15414 total / 0 in 2018

Outlaw IM distance race finisher(12:53) 3x London Marathon finisher(04:24), 2x 70.3 finisher(05:19). Next up IMUK 70.3 2013

Lee Kennedy ran: #pec 137 #edim #runni...

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  • 26 miles
  • 05:51 time
  • 13:20 pace
  • 5549 calories
  • 0 ft climb
  • 0 max hr
  • 0 avg hr
    • Currently /5 Effort.
    effort /5
injured Ironman Lanzarote 26.28 mi 05:51 13:20 pace

#pec 137 #edim #running right, here instalment
So, I find myself in fresh run shorts(sensibly changed on auto pilot), calf guards, and my run shoes, on the Lanzarote run all honesty, it was a bit surreal; I simply didn't know how I got there. "I'm running...I said I was going to stop".."my head feels ok, my legs are a bit stiff" "no, hang on...I need a banana"...but off I went..kind of in a lollioping, jogging, li'l dream world that didn't hurt too much, or make much sense either. Music.....Colours and shapes of people wishing well blurred past, the sea to my right filling my peripheral, the silhouettes of competitors on the other side of the road, and I remember looking at their wristbands(for laps) and thinking that there's no way I was gonna make it around 3 laps..I wished I was one of them. I just kept going tho, not really sure what I was doing it for.
Feed station came, banana in, coke in, water in....a familiar voice pipes up to my left, and my mate Kev is in my vision(I didn't hear/process what he said, but was told after it was "Cava for breakfast", a thing we'd joked about for post race). I am half running half walking, then I see a familiar sight-Gaz boi, in our OLT team colours, walking up a slight incline toward me. I'm aware of stopping running, and talk with him, trying to explain a few things..I feel embarrassed, anxious, and worried he's OK all at the same time. Off he goes, on I look and try to progress, still thinking I'm not gonna be finishing but still moving forward. Struggling to breathe, and can't run because of this; short, sharp breaths that I can't control. Next thing I'm aware of is Peter, calling at me, but I'm past him before I can react or process what he's saying. I think I kinda waved an arm in response to a typical Pete quote of warrior proportions, and walk on...I can see in the distance the turn around area, way beyond the airport, and my heart sinks..."I've gotta do this AGAIN"? "AND another smaller loop? Michelle passes me, says something, I stop and we kind of hug, but I really am not in a good place, and just kind of react as best I can. The next 2hours are like a record stuck on a loop; feel weird, water and banana, walk/jog, coke, walk/jog, banana and water...feel weird, and so on. I constantly want to sit down and cry.
The light starts to fade, and I've been trying, but failing to calculate the time remaining, and my projected finish time, but think I'm ok to sneak inside the cut off...I've been walking, jogging, thanking people screaming encouragement at me from the roadside, from inside restaurants, from fellow competitors. Always checking their bands when my eyes are able to focus properly. Always wishing I was in possession of another, and on my way home. Massive lows come and go, where I think again of the talks I'll have to have with the kids, colleagues, my friends at transition, the blog I'll have to write conceding defeat. Time after time I consider just laying down closing my eyes and waiting...I pass people slumped at the side of the road..each one making me want to do the same, and simultaneously making me thankful I'm still upright. Bananas and water...coke...wobble. Repeat. Cold. Eyes wobbly.
It's dark now, the wind is fierce in some places, the route is lonely. Very lonely. No one will see me if I sit down at the side. I can't stop. I'll be left here. There goes Hollie again(I'm sure I saw her before). And Michelle(did I say hello again?). I'm in total dreamland, my legs ache on and off, and I still can't accurately process my finish time. Ian goes by on his bike and asks if I'm ok...I shake my head and mumble about ambulances. Plod on, totally dejected.
Final turn around did I get here? I really have 2 bands on my arm? Kev, Gaz...asking me if I'm ok.."no"...will I make it they say "yeah"..." I can't not make it, can I"
The last loop was the best, and most conscious. I owe a great deal to a Dutch guy named Marcel. We spoke; about life, love, Ironman, work, kids.....He stopped to cuddle his toddler at the side of the road, and I waited for him. We walked together lots. His stride was longer than mine by a fair way(and mine is big). I ran a li'l, feeling guilty, and that I need to, but he caught up a couple of times as I wobbled a bit and spoke with myself, away with the fairies, making my peace with the events of the day. We walked together for 2miles, and came to the final few hundred metres. We saw a guy in front, jogging, but slower than our walk. I explained I needed to run in, and we shook hands. I ran thru the crowd, and everyone was screaming, cheering, high fiving me.
I paused a li'l, as I caught another straggler, and allowed myself my own moment crossing the line. The lovely Kenneth Gasquet(race director) shook my hand, patted me on the back, and I wobbled away, medal around my neck. I think I heard my name announced.
I couldn't, and still can't, process how on Earth I got there. I really can't. Even now, 4days later, it feels like a dream; a surreal, otherworldly place I existed in. I was in the absolute depths of personal failure and despair. Minutes rolled by without me even realising or knowing what I'd done. And yet here I was with a medal. One that eluded me in 2011, and I was convinced had done the same in 2014. But I had it around my neck.
I still don't think It's really sunk in what I went thru. I've spoke to people about the 'dark places' in races, but this was something else...I don't claim to know completely why we as humans do these things to ourselves, or how we find it within ourselves to find that....*something* that allows us to continue to follow our own personal dreams. I always have, and will, applaud anyone who dares to walk where those angels fear to tread. Or to quote:
"it is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat"

My place will never be with those cold, timid souls.

Heartfelt thanks to those back at home who were anxiously following my progress, and the support I've been afforded. It's incredibly humbling. I'm just an idiot who tries hard to blag his way thru some tough times. Sometimes I get it right, often I get it wrong. This is how I am.

Thanks, Leeky out xXx

  • Ian D.
    Ian D.

    Personally, I think you were stupid for taking such a risk. BUT! The determination, perseverance and unbelievable effort you showed can only be admired and commended.
    I, and many others were worried Saturday. After 2011, I was dreading that something worse had happened. I was almost right! lol.
    I'll be honest and say that reading your posts has made me emotional. Why? I really don't know!
    We are all very proud of you. Just don't make us all suffer again like this!! ;)

    about 4 years ago Like1 person

  • Michelle H.
    Michelle H.

    I really don't know what to say. What an amazing, inspiring finish to a long, hard day. I'll be thinking of you and your battle when I take on my debut IM and I know that by remembering your words I'll be able to make it, just like you. Huge congratulations on a phenomenal race. Rest up Ironman, you deserve it.

    about 4 years ago Like1 person

  • Les G.
    Les G.

    Awesome! It's an honor having you as a friend on these pages. We are kindred spirits in competition. You have inspired many. Great job Leeky.

    about 4 years ago Like1 person

  • Lee K.
    Lee K.

    I find it hard to vocalise my thanks in this situation. You are three people who are indeed kindred spirits in one way or another. it's nice to think that everyone inspires someone. X

    about 4 years ago Like1 person