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Enduroman Half

Enduroman Half

I entered this event as I wanted a change from doing Wimbleball again, so this was going to be a whole new experience. I drove down to the New Forest in Hampshire on Saturday and had no problems until I got within a few miles of the race headquarters when my sat nav took me down a very narrow track and I mean narrow!!! Eventually I found my way back onto the correct road through the National Park  avoiding the ponies and horses and into the grounds of Avon Tyrrell House Activity Centre, which was where the event was taking place.

Luckily the weather was fine as I had to park my van in the middle of the field between the lake and the house. Many vehicles and tents were already there as the different events had started on the Friday with a Triple Enduroman [Iron distance] and 200 mile run. 

Saturday's events were a Double and a 100 mile run. Sunday's programme was a Single, the Half and a 50 mile run!!

A real festival of endurance which was making me feel quite inferior as I was only doing the Half!!! As I am too old now to camp I had booked a room in the "House", so I booked in and then had a walk around to soak up the atmosphere.

Not to bore you too much I'll try and explain the layout of the area. The "House" sits at the top of a hill surrounded by woodland and slopes on one side down through the parking field to the lake approximately 500m away. The other side of the "House" is the "roundabout" which is the start and finish of all the events. Also it is the lap counting  point and it is where the support crews congregate, so it is a hub of activity as there is always someone coming through  completing either a lap or finishing and of course starting, just amazing support for everyone taking part. 

There were some world class endurance athletes taking part so the place was buzzing! Later that evening I registered, I was going to be in Wave 1 starting at 08.30hrs and my race number was 148. It was then time for dinner, which was pretty good and plenty of it! No sooner had I finished dinner and it was time for the race briefing which was very informative.

I racked my bike in the allotted tennis court adjacent to the "roundabout" . Next it was time to get my kit sorted ready for the morning. Bedtime at last but could I sleep!!! Within two hours I was wide awake thinking about tomorrows event!! The rest of the night went the same way a couple of hours sleep then awake!!! After a fitful night I got up at 05.00hrs as I had to go for the bike/helmet check and I passed that with flying colours!!!! Filled up my water bottles next and laid out my kit in the change tent which was optional or you could put it by your bike. I chose the tent option as there was more room to change etc. and as I knew I wasn't going to win there would be no rush at T1 !!!!

I stood at the roundabout for awhile and just watched and soaked up the vibes. I got chatting to some guy and he told me I could leave my running shoes by his support crew tent which he said would save me a little time at T2. as we had been told at the briefing that as you completed your bike leg someone would take your bike from you and rack it so if you wanted you could leave your run shoes somewhere near the "roundabout". Great I thought every second counts!! But I was to regret this move later!!! 

Next was breakfast, bloody hell no porridge!!!  Oh well cornflakes would do and by now the nerves were kicking in so I wasn't that hungry!! Soon it was time to put on the penguin suit and waddle down to the lake!!! We had been told to take an old pair of trainers and leave by the swim exit as there were some stoney sections to overcome enroute to T1. The water temperature was not bad so I got in and had  a little paddle around to ease the nerves!

It was 08.30 hrs and we were off!  The swim was 7  laps anticlockwise round the small lake and after each lap you sort of pulled into a layby and called out your number! Like playing bingo!!! I have never swam laps before in a race so that seemed a little weird but at least I didn't get giddy going round!!! The next thing I know it was my last lap and I was approaching the exit ramp and I wasn't the last either as there were two others still in the water!! No they weren't ducks they were competitors!!!! Makes a change not to be last out the water I thought!!![ there was only 24 in my wave!!] and there was only a total of 48 competing in the Half.

Now it was a 500m run up the hill through the middle of the car park field to T1  pulling my wet suit down to my waist as I ran, well jogged!!! As the weather was looking good I had already decided to just wear my tri suit for the bike and run. So it was off with the wet suit, on with the bike shoes, a few metres jog to the bike rack and another little walk up a few steps and it was onto the "roundabout" for the start of the 5 bike laps. The course was undulating and at times went through the New Forest National Park, that was strange taking part in a triathlon and having to avoid horses, ponies and cows in the road!!! They look at you like they own the place!!!! At least I didn't hit one!!

