Katie completes an emotional Steelman but could she beat her dad?
My Dad thought he had a bright idea for us both to enter Steelman in December 2018 (As he’s getting on a bit and was going to be his last Half Ironman). Before this I would only do the odd park run here and there when I could be bothered to and LincsQuad track sessions…(when it wasn’t hills…as those who know me, know I love them so much).
After receiving the confirmation email…I started to panic…Am I really going to do a Half Ironman in August 2019?!?!
My ultimate goal was just to finish within the cut off times…(and secretly beating my dad would be amazing!)
So let the training begin…LincsQuad Track sessions, pool swims, OTCF swim sessions, Open water swimming (thanks to Shawnie for coming with me!), duathlons and TT’s and well the bike…biking is not my strongest point.
As Malcom Dent said to me at TT’s…’Katie why don’t you pedal down hills, you’ll go faster and it’ll be easier’. I said ‘well I need a rest, my legs ache!’. After lots of rides out and Sportives, biking didn’t seem such a chore anymore.
Bike fit with Ric Longcake all went well…as many know the score before Steelman was 0-1 to me after defeating Ric in the Early Brigg Sprint. Luckily Ric put our battle aside and fitted my bike perfectly ready for Race day. Many thanks Ric!
I planned on keeping Steelman a secret in case I didn’t make it to the finish…but someone decided to announce it to everyone on the LincsQuad Facebook page…THANKS DAD!!!
Training all going well until Doncaster Half Marathon. Managed to finish it with a sprained foot…6 weeks before Steelman!!! PANIC starts to set in BIG TIME!! 3 weeks off recovery and back on it slowly.
As it was posted on the Lincsquad Facebook page… LET THE BATTLE BETWEEN THE SCUTT’S COMMENCE!!
Saturday 3rd August 2019=Steelman Half Ironman Distance Race Day.
I have never been so nervous in my entire life. Putting our bikes in the car (or shall I say dad did that bit as according to Jeff’s Duathlon Race report…Dad does everything for Valerie). We didn’t really speak to each other on the way. Headphones in and off we go to Ellerton Water Park.
Parking up, getting everything out ready, chatting to LincsQuad and OTCF teams, all wishing each other luck and me moaning to everyone about not making the cut off time for the bike! My biggest worry!!
Team talks out the way. Team photo time! Nerves starting to set in…
Saying goodbye to family and friends watching. Wet suits on and race briefing time. To be honest didn’t really listen as there was a massive spider on me! Just what you need before the Race.
Getting into the water, I knew I got the swim in the bag. Swimming towards the start line. The bell goes off! Woah, were not even at the start line yet! First lap goes well…second lap…a ‘lovely’ lady decides to overtake me around the buoy, she decided to swim on top of me…thanks for that!!
Swim done= 32 minutes!
Into transition starting to panic as I knew I now had a 58 mile bike to do and knew it was going to be tough. Nerves kicked in, could not get the wetsuit zip down, I noticed Ed Smith next to me and shout ‘Ed help me!’. I got it off. Helmet, race belt, socks, shoes on and ready to go..
Setting off on the bike, I said to myself not to look at the watch at timings. I knew I was in front of my dad but it wouldn’t take him long to overtake me. Enjoyed a lovely pork pie on the first lap (always time for food!). Going up and down the hills was actually ok. Some great advice from Donna Chappill, ‘get a song in your head and pedal with the beat’…so… ‘there’s always gonna be another mountain, I’m always gonna wanna make it move, always gonna be an uphill battle, ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side’. The climb…strange thing is, I haven’t heard that song in years! Approaching the end of the first lap, still no sign of Dad. Passed Gemma and Craig cheering everyone on! Knowing I only have 1 lap left then I’m off the bike.
Second lap, I start to panic as Dad should of overtaken me by now! Has he fallen off? Has he become ill? Has he dropped out?
Rachel Brothwell comes flying past, as does Camilla Morgan cheering us on! Emma Watts comes past and tells me that Dad is a few miles behind. I thought to myself. ‘Come on Katie get him on the bike!’
I MADE IT WITHIN CUT OFF TIME! I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!
Bike done= 3 hours 25 minutes
Still in shock that I was still ahead of Dad. Quick transition and off I go. I thought I had done the hardest part. The bike was complete! Now for 13.1 miles running.
Starting on the run with a stitch, not the best start. The run consists of running 2 laps on potholes, muddy puddles, uneven grounds, fields, woods and roads.
Camilla comes past on lap 1 and tells me that Dad has dropped out because he just couldn’t do the run. A part of me was gutted as I knew he wanted us both to complete it and he wasn’t going too, but I knew I had to make him proud and finish.
Water station was amazing! Crisps, jelly babies and water…what more could you ask for?! (Didn’t really want to leave to be honest)
Looked at the watch 12 minute miles!? What?! Was a little disappointed in that, but knew I would still make it in time.
One lap down, one to go. Onto second lap. Cheering from Ali, Stuart and Dan. Also family and friends screaming at me!
Lap 2, tougher than ever!
What was I so worried about the bike for? Should of been the run!
Looked at the watch…11 miles done…2 to go. I caught up with a lady and she started chatting and telling me to do what she was doing. Walking 100 steps and running 100 steps.
What!! I couldn’t even think about counting to 100, I couldn’t remember how!
All I was focused on was getting to that finishing line!
I come past transition area, relief! I’ve nearly made it, trying not to cry.
Sprinting into the finishing line…
Run done = 2 hours 41 minutes
I DID IT!!! I COMPLETED STEELMAN!!
6 hours 44 minutes!
That feeling of finishing my first Half Ironman was just unbelievable. It was both mentally and physically hard but that was not going to stop me.
I BEAT MY DAD TOO!!!! (Just had to put that in there in case anyone didn’t know already)
Looking around and I don’t think there was one dry eye around me! Hugs from Lincsquad, OTCF, friends and family.
I saw my Dad coming up to me with tears in his eyes and rolling down his face! He just hugged me tight and said ‘Well done Katie! I am so proud of you!’ Those words meant so much! (My Dad does not do emotional so this was just so heartwarming, knowing I had made him proud)
It meant so much that so many people believed in me and knew I could do it. Even at times when I doubted myself. You never expect it to be emotional!
There is so many people to thank for this journey leading up to and during Steelman…
My Mum for always being a fabulous supporter and believing in me!
My friends for putting up with a lot of moaning, worrying, doubting myself. Also for training with me whether it’s Open water swimming, pool swim, running or biking. (Especially Ryan, who got the worst of it…sorry!! All your positivity is much appreciated, moaning will stop for the time being until the next one…)
Lincsquad team and coaches for keeping me on the right track with training, motivating me, believing in me, knowing I can do it and supporting me.
Also a Special thanks to my Dad. For getting my into this crazy world of training for triathlons, Duathlons and Half Ironman distance races.
I couldn’t of done any of it without you.