Ironman Lanzarote 2018 – Derek McCabe

Again Where do i begin with this madness..

This was going to be my 4th time attempting this race….
Lanzarote was not a race i was going to do again after my back gave me
really bad problems in 2016 on the bike.. And on that day i said never again
but i ended up doing Lanzarote in 2017 as there was such good crew going i couldn’t
miss out on that & also maybe too rid me of “DEMONS” of 2016…

Also i think this race calls you back………..!!!!!!! Why…………..!!!!!!

Roll on 2018 & a little mouse had said to me in 2017 that if you do 5 Lanzarote Ironman
races you get a special medal to acknowledge the feat… Do i really want that i thought
to myself as i would have to do 2 more races… Then Leila my wife said sure you might as well
go for that now it would be nice to have…. That was it “PERMISSION” granted from the
home office…….. I’m sure there was lots of times when i disappeared on a bike for 6 hrs
on a Saturday she regretted that comment……..!!!!!!

Those who know me know i’m one for stopping training at the end of the summer more so
to give my body a rest, so the thoughts of starting training for another Ironman
didn’t go down well with the men in my head & also as it would be my 3rd year in a row & putting my body through the early mornings was not too appealing to me….

So roll on New Years eve 2017 sitting watching crap on TV that was it, i pressed that active button
& signed up.. I knew Matt Bird was going back to rid himself of some Demons so i “HAD” to go back really didn’t i……. (And **HELP** him see below…)

January came & training started & it was go go from the start & over coming few months
as we all know would become testing with all the shite weather we had.. Lots
of Indoor 4 hr bike sessions & runs on bloody treadmills…. Lanzarote is so early in the year
its the hard winter days thats the toughest, some really cold days out on the bike & running
in rain on dark cold Sunday mornings.. Sure Matt wasn’t bad company…..

The months seemed to pass quickly & roll on May 24th the day i would be flying out.
I got to Lanzarote on the Thursday morning & i was in early so built bike straight away
as we had a car booked to drive to La Santa. When i say “we” Vincent Galvin had signed
up a few months ago so he was coming to La Santa with myself & Matt..
Brian Power & Anthony Gar had also signed up but i’m not around the club training much
what with 2 kids & a busy job so forgive me i did not know that lads at all.. (That soon changed)

Race day was the normal 4am rise for Breakfast, Sunscreen on & myself & Matt
headed for transition. Transition this year was set up on the beach i have say i thought it was bloody terrible the bikes were on top of each other & not much room for movement. Met up
with all that lads whilst chilling like lambs to the slaughter.. In the mean time Brian came up to us with his bike & a puncture Nooooooooooo… So instead of us all trying to get clinchers from deep
rim wheels i said go to the mechanics & get them to do it.. Done in 10mins & i’m sure Brians
stress levels dropped..

Swim Time: 1hr 05mins

The swim is manic in Lanza as it’s a mass start. I had decided to stay to the right at that start
& away form the madness but 100m into the start i got an awful box & i swallowed lots of water
& i had to stop & for the first time in a race it frightened the life to of me.. I tried to stay calm but no one around me was staying calm……… What seemed like 10mins but it was only a minute i started back slowly & happily got myself into my stride & yep i’m back in the game.. Lap 1 done
which is always the toughest & onto Lap 2 which was thankfully uneventful.. 1hr 05 mins swim
i’ll take that..

Transition 1:
I ran into the tent grabbed my gear & met Anthony & quick chat & off we went. We did meet
on the road out & thats a story i’ll let Anthony tell…….

Bike Time: 7hrs 03mins

This year they changed the bike course & from the very start it was climbing climbing..
Eventually after the initial tough start i settled into the bike & usual nutrition. After
60k Vincent passed me quick chat & he was on his way.. Usual bloody relentless
winds & climbing grinding out the gears & wondering to myself why am i back here putting my body through this, finally the Special Aid station was in my sights & my Ham & Cheese
roll which i was so looking forward too instead of bars & gels….