There was a bit of a drag up Braggers Lane towards the end of each lap before re-entering the grounds of Avon Tyrrell House, then it levelled out before a very short fast descent to the "roundabout". Call out your number as you went over the timing mat and it was back out on the next lap. No mishaps on the bike and soon it was the end of the last lap and back onto the "roundabout" for T2.

As I dismounted I was told I had to rack my own bike back on the tennis court!!! So much for my hidden shoes for a fast getaway!! Of course I had already taken my feet out of my bike shoes before dismounting so I had to jog to the bike rack across tarmac and stoney ground and then back again to get my running shoes on!!! The plans of mice and men eh!!! At least I remembered to rub the grit off the bottom of my socks before setting off on the first of 12 laps.

The first two laps I felt pretty good and was running fairly strong for me! The course was all off road, very technical with tree roots [which had been marked with orange paint] and there were two spots where it was quite muddy and wet. It was a tough run route and each lap got harder, the sun got hotter and I got slower. As you entered the "roundabout" at the end of each lap you called out your race number as you went over the timing mat and the crowds were cheering and clapping which was a great feeling and certainly helped me push through the pain!

After six laps I had that feeling, you know what it's like, this is bloody hard and am I going to finish!! But you just dig in deep and carry on. At the end of the ninth lap I knew I had got it cracked as there were only two normal laps to do then the last lap you do a U turn over the timing mat and run the last lap in reverse so that everyone watching and racing knows you are about to finish your challenge. Oh my god what a fantastic feeling as you run round and the crowds cheer and clap and those runners going in the opposite direction high five you and clap!! I had a few lumps in my throat! Then it was up the last hill and down onto the by now infamous "roundabout" to the cheering crowds and the FINISH!!

Bloody hell that was TOUGH!! Will I do it again? Maybe, might even try the SINGLE!! What am I saying!!!!

Results:

swim  1.3 miles   51mins 9 secs a PB for me!   22nd out of 24

T1                             5 mins         no PB !!!

bike     58 miles      3hrs 31mins 31 secs  another PB  15th out of 24

T2                            3 mins            

run       13 miles       2hrs  34 mins 31 secs    16th out 24

overall time :  7hrs 5 mins 11 secs   a fabulous PB for me!!

overall position in Wave1  14th out of 24

overall position out Wave1 and Wave 2     33rd out of 47

the next youngest was 52yrs old 16 yrs younger than me!!!

I know it's been a long race report and probably boring but I just wanted to give everyone a feeling for the atmosphere and the race setup. Also I was so pleased with my overall time that I just wanted to share it with you all. Thank you all for your support.

 

Del     

Ironman 70.3 Pays dAix

Ironman 70.3 Pays dAix

The day finally arrived to experience a middle distance Ironman race and i wasn't disappointed with this event. It had great atmosphere, good competition and some hard racing with about 1900 athletes entered. This is a beautiful part of France and the weather was ideal. 

Taking down an 800 calorie breakfast was interesting and so was discovering I had somewhat outgrown my wetsuit from last year! However the goal of this race was to finish strong and positive, test out the nutrition strategy with a view to making the full distance Ironman Nice next month a less daunting prospect.

Swim
(1.9km) - Set in a lake about 30mins by car north of Aix which made the logistics of the event abit cumbersome due to having two transition areas, however it was good nonetheless.  The usual  washing machine affair during the first half, stayed calm, got some space and focused on good navigation and preserving my energy. Fortunately no contact.

Bike
(90km) - Felt pretty good after the swim but was cautious not to push too much on the bike, wanted to finish strong on the run. Time flew past on the ride and I learnt to be careful pacing against others since many were doing the relay and were much fresher, it was reasonably hilly with one 500m climb about 80km in, but what goes up must come down and there were some fantastic fast downhill sections afterwards. Finished in good shape for a strong run.

