Ironman 70.3…

Ironman Staffs

So, it seems the Chile Challenge will be continuing into next year – or at least the training and blog. Allow me to explain why…

This whole thing began to coincide with my training for the Avenger Triathlon: a ‘middle’ or ‘half-iron’ distance event of 70.3 miles or 113 km, and those of you who have been keeping up will know I managed to complete what is reputedly one of the toughest races at this distance on the calendar in just under 8 hours back in June.

Like most triathletes though, the quest for the next challenge is never ending, and when I read about the newest race to hit these shores – Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire – it sounded like an ideal candidate.

Why? A number of reasons – Firstly, well it is official Ironman. There is not room here to go into more detail on this, so keep an eye out soon, but basically it is a big deal. Secondly, it is a good distance, at my own personal limit but after the Avenger I know I can do it. Third, the course is supposed to be fast and flat, unlike the last one I endured… and finally, it is practically on my doorstep (well less than an hour away anyway) which means I can get there even for a 6 am start.

Anyway, it sounded like a great idea, so I registered online as soon as I heard about it. Little did I realise quite how popular it would be though, with over 8500 people alone pre-registering from around the world, for just 2500 places. The countdown was starting to actually get a place on this thing.

It turned out getting a place was an event in itself. A few days before it opened, I received an email with a link, telling me to log in at a certain date and time to register. With slightly confusing wording (perhaps I thought too much about the time difference 13.00 CET is actually 12.00 BST, but it actually turned out to be 13.00 in the UK anyway) and the fact it fell on a work day it made things a bit complicated, but with that many people registered it was bound to sell out fast.

So I tried again an hour later and here is exactly what happened:

  • 13.03 – Realise what time it is, take my lunch break and try and log on from my work laptop (justifying that as this is raising money for charity is is work related). Page does not work properly due to either sophisticated filters or antiquated browser.
  • 13.05 Start panicking after about 5 attempts but unable to get on.
  • 13.06 Try logging on from smartphone, but no 3G signal at my desk.
  • 13.07 Go to the only place on my floor where you can get 3G: the bathroom!
  • 13.10 Finally manage to get a fast enough connection to get on, and start registering.
  • 13.12 Get to payment page, but credit card not working. Try two other credit cards, and still no luck
  • 13.14 Try original card but with different password. It works! Receive confirmation I am registered
  • 13.20 Check official website, and find out the even sold out in less than 15 minutes: I scraped in by literally seconds!

So there you have it. Something to keep training for over the next 9 months, and a place on what seems to be the most popular triathlon event ever held in this country. Let’s hope I do it justice on the day!


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