Tomorrow sees a return to racing after nearly two years for the quiet man of Team Freespeed – Declan Doyle – at Ironman South Africa.
Dec’s last race was Challenge Roth in 2011 where he narrowly missed his target of going sub 9 hours by just two minutes. A nagging achilles soreness turned into a chronic injury that has sidelined him ever since.
In the past eighteen months, both Dec’s mother and father have passed away – an unimaginable grief to those of us fortunate enough to have not suffered the same experience.
Add to that the end of a long term relationship and a cold water induced allergic condition and it is clear to see that Dec has not been dealt an easy hand lately.
Around Christmas word came through that Dec was back on the bike and putting some hurt on fellow riders. A few times he was even spotted in the outdoor pool at Virgin Active Chiswick Riverside, but the run was still a concern.
Dec has arrived in South Africa in excellent shape – his swim will be the usual modest start, he’ll bike right through to the front of the age group race and then the big question is how will his limited run training hold up?
If all goes well he’ll sneak a Kona qualifying slot in the 40-44 age group and can then continue the progress in the lead up to the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii in October.
From our point of view, everyone associated with the team is just so delighted to see Dec back out there doing what he loves – racing hard. To track Dec’s progress tomorrow go to the athlete tracker here.
A final footnote as it is Masters weekend – has anyone ever seen Dec and Rory Mcilroy in the same room at the same time?
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