Serpie Planner - event reports

Ironman Austria (05 Jul 2009)

By now, some lucky Serpies will have electronically slapped down the tidy sum of €400 for next year’s Ironman Austria and they won’t be disappointed; this must be one of the world’s best races with a great course and a superbly scenic and atmospheric setting and, whatever your view on the power of the M-dot brand, they certainly know how to spoil you. Of course, this information is irrelevant to most of you because this years race sold out within an hour, despite the price hike.

I have some tips to offer, but you find me in philosophical mood: I found the run in the heat incredibly hard and at times felt a flu-like pain where everything ached and couldn’t keep my heart rate from soaring. I spent a lot of the run sitting down and pondering whether finishing was really necessary once my race targets were well and truly out the window. What I discovered was that there is still huge satisfaction to be gained from battling through. So, for both first time ironmen and those with memories too short to remember the pain of the last race, I’d recommend having not only a strongly defined race plan but also a plan for what happens when things go wrong because despite the thinking time you have out there, it is pretty tricky to rationally think these things through once fatigue sets in.

FLIGHT TIP: Klagenfurt has an airport which Ryan Air fly to but EasyJet fly to Ljubljana which is just over an hours drive away – a very nice drive over the mountains. BUT Nirvana also fly in there and so our flight was chocka with bikes – a few didn’t make it but were delivered a day later.

ACCOM TIP: The race site is 7kms from town out by a beautiful turquoise lake. You would stay in Klagenfurt town if you want to rely on the frequent bus transport out to the race site. It is a pleasant town. At the Race site there is a campsite or Plattenwirt 4 star hotel, or if you have a car it might be nice to base yourself out of one of the other lakeside towns.

Those that we met who used Nirvana had a similar experience to us at Roth – nothing wrong with Nirvana’s organisation, just that you get tied to their bus schedule and accommodation which is a bit out of the way – BUT, they do still have race places so they might be your only chance of racing next year.

RACE SITE: The venue is based around a park, campsite and lido. The lido is fantastic and well worth hanging around. Also good for your supporters.

THE COURSE: Lake swim. I have never enjoyed swimming so much. The last 900m is up a narrow canal which is carnage but outstanding fun and incredibly fast as you get dragged along in the draft of hundreds of others. Recce where the entrance to the canal is and factor in rising sun into your face making it hard to sight on the return. The bike course is fast but not flat. Part of the reason for the speed is because it is impossible to escape the illegal draft for the first 30kms and for the rest of the course a legal draft can pull you along. If you take the hills easy you get respite to hammer the long descents. One end of the run is hot and the other end is shaded. Crowd support is fantastic. As I said, this is an outstanding race.

This report would be incomplete without acknowledging some great performances: Fiona Strouts doing 10:17 in her first IM, and outstanding effort from Vic Hampson to smash a PB with a 3:57 marathon, Damian Lodge going sub 10:30. Oli Jones and Jo Proudlove with solid, strong marathons passing everyone failing around them. Those are the results I know about except for Jules: Julie Payne got a PB while carrying a back injury (think Quasimodo when imagining her finishing photo) but still left with the “what ifs?”. For me, I feel both satisfied and disappointed. IM has too many what ifs and too much pain and that will be my last.

Report by N Melville

Ironman Austria (03 Jul 2011)

Martin Muldoon
Irish National long course record
Serpentine long course record
3rd M35-39 Age Group

Rory Maguire
3rd fastest Serpentine long course result

For Martin's race report on the Tri Ireland Website see: