Many athletes in the Endurance world train hard. They have to if they are going to achieve. Marathon runners will take on board a 100 mile per week regime which is tough. Imagine training for an Event which features a two and half mile swim race in the sea, followed by an 112 mile bike race and ’rounded off’ by a Marathon? This is Brian Fogarty’s world. This is the world of Ironman and it is a tough one.
Having come first amateur at this years British Ironman Championships and qualifying yet again for the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, Brian’s training saw him reach the ‘form of his life’ as he described it as he made the long journey over, full of expectation and ambition and rightly so.
(Brian’s Support Crew)
Two thousand three hundred and sixteen athletes set off at the start of the Race and no one needed to tell them that in the world of endurance, anything, absolutely anything can happen, even when you have prepared so meticulously for your event. It does as they, ‘bite you on the behind’ sometimes!
(Brian and Maria)
Brian spoke to the Club after he had time to recover and his reflections on the Race demonstrate the enormous mental power that he showed in completing the event in the most difficult of circumstances. There is always a debate in the athletics world about how much mental focus and strength is important vis-a-vis physical strength. Of course, both are important, but without a shadow of doubt if you don’t have the mental resilience and determination it is highly unlikely that you will achieve your targets, no matter how modest or how high they maybe. Over to Brian “This year at the Ironman world Championships I was confident I was ready to put in my best performance ever. Physically and mentally I was in great shape. This event never ceases to amaze me. The conditions were tough but that really didn’t phase me, I wasn’t bothered, the harder the better. Unfortunately it was one of the most underrated factors that sabotaged my day.
The race started well, with a tough ocean swim I took 8 minutes off last years time with 1:05, a lot more to improve but I had to be content with that. That was enough for me to still get back in the race and push for a podium. On to the bike I felt good, I was soon passing people by the dozen. After last year I was so diligent to eat and drink plenty so I didn’t suffer later in the race. After about only 30 miles things started to change my gut just didn’t seem to be digesting anything, I ignored the issue and carried on fueling as I had planned, hoping things would settle naturally. It went from bad to worse as each mile passed. I rode over 50 miles sat up as the cramps in my stomach were killing me. I stayed positive and prayed when I got onto the run things may improve. I finished the bike in 4.58 over 25 minutes down from were I’d hoped to be.
On to the run and I knew instantly this was going to be a hard marathon. The best I could come up with was just shuffle and keep praying things would settle so I could at least run properly. It just got harder and harder. Finishing was my only objective in the end as not doing was never an option. Family and friends had traveled so far to come and support me, I had to at least earn the medal. I did, finishing in 10.02 and a 3.51 marathon time. After crossing the line I collapsed and spent 2 hours in the medical tent, it took 3 IV drips to bring me back to life, I had lost an incredible 22lbs. I’m bitterly disappointed with how things turned out but upon reflection i will learn and bounce back. I have 6 weeks until my next Ironman in Arizona with fellow Blackburn Harrier Paul Slone, where I intend to finish the year with a PB”.
(Brian and his Coach Paul Guinan)