Run
(21.1km) - Oh dear....legs feel great, lots of energy, however my lungs seemed to have stopped working. It was about 24degrees but felt alot hotter for the 4 x 5km loops in the centre of town. I'm not sure what my problem was, i now suspect the wetsuit was far too tight and compressed my chest and maybe this was the after effect but nevertheless I had to back right off and fortunately the great atmosphere from the crowd around the course (and my lovely wife) meant i finished. Whilst I would have liked to be 25mins quicker on the run, I know this will serve as motivation for the next one.

Result:
Swim(39m), Bike(03:13), Run(01:56) = 06:00

A big thank you to MSTC whose coaches have been very helpful the past 12 months.


<<<photo to follow>>

Anthony Vince

70.3 Half Ironman: Zell-A-See, Austria

70.3  Half Ironman:  Zell-A-See, Austria

70.3 - Half Ironman:  Zell-A-See, Austria, Sun 1st Sept 2013
 
Training gone well for the finale, my first half iron man, the 70.30 Austria.
 
The last three months swimming and cycling came on leaps and bounds since I  joined  the MSTC with their coaching and help from other club members.  Open water swimming, new and much enjoyed, albeit after a little trepidation!
 
Arrived 29th August in stunning Zell-Am-See so had three days to orientate ourselves with warm and sunny weather.
 
Spent some time finding our bearings, finding Transition point and the more important, Finishing line.  Cycled around the lake to get a real feel of the land.
 
Finally, race day:-  Rained  through the night and all through the swim and cycle, but did stop for the run!
 
Had a great swim and cycle but blew out on the run.  But very happy overall with my result, better than I could have wished for:-
 
Swim:  00:36:35
Bike:   02:56:39
Run:   02:22:30
 
Total:  06:10:51
 
Would highly recommend this venue for a 70.3 race for achieving a PB as bike section not too hilly and a flat run.
 
Jason Cole

Ardingly Middle/Standard distance

Ardingly Middle/Standard distance

After all the recent good weather, it was a bit of a shock when we awoke to pouring rain for the 4th Middle Distance Race. The long course was exactly the same format as in previous years, but this time there was a short distance option, and in the end the majority of competitors took it, no doubt influenced by the weather.

13 people and one relay squad went for the long course, 18 and one relay team for the short course, 6 just did a swim, and 4 others did other distances (a bit of a mixture).

The race got under way at 7.45am, just a few minutes late, to allow time for the EGM to vote for a change in the club constitution. Once done everyone got in the water and there was a short countdown to the start. As the countdown got down to 3 there was a flurry of activity and Steve Mac dived in to just make the start in time.

There were 43 swimmers at the start, so there was plenty of action, but it was Dave Gorley who rapidly pulled away from the field, and completed the 1900m swim in 31.49, nearly 3 minutes ahead of Neil Giles, who is not exactly slow!!

After the swim both Mike John and Steve Mac had to pull out, both were feeling queasy - Mike had a bug and felt too unwell to continue. That was a shame as he has been training well.

Everyone knows how challenging the bike circuit is, whether it is one circuit or two. Unfortunately a few people got confused as to whether they were doing 1 or 2 laps and tried to go round again. Next year we will get some more specific signs for this!!

If the bike course was not hard enough, Loz and Lucy both got affected by punctures. Lucy did the sensible thing and waited to be rescued, but Loz was on a mission - he just kept riding flat out with a flat rear tyre. He got away with it for a few miles but eventually the tyre came off the rim, and he was riding on aluminium. The bike became difficult to handle and he came off at one stage, and was forced to cut the second lap short in the interests of safety. By the time he came in to T2 - it was not the sight of his wrecked wheel but the sound it was making - I have heard quieter tractors!!

Dave Gorley was unaware of Loz's problems and pushed really hard on the run. His winning time of 4h43m35s was excellent but missed out on James Dear's 2012 course record by 14 seconds!!

Both John and Kate MacTear kept going extremely well, and ended up winning the BAR race and are the MSTC Middle Distance Champions. Dean showed his strength in recovering from his recent Ironman to still come out and complete the long course in 7h05m - to huge applause.

After the miserable weather at the start, the sun eventually came out. By the time David Ricketts got the BBQ going, the conditions were perfect for relaxing and enjoying everyone's company.

