Hi there,

Just thought I’d send you an update as to my fundraising for your charity and the event that I took part in.

You guys stepped in and help my dad, Trevor Christopher, out so much when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.  That I felt I had to find a way to say thank you.  So on the 16th September I took part in my very first Ironman event in Italy.  An Ironman is what they call a full distance triathlon, so you start with a 2.4 mile swim, get changed and get on on a bike to complete 112 miles, then change again and out on two feet to complete a marathon (26.2 miles).  140.6 miles in total within a set cut off time, in this instance it was 16 hours.

Anyway, here is a report on the events of race day.

The Swim

Race day. I hadn’t slept and was tired before I started, really worried about getting through the swim. Got to transition to do last minute prep and change into the wetsuit around 6. Didn’t get in the water till around 8.30, one of the last competitors in the water and so nervous. But I needn’t have been, the swim went a lot better and quicker than expected. Only issue was getting a jelly fish in the face about 2km in, which stung like hell. But after a short stop catching my breath holding onto a sup board, I just carried on. Before I knew it the swim section was over and I was back on dry land. My time was so good, the extra buoyancy of being in salt water really helped and got me through the 3.8km.

Transition took forever, not so much the getting changed but it was just so long.

The Cycling

The bike was amazing, so quick. I was on the bars for most of it. 20km through local roads, through the flatland, saw the flamingos and then out onto the motorway which I flew along. Few issues with blatant drafting and pelotons, oh and masses of fruit flies to ride through. Stopped at the aid station to use the loo and take on more water and nutrition, then it was off again into the country and through a small town. The hill part about 60km (and then again at 120km) wasn’t even as bad as expected. Although I may still have walked the really steep bit. Andy (my partner who also did the race)spotted me and called out, think he was very happy to see I’d made it through the swim in one piece. By about 140km I’d had enough. The wind had got up on the way back in which made it tough in places, but I just kept powering through till I was back in Cervia, 180km done!!

Transition 2 was a bit quicker, but still bloody long. Took my helmet off and a load of the fruit flies fell out, they’d gone through the vents and got stuck in my hair. Then quick change into running gear before heading out for the marathon.

The Marathon

Tummy was a bit cramped as I headed out, trying to take on fuel and being crouched over the bars on the bike didn’t help digestion. But kept going and actually, felt very comfortable (apart from the cramps that is). The run was through town and the support was amazing, so many people clapping and cheering. The route was 4 laps and in places the way out and the way back past next to each other. Managed to spot Andy for a big hug, kiss and a few words of encouragement. Again, think he was relieved to see I’d made it through both the swim and bike and could relax.

Before I knew it, I was on the last lap. Have to say out of all the marathons I’ve done this for some reason felt the most comfortable. Just got into a rhythm with the run/walk and managed to pace it perfectly.

Then it was almost over, I’d changed into the HASAG shirt and started my run down the red carpet. Rang the first timers bell and then crossed the finish line where I heard those magical words Debbie Montague you are an Ironman!!

Started at 8.37am and crossed the line at 11.05pm, 14 hours and 27 minutes later.


Debbie Montague

Donations can still be made to Debbie’s campaign at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/debbie-ironman23