots of areas for improvement.

  4. bribikes 11/08/2015 at 4:05 am #

    This is so great to hear, Tamsyn! You did a wonderful job!

  5. Jacqui 11/08/2015 at 5:05 pm #

    You nailed it! Fantastic result, I’m delighted for you.

    • tamsynsmith 11/08/2015 at 8:08 pm #

      Thanks, Jacqui – sounds like you had a great time at your last race too 🙂

  6. seanmackin99 12/08/2015 at 9:39 am #

    Congratulations! No matter about course differences – PBs are PBs!

  7. seanmackin99 12/08/2015 at 9:40 am #

    Congratulations! Different course or not; a PB is a PB! Particularly by that margin – it can’t just be down to course 🙂

    • tamsynsmith 12/08/2015 at 9:46 pm #

      Thank you… now if only I can make the same progress in the next 12 months!

  8. AndrewGills 12/08/2015 at 11:51 pm #

    Wow! Congratulations! Epic effort

  9. Rand Runs 18/08/2015 at 12:04 pm #

    Well done Tamsyn, great run.


  1. Revisiting my goals for 2015 | Fat Girl to Ironman - 17/12/2015

    […] smashed this goal! I finished in 6:45:38, taking over 40 minutes off my previous half iron […]

  2. My 2015 race/event awards | Fat Girl to Ironman - 27/12/2015

    […] the event only cost €6, I can’t complain about that! Most Unique Medal This has to go to Ironman Dublin 70.3: This is a heavy medal with a beautifully decorated ribbon. Favourite Race Shirt (tech tee or […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: