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
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
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.
A relatively small field of competitors with a friendly
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.
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
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
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).