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Thank Yous
by Denis Oakley in

The first thank you is to the total innocent who I approached back in June. We'd just got a maid to help us look after Maya and we could both look forward to a lot more working and free hours. I said I like to do an Ironman and would she allow me to do it. I tried to explain what it would mean - difficult because I didn't really know and 15 hours a week doesn't sound that much. Especially after a few beers. She said yes. Again. 5 1/2 years ago Senay said yes to me - when I dragged her to the ends of the earth and made a No answer pretty impossible. 

Learning about the commitment that an Ironman requires is an interesting journey for a couple. For us especially considering that the last 18 months we had been together so much as we set up the business that we were rarely more than 100m apart for days on end. Senay made many painful compromises and sacrifices. Thank you so much for all of them.

She read triathlon books - learnt the lingo even managed to fake an interest - like I can now Oooh and Aaah properly at new outfits and babies. She travelled from one end of Malaysia to the other for weekend breaks - triathlons, and for short get aways to Thailand - Training camps - where she was abandoned for the weekend. She put up with a husband who was always tired, always wanted to eat, and who - when out on a Saturday night would always fall asleep by 10 O'clock however embarassing it was for her. Senay put up with a husband who was asleep in bed before her and was never there when she woke. She put up with small piles of sweat rich clothes, and stacks of bikes on the balcony. She had to put up with pull up bars between the doors, and the top baby gate being replaced with aerobic steps stacked hi. 

She had to put up with being a widow on saturday and sunday mornings, with looking after Maya and being her playmate as Daddy managed to do his training plan. She put up with a man who could only ever seem to talk about his training and had an obsessions with his plan.

She did like his butt though :)

And with all that jet lagged and with a sick baby she came to Langkawi and gave a 100% the whole time through. Always there for me. Utterly.

I cannot thank you enough for the gift that you've given me, for the unconditional love that you've shown me. Thank you.

Then there has been Daniel at the Bike Boutique. The Ergomo was a disaster and the bike shoes never came. Those are small cavils. I have never known a better bike mechanic. My bike fits. I don't ache and I go fast. It always works. It's clean and doesn't squeak. Daniel has done all those things that a proper cyclist should. Without him I think my ironman would have been an aquathon. 3.8km swim. 222.2km run. Hard. Thanks to him it wasn't and I cannot say how brilliant he has been. Alek give him a pay rise.

TTH - It was great training with you guys even if I was always a bit of an occasional member. You were all great providing supoprt and advice and laughs on runs, rides and swims. Some of you were intimidating - "what do you think about the new HED Stinger 90 wheels?" Ok I had a bike with them on butb a wheel is a wheel is a wheel isn't it? I just bough t them for the coolness factor. honest. Others were reassuring "None of the fast ones are herethis week" as he lead me oout on my first ride with group at a scorching pace down Jalan Kuala Selangor. Some shared my love of gadgetry and others just seemed to be so relaxed no matter how hard the training. The one person who had the biggest impact in just a few moments though was Sam. Up till then my Swim had been failing. I had a tiny pool at AT and a stinking pool at TBB Sam got me along on Wednesday nights and I understood what I needed to do for the swim. That was hugely important. Thank you Sam. Thank you all.

Doc Hisam, Rashid and Majer Kalam deserve a medal (they got one) for putting up with me on that cross country marathon and all the gaurds at AT deserve to know how I did after they saw me going out each morning and returning on foot, on bike, or everyso often in a taxi with a broken bike, sweaty and knackered. Mad Englishman maybe but we always had a laugh.

Olfer for providing a never ending supply of clean training gear and water bottles and Maya for not finding a sweaty daddy disgusting. The guys at work who always know how to get themselves out of a bollocking by asking about my training and our landlord who allowed me to put in a shower at work which enabled midday runs.

Finally there is Birmingham BRAT club under whose colours I run. When I first started running with them on Monday nights I was terrified. My first Sunday swim was even worse. Tauny and Debbie Southwood were an inspiration. Chrissie Wellington was a nobody who ran very fast and Paul Rovbertshaw sold me loads of great kit and coached me for a modicum of fluidity in the pool.

Thank you all very much.

After sleeping on it a few more thanks:

Thanks to all the supporters - the mad guy who ran up the big hill with me doing an impression of the tour de france supporter and all the other supporters who i exchanged banter with and who supported my, plus the thousands who turned out to watch (inlcuding my own cheerleading team who were supports and supported anyone who ran past). 

Everyone who said well done. Thanks guys and girls.

Mum and Dad - who got me out onto the mountains years ago and had me doing 7 hour events at a young age. Brilliant. 


Anonymous said...

Hey baby, just read your post :o)
You are most welcome - through good and bad we promised each other at the altar as I remember.

You did the hard work and you did brilliantly! Well done again :-)

Now, I can't help but mention that you just owe me your support for when - one day - I choose to go off on a mission with one of my crazy dreams...

I am always going to be there for you, I love you and find you the most interesting, exciting, fun not to mention fit person to be with

Thank you for making me soooo happy and in those days when I am not happy, thank you so so much for trying hard to put a smile on my face baby...you are truly the best friend i could ever have :o)

Love you lots

Senay xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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