Blog: Relief at crossing the Ironman Zurich finish line
Age-grouper Pete Jones describes the collective mass effort needed to get him past the post in Switzerland last month – he's OK after all
On Sunday the 27th of July, an amazing journey finally came to an end for me: after 11 hours 28 minutes and 54 seconds I crossed the finish line of Ironman Switzerland.
The journey had actually begun four and a half months earlier in March of the same year, the day before my first blog.
My first blog was prompted by concerns raised by my daughter after she found that I had entered Ironman Switzerland. For those that have read it, I am OK after all.
Following the race, I feel a great sense of achievement, not only in the time on the clock at the finish line or the way in which the race went on the day, but in the way that I have managed to be disciplined enough in the weeks and months that preceded it, just to actually get there. I adapted my diet and my routines and stuck religiously to a training plan that I had put together earlier in the year. I was proud of myself.
While I had been immersed in making every session of training happen and had been merrily and systematically ticking them off one by one, day by day and week by week, there were people around me making it possible. People without whom this would never have happened. They were selflessly moving their responsibilities and commitments around to make it possible for me to do the things I wanted and needed to do. They were offering advice and encouragement, by telephone, over coffee, by text and social media and over morning tea and toast in my local bike shop.
These people were paramount in my achievement. In my mind, the achievement belongs not only to me but to all of those people, each and everyone one of them should feel part of what culminated last Sunday evening.
The rules and regulations of Ironman triathlon events dictate that it is a solo effort on the day with the correct and just penalties applied for any contravention. The truth is, the achievement couldn't be further from a solo effort. Without those around us for support and encouragement we simply wouldn't get there.
Many people have given me encouragement along the way and some have used the word inspiring, or that they have been inspired by the journey that I have taken. For me, the greatest achievement following all of the effort that I have put in and the efforts of all those who have supported me, who share the accomplishment of Sunday, is actually nothing to do with completing 226km of an Ironman.
It is simply that WE may have all inspired somebody somewhere to do something new or to do something in a different way. Surely, without exception, this has to be OUR greatest achievement and one that we all should be proud of for a very long time to come.
(Main image: Dominik Orth)