September has been a busy month for Shane with a training camp / holiday in the Maldives, Ironman Wales and the 3 Canyons charity ride in Las Vegas with Velindre.
Just weeks away from Ironman Wales most athletes would be making a final trip to Tenby to train on the course, checking equipment and nutrition and getting in their last long rides and runs. Shane headed to the Maldives for a family holiday, not known for its cycling routes Shane had to make do with the gym exercise bike!
“Perhaps not the ideal prep for Ironman Wales 2 weeks away however it was important to take my family away on a luxury holiday as we haven't spent quality time together in a very long time due to work commitments. Maldives didn't disappoint and we had a lovely time, however an island 3km long and a few hundred yards wide wasn't the perfect training environment but I made it work. I didn't want to sacrifice family fun so 5am gym workouts, early 4-hour exercise bike rides and beach run repeats was the perfect solution. This also meant I wasn't having to train in 30 degrees even if it did rain frequently!!”
After a 2-year break Ironman Wales was finally back. The 10th anniversary of the event promised to be special. The weather the day before couldn’t have been better, luring many into a false sense of hope for clear skies on race day. Ironman Wales is famous for its hilly bike and run, and thanks to choppy sea conditions, an uphill swim this year! Shane was raising money for Velindre this year and was wearing a custom green Velindre trisuit by AGILIS, so certainly stood out!
“Waking up Sunday morning and seeing the swells in Tenby harbour wasn't the sight I wanted at 4.30am, however all my worries melted away when the national anthem played to a full North beach.
The Swim was definitely the hardest of all the races I have done. Huge swells which meant I couldn't really get into my swim rhythm but I managed to avoid a lot of the congestion and by the second lap my fears had disappeared. I checked my watch and it was showing 32 minutes which meant if I continued this pace I was on for a huge 10 minute PB. I managed to get 1.04
I started the bike well after a quick T1, I was averaging 22.6mph to Freshwater until disaster struck. I hit a cattle grid too hard and I snapped the stem of my handlebars which resulted in me cycling 90 miles holding the bars onto my bike. Determined not to quit and with the support of some amazing spectators and a support van I trundled on and managed to finish the ride. (6.55 )
Just getting to T2 was emotional as I didn't think it was going to happen and knowing the Sub 11 race I had been wanting had definitely gone! Despite this I bumped into one of my best mates who was doing his first Ironman at T2. I remembered how happy he looked knowing that he was going to hear those famous words "You Are An Ironman", this inspired me to run alongside him the whole marathon and really experience the crowd and the atmosphere with him - I have to say it didn't disappoint!! The pressure was off and I absolutely loved it!
Despite the drama and the initial disappointment this is one of my favourite Ironman Wales experiences!!!
Roll on 2023 for my sub 11….”
With little time to recover after the race Shane found himself on the next flight to Las Vegas. Shane linked up with a group of cyclists that included fellow Welsh rugby legend Jonathan “Jiffy” Davies and broadcaster / pundit Sean Holley. The 3 Canyons ride was a gruelling multi-day ride in the hills and heat of Nevada, finishing in Las Vegas. The aim – raise vital funds for Velindre.
"Not ideal to travel to US the morning after an Ironman and the plane journey was interesting, but these Velindre Cancer charity trips are the highlight of my year and I couldn't wait to get going.
It is always a pleasure to joining forces with some fantastic people and really challenging ourselves in difficult terrain and weather. This trip was no different cycling through Utah, Arizona and Nevada in conditions that varied daily. These rides are difficult and there are all levels of cyclists so to see the inexperienced cyclists on the trip absolutely smash it was so inspiring!
The highlight of the trip was to finish in Old Vegas and singing Delilah in front of hundreds of spectators who didn't have a clue what was happening! It was then announced by the Charity Patron Jonathan Davies that we had raised over a million pounds!!!! Well worth the sweat and tears."
AGILIS Velindre cycling jerseys can be purchased here.