Leicester Tri Club won the Inter Club competition comfortably - taking back the trophy that we won last year.

Thanks to the people who helped out. It is a 'no-frills' race, but everyone mucked in with the registration and body marking, and Roger and Graeme were around most of the day timekeeping. (There may be some errors or missing times, so if there are any corrections please let me know). Also thanks to Tim and Claire and to the guys at the Activity Centre.

I haven't mentioned many specific times or performances but the results are elow:

 

Number NAME SWIM BIKE RUN FINISH Position
SHORT COURSE
39 James Dear 00:20:11 01:36:37 01:16:26 00:29:22 02:05:59 1
15 Paul Newsome 00:17:59 01:38:33 01:20:34 00:29:37 02:08:10 2
7 Bob Norton 00:22:06 01:44:50 01:22:44 00:32:52 02:17:42 3
35 Rob Hoodless 00:19:35 01:45:38 01:26:03 00:32:56 02:18:34 4
12 Mark Jordan/Martin Sanwell Relay 00:18:55 01:35:20 01:16:25 00:44:38 02:19:58 Relay
9 Mike Jaffe 00:21:41 01:53:50 01:32:09 00:31:16 02:25:06 5
8 Rupert Robinson 00:22:32 01:44:44 01:22:12 00:40:38 02:25:22 6
4 David Ricketts 00:21:37 02:15:10 01:53:33 00:37:34 02:52:44 7
36 Mike Hook 00:26:10 02:17:23 01:51:13 00:39:28 02:56:51 8
5 Bee Furber 00:18:19 02:16:53 01:58:34 00:44:44 03:01:37 9
38 Jane Faulkner 00:24:41 02:27:22 02:02:41 00:51:17 03:18:39 10
28 Liam Collins 00:19:21 02:29:32 02:10:11 00:53:00 03:22:32 11
1 Dale Moore 00:29:19 02:43:33 02:14:14 00:48:39 03:32:12 12
20 Neil White 00:19:57 02:27:55 02:07:58 01:09:04 03:36:59 13
23 Ashley Langton 00:20:30 02:17:53 01:57:23 01:24:42 03:42:35 14
18 Les Frost 00:19:57 02:27:43 02:07:46 01:15:07 03:42:50 15
25 Ann Pearce 00:25:44 03:59:38 03:59:38 16
6 Lesley Booth 00:24:28 02:52:27 02:27:59 01:07:33 04:00:00 17
19 Elly Pullen 00:25:44 02:17:53 01:52:09 01:46:17 04:04:10 18
3 Simon Barton 00:19:32 02:03:10 01:43:38 no run
21 Steve Mcmenamin 00:18:02
24 Tiffany Mackness 00:24:35  
34 Kay Mcmenamin 00:24:54
32 Mike John 00:25:54 Dnf
ODD DISTANCES
29 Neil Giles 00:34:25 01:53:22 01:18:57 00:29:10 02:22:32
30 Clare Strachan 00:46:09 02:36:25 01:50:16 00:35:06 03:11:31
12 Martin Sanwell 01:45:57 01:45:57 00:26:02 02:11:59
LONG COURSE
14 Lawrence Wintergold 00:37:20 03:02:24 02:25:04 01:38:28 04:40:52 short bike
26 David Gorley 00:31:49 03:09:07 02:37:18 01:34:28 04:43:35 1
22 Martin Burder 00:38:12 03:20:40 02:42:28 01:30:42 04:51:22 2
31 Emma Tilbury 00:41:48 04:21:40 03:39:52 00:49:48 05:11:28 short run
40 John McTear 00:37:02 03:48:29 03:11:27 01:41:49 05:30:18 3
41 Kate McTear 00:41:53 03:54:52 03:12:59 01:35:26 05:30:18 Fem 1
37 David Beale 00:43:33 03:43:14 02:59:41 01:49:50 05:33:04 4
11 Sadie Murphy 00:38:20 03:51:40 03:13:20 01:44:37 05:36:17 Fem 2
16 Laura Davison 00:37:09 03:49:38 03:12:29 01:52:27 05:42:05 Fem 3
13 Nick Deakin 00:41:11 03:37:26 02:56:15 02:07:19 05:44:45 5
17 Paul Pearce 00:42:36 03:53:09 03:10:33 01:59:40 05:52:49 6
27 Julie Williams 00:47:29 03:52:12 03:04:43 02:18:12 06:10:24 Relay
2 Lucy Williams 00:56:37 04:58:50 04:02:13 01:58:59 06:57:49 short bike
42 Steve Harley 00:40:37 04:58:50 04:18:13 01:59:34 06:58:24 7
10 Dean Allen 00:55:53 04:33:19 03:37:26 02:31:57 07:05:16 8
43 Pippa Crouch 00:40:45
33 Jason Cole 00:41:10

