Since many years I thought that a day I will make an iron man.
But I am a runner and I have little four children (soon 5) and it’s very complicated to let your family a long time when nobody can keeps your children except my wife.
And you have to be very prepared for this crazy competition.
I have decided in july 2017 when I was in holidays to realize my dream.
But I didn’t want to make an iron man in France. Too late in august and so complicated with my work, too expensive and too serious with a lot of strong and mad competitors.
I found a serious but “family iron man” not in France but near London in England. The “Midnignt man” an original competition as I am an original man. And not for the rich !! :)
Good choice !!! Perfect for my wallet and because I don’t like to wake me up early ! I asked the organisator John a lot of things ! John a great man worried me. I told my wife that I can manage the iron man in England because I met John my new English friend !! Never mind if I don’t speak very well English !
Three weeks to prepare the bike !!! I take a bicycle in location, take the train, sleep 3 hours, mend a puncture before the run and let’s go !
The water was very cold ! And I was afraid because after one hour I had cramp in my calf. So I only used my arms ! I go on and 3 times I had cramp in my calf. A nightmare !
I was waiting for the bike !!
When I went out of water it was horrible ! I couldn’t walk and couldn’t take off of my wetsuit !
I was very happy to be on the bike but it was cold because I was wet.
I had many clothers but I don’t like cold.
I had a light given with the bike but it didn’t work after 10 laps ! The lap 19 : I was happy because I didn’t have a puncture and if I would have give up. It was finished for me without lights to mend the puncture…
But before the lap 20 a cat ran towards me and grazed my bicycle. Saved !!! I had chance !
I am a runner and I was happy to start the marathon ! I am a runner who made 13 marathons with one or two (or three) children in a stroller !!
So now all was in my head !!!
John (as a lot of nice English people) at each lap is here to encourage me with many “go down, really good !!”.
Fortunately because my body said stop !!! The beautiful sun was a gift !! I thought that soon I will tell my 4 children and above all my daughter who said that this run was impossible that all is possible and that I will be an iron man.
More than 15 hours, I am a finisher ! Thank you John ! J An English dream !! I come back the same day in France being asleep on my feet ! It was very hard but the monday I felt like a king ! I am from now on an iron man !! Very happy !
Florian GOMEZ (a french man)
Everyone I mentioned it to, fellow triathletes included, responded with one word: “Why?”. Why would you want to do a triathlon at night?! The ‘quirk’ of Midnight Man was the 6pm start time on a Saturday, with competitors racing Full, Half and Quarter IM distance events. I opted for the half distance, having set myself the goal of breaking that duck before the end of the season.
The advantage of an evening race was no ridiculous wake-up call in the morning, and meant I could spend all day ‘fuelling’! Soon enough, though, the time came and we were ushered into the water. Race starts always seem to be a bit of a tumble dryer affair and this one was no different, so I tried to start steady, assuring myself I would make up places later on. By halfway I was into a rhythm, but found myself in no-man’s land – no feet to draft today.
Then it was out of the water and onto the bike. For a change, I managed to get through transition without any dramas – the mental visualisation must have paid off! The bad news was that my heart rate was still something close to that of a small rodent. And that didn’t change much for a while either! Fresh legs meant I felt strong on the flat bike course, so I kept pushing. After six or seven laps (of 10), I could see my splits and average speed dropping, so I decided to back off and keep something for the run. Even so, I arrived at T2 quicker than my original expectations, which was a great boost psychologically.
Now that it was dark, finding my space in transition was slightly trickier and I ran past it twice! But it was as I stepped out onto the run course that it all seemed to unravel. With race nutrition normally a weakness, I had made a conscious effort to consume my mobile buffet. What I had neglected to consider, however, was my stomach’s capability to digest while in a TT position. Now, as I started to run, all I could focus on was the nausea. Finally, after about 10km, it subsided and I was able to increase my pace to slightly-above-shuffling. Looking at my watch, I knew I was still on course to beat my target time and, with a final effort, I staggered across the line!
As usual, enjoyment was deferred until after the finish, but the event was well organised and marshalled. Racing in the dark was a novel experience and provided its own challenges, not least staying up past bedtime! Climbing into bed that night, I spared a thought for those racing the full distance. They would see the sun rise; I certainly wouldn’t!