Training for one Ironman and racing two – Mark Pellew


Iron Man Melbourne – 22nd March 2015 (Achieving the Sub-9 hour):


What an awesome race! Thank you to the Aussies. Having the IM Melbourne marathon run route pinned along the beach front in one direction (i.e.: from ‘point to point’) finishing in St-Kilda is truly iconic, and was the highlight of the event. On race day, the swim at Frankston (south of Melbourne) was picture perfect conditions & set up a solid fast bike on the closed-off “East-link Tollway”. Seeing my competitors three times during the bike turn-around points allowed for some entertaining cat & mouse. Thankfully I managed to pull back into contention & get into a comfortable position prior to T2. Jumping off the bike & righting myself up, I immediately felt the pull in my upper right quad, of which only days earlier an ultra-sound confirmed the tear. The run route made up for it though, through forests, wooden bridges, along the beach promenade and over gravel pathways, certainly made it entertaining, and took my mind off the pain, but didn’t help the pace. I managed to maintain speed after warming up, and it was only during the last 6km of the run where I began making in-roads back into the lead guys again. It was then I realised that I was on the cards to achieve the age groupers ultimate dream – the sub-9 hour IM! It was during those last 3km’s on the St-Kilda beachfront that turned into a speed interval for me, and gratefully the legs were happy to join the party! Not sure how – they just did! Finishing 8h58min.


Iron Man South Africa 29th March 2015 (Training for one Iron Man & racing two):


Landing in Johannesburg from Melbourne, 2 days prior to flying to Port Elizabeth, I thankfully had in place the necessary support to recondition the body (perhaps the mind too) as best possible. It was not only racing two Iron Man events 6 days apart, but the added jetlag & lack of sleep flying between two separate continents that had to be managed. Of course, considering the fatigue on the body following Melbourne, there were reservations given by qualified professionals, which considering I was jetlagged & dropping off to sleep at the oddest times, near gave in & accepted the notion it could be too much. But I knew it in my heart, that I had trained for it & was capable, so remained head-strong, prepped accordingly, and headed to PE! Arriving in the windy city and evaluating my condition each day, I decided to drop the proposed race plan, enjoy the race rather, and go entirely on feel, which is something I’ve never done before. It’s nice not to have any pressure & get out there with your friends, to give them the support they need & which they had trained so hard for. With that mind set – I let the chips fall where they may! I thoroughly enjoyed the race. I was a little lucky that the wind conditions were better than last year, but was surprised during the second half of the bike leg seeing my power meter dropping to figures I would be embarrassed to tell people. Thankfully I only had 90km of that before hitting T2. The run was, as usual with the support along route, fantastic, and probably drank enough coke at the aid stations to replace my cost of entry J! Finishing 9h40min


I’m very grateful achieving my goals for the start of this year, by making podium at both Iron Man World Championships, breaking the sub-9 hour barrier, being one of 10 South Africans to achieve those times in 35 years, and importantly for me personally, completing two races on adjoining week-ends. What I’ve taken away from this experience is truly invaluable & enthusiastic knowing what I can achieve for the remainder of the year.

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