 

 

Steve A

 

Enduroman Ultra Triathlon Festival

Enduroman Ultra Triathlon Festival

Pre-race

This was a massive challenge for Helen, who is a keen runner but relatively new to triathlon (previous experience limited to a couple of sprint triathlons). Pippa, Steve and Jim are
seasoned long distance triathletes.

Helen's preparation was severely limited, initially by other commitments and then by a cycling accident. Practically all Helen's swimming and cycling training was to be done in the
fortnight before the race, but the first cycle training session on Preston Park Cycle Track ended in severe cuts and bruises when a dog ran into her front wheel at 20mph. The broken skin and limb pains had just 10 days to recover before the race.

 

The venue and course

Very good value for money. About a third the cost of official ironman. Free camping next to swim start and/or cheap rooms provided on-site.

 

The Avon Tyrell Estate hosts the annual Enduroman Ultra Triathlon Festival, with half, single and double iron-distance races plus a 100-mile ultramarathon occurring simultaneously on the same course. Great atmosphere in a picturesque setting. The previous couple of years have seen very wet and windy weather. This year, the conditions were perfect with sunshine and dry roads/paths.

 

Everything is on one site, so you can walk to the race briefing and transition etc. Nice lake swim with repeated laps of just a few hundred metres each.

 

Great cycle through the New Forest with all left turns and not much traffic. Repeated 1.1 mile run laps through the grounds of the estate, on dirt tracks and paths.

 

The race

A relatively small field of competitors with a friendly atmosphere.

 

SWIM

The women's swim start was 90 mins before the men's. Steve and Jim cheered on Pippa and Helen as they completed their swim. Pippa was one of the first out of the water as expected. Helen had a massive smile as she finished the swim far quicker than she believed possible. Steve's swim was close to the fastest of the day and Jim was middle of the pack as usual. 

BIKE

An enjoyable safe ride on decent surfaces with only left turns and hardly any traffic. A mixture of flat, hilly, straight and technical sections (but nothing very challenging). Not a fast course, as it is longer than the usual middle distance cycle plus there are several slow passes of the Avon Tyrell courtyard fuelling station. Jim had raced this course previously
and this helped him secure the fastest cycle time. All four from MSTC completed the cycle without incident (major result for Helen).

 

RUN

Challenging run up and down dirt paths within the Estate. Passed the courtyard fuelling station every 1.1 miles to get drinks, gels and cheers from supporters.

Speeding past tired athletes, who were doing longer distance events on the same course, helped to keep our spirits up.

Enduroman tradition dictates that one completes the final run lap in reverse direction, in order to high-five everyone still out on the course. Jim was pleasantly surprised to find he finished his penultimate run lap without seeing anybody running in the opposite direction (never been in the lead before and never previously won a race).

Steve and Pippa completed their runs with good form to produced fast finish times (17th male and 9th female respectively). Helen saved her best for last and she was the 7th fastest female runner (11th fastest female overall).

Name Overall Pos Overall Time Swim Bike Run
Graham, James 1. 05:25:46 0:38:40 02:59:10 1:36:05
Birchall, Steve 17. 07:20:43 0:35:12 03:44:47 2:43:27
Crouch, Pips 9 08:19:31 0:40:53 04:31:20 3:07:17
Graham, Helen 11 09:21:35 0:58:06 05:51:34 2:31:54