Wight Tri’s Peter Farwell travelled to Cervia to complete Ironman Italy alongside 2,600 athletes from around the globe at the end of last month.
The 23rd September race started at 07:45 with a 2.4 mile swim in the Adriatic sea. The air temperature was 26c and water 25c, setting the scene for what was going to be a very hot day.
Because of these temperatures it was just wetsuit legal for competitors. The warmth also attracted an abundance of jelly fish. But none of that deterred Peter from completing the 2 looped Aussie exit swim in 1:05:38.
The bike course was some 112 miles long and made up of 2 loops. The athletes left Cervia through the exposed salt flats then towards the towns of Forlimpopoli and Bertinoro. After exiting Forlimpopoli, the road started climbing towards Bertinoro, a town sitting high at the start of the Apennine Mountains. After climbing 5 miles through the rolling hills and Sangiovese vineyards, the course entered Bertinoro before beginning its descent back to Cervia.
The majority of the course was flat, rolling and fast. The closed course became busier with athletes each loop and the winds picked up as the day passed. Peter completed the ride in 5:19:37 – an impressive 15th in his age group.
Finishing with a 26.2 mile run, this comprised of 4 laps of Cervia town crossing bridges, through a park and over cobbled streets. The sun and 33c heat at 15:00 was relentless and sapping for the athletes with lots resorting to walking as they clocked up the laps.
Peter kept running although the plan for a 3:30 marathon was gone. He powered on through the fatigue, aches and pains finishing in a respectable 4:11:34, giving him a total time of 10:47:46 meaning 16th in his age category, out of the 156 who toed the line 116 completed the extraordinary feat.