Red sky in the morning, shepherds warning. The IronGods had a lot in store for the athletes that lined up to face the dragon at Ironman Wales 2022. Following postponement in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 2,000 or so athletes lined up in 2022 for the slightly delayed 10th anniversary of the event.
No Ironman event is “easy”; however, Ironman Wales has earned a reputation for being one of the hardest. Completing an Ironman requires planning, patience, and preparation. We caught up with one of our ambassadors, Lewis Bradley, who completed his first Ironman at Ironman Wales.
Lewis, Ironman Wales was your first full Ironman, now that the dust has settled and you’ve had time to reflect on your race, would you change anything in your preparation?
“I’m not sure what I would change actually! However, here’s my top tips for people who will choose Ironman Wales as their first Ironman:
1) Embrace the moment, the start is something that makes you feel very strange. It’s ok to be nervous, just stay calm and don’t be afraid when entering the swim start.
2) As much as you will want to chill going to T1 through Tenby you won’t. The noise is mind blowing and you will push!
3) Chill out at transition, it’s easy to forget something. I almost forgot my salt tabs and that could be the difference of having a good bike time and being able to run after!
4) Use the flat or hills to your advantage, I chose hills to be my advantage due to my size / weight. I ate and drank well on the flats and pushed on the hills while spectators pulled me along.
5) Eat on the run. Something I really should have tried while training, it’s so important. I was hungry on lap 3 and managed to scoff a few bananas down me! Feed stations were amazing but make sure if you are going to use them to be comfortable with the nutrition given out. Literally no one was using the gels or bars because of this reason. It’s also ok to walk the feed station, it’s a good way to break-up the hill into sections.
6) EMBRACE THE RED CARPET!
The timing mat is at the very start of the carpet so don’t rush the end. I tried to look out for family but the noise was incredible…oh and make sure there’s no one behind you for the finish photo!”
Lewis has vlogged the build up to the day here.