Introducing Paul Ransome, an age group triathlete who has qualified for Kona 2017 and who will be sharing his journey with us over the coming months.
First off, yes it is true you have to take your credit card to the awards ceremony and be prepared to drop nearly $1000 minutes after shouting ‘YES!’
The journey started 2 years ago after completing my first long distance triathlon at Ironman UK Bolton. I finished in 11:13:59 in 141st place overall.
Obviously I’d caught the Ironman bug because after the race most of my free time was taken up researching how to get faster. The article that turned my head and made me wonder if I could actually make it all the way to the world championships in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, was Gordo Byrn’s story of how he finished his first Ironman in 11:06 and went on to race professionally and improving his PB over time to 8:29.
When I told people what I was going to try to achieve by qualifying for Kona in 2017 I did get a few strange looks and maybe some people were slightly dismissive, all I thought was Gordo did it and I was nearly as fast as him in my first race.
Roll on 2 years and an age group silver medal at the long distance European championships in Weymouth; I had signed up for Ironman Weymouth as they had just taken the race over from Challenge. I could hardly believe my luck, I train there and I know the roads plus the run course suits me. This had to be it I had to make it at this race as being a first year race I might get lucky with the competition.
I’m a qualified triathlon coach and had been following well designed plans, however I thought I needed more so employed the services of T3 coach Mark Threlfall a local professional. His training took me to a new level and even with a break for a chest infection and some run niggles, I new I was going into Weymouth a much stronger triathlete than in 2015.
After completing the race and finishing 4th overall I had the long agonising wait for the awards ceremony the next day to confirm 100% that I’d qualified. I checked the board outside at 9am which confirmed this but I still wasn’t happy, not until it got to my age category in the Kona slot awards (they started with the older categories first!) and he said the 2 fastest times of the day had qualified, cue my heart thumping waiting for him to say 3 slots which he then did I just had to wait for Paul Kaye to say ‘Paul Ransome yes or no?’ and I shouted the right answer. Then came the expensive bit.
Where to go from here? I have a year to prepare which is more than most and I don’t have to race 2 Ironman races in one year. I’m currently pricing up flights accommodation for me, my wife Michelle and soon to be 3 children. My parents have decided to break the habit of a lifetime and travel further than the Canaries for their holiday in 2017. My coach and I are hatching a plan to go there and compete for a good age group placing, he’s saying I’ve got a lot more to give and I’m starting to believe him. Then comes the reality of preparing for this race, one of the most grueling on the calendar. I will share these experiences over the next 12 months including pictures of the heat chamber I’m going to create in the garage, If any body comes to view the house they might think Dexter lives there and their days may be numbered. Roll on 2017.