We met all the Supporters in Teguise (Leila, Shane & Ciat) & they were brilliant with Pulse & Irish flags screaming.  Had met Kim Alex Joanna & Jonny earlier & all i can say is Thanks your support on the bike is amazing & its a massive confidence booster when you see everyone..

Met Matt here & we had a quick chat & i was off, 10 mins later he caught up with me
& left me for dead & as i shouted at him “I would have waited for you” a little chuckle &
up Mirador del Rio. Finally to the top & the speculator views & onto the downhill where 70k per
hr is the norm…  On the new bike route there are a few out & backs so i saw Matt again on one
of these which surprised me as he was flying when I last saw him so I was wondering why I was so close as i was not going any faster… To my surprise i caught up with Matt & as passing him i asked was he ok as he did look pretty shook & his answer was i’m Bo****ed as he had no energy drink left so as Matt will tell you “I SAVED HIS LIFE” & i gave him my drink & some Jelly Babies… I’ll probably never let him forget this & we had a good laugh at this later the next day…..

Finally home from the bike & in reality i was hoping for a 6hr 30min bike but the new course was not going to let that happen so 7hr’s 3mins later finally off the bike & the baking sun.

Transition 2:
Sitting getting suncream lashed on me Matt came into the Tent thankfully he said he was like
new pin.. (See Matt i did save your life)….. 🙂 🙂

Run Time: 4hr 42mins

On the run i headed off into the baking sun, down out towards the airport which to me is the toughest part of this run course as it so desolate. Saw Brian & Anthony come in together on the bikes so i was delighted in the fact that everyone was off the bike. The run for me was tough with the heat & my tights were sore from the bike. I plodded on as you do & Matt had gone by me at this stage (Again he didn’t wait…….)

Eventually after walking Aid stations & plodding along & i was on my way home..
It’s quite an emotional section to me going home as all the training has payed off & i get to see Ciat & there’s my wife Leila who’s support has been amazing as always on this journey & thinking
of my kids & hopefully someday they will be proud of there Daddy.. The realisation that i was finishing set in & i smiled all the way down that chute.. Medal Number 4 & a massive Grin……

13hrs 8mins in total & i worked bloody hard for that….. As Vincent Galvin said “You don’t go to Lanzarote for a time it dishes out a time for you” no truer word said……

Met Vincent & Matt in the tent having food & a drink & not long after Brian & Anthony arrived & brilliant to know we had all finished….

That’s it my 4th Lanzarote done & my in total my 6th. If i had been told that 10 years ago when i started this madness i would have peeded myself laughing at you…. Its so addictive..

If your thinking doing an Ironman Do it… If your thinking go doing Lanzarote “DO IT” you’ll be back..

Will i go back hell yes even if it kills me i want that bloody 5th medal…. Next year no.. (Maybe Cork….) 2020 for my 50th sounds like a plan & 16hrs 59mins 59secs will do then..

Finally A massive Thank you to my Wife for her support on this journey (again) without it i’d never get the job done….. To Matt Bird thanks for the year & training it was a blast as usual & a great laugh. To all the Pulse Supporters who made the trip over Ciat, Alex, Joanna & “Megaphone” Jonny, Kim Paula & Sean. Thank you thank you thank you were amazing as per usual…

To the “Famous Five” Thanks for the memories lads especially on the Sunday…. My Jaw is still sore from the laughing…. Please everyone ask Vincent Galvin about his run issues & especially ask Matt to tell you the story how  “I SAVED HIS LIFE”……….!!!!! 🙂 🙂

To everyone racing Austria & other races in the coming months remember keep smiling believe me it works…….. Never give up…….

I’m off now to regain some extra weight I’m missing…….

Derek McCabe


We won the Ironman Div III Tri Club Award which was brilliant a collective effort
from all the lads….  Bravo……

Pulse Triathlon Club: swimming, cycling, running and socialising since 2003

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