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 Inspirational Races in Beautiful Places 
 
 
What's the point of this?
Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:20 am la marquise
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Well I thought I'd do my race reports here.
Of course, they're rarely races I have done myself - 95% are those in which Spike has competed and I have attended/marshalled/been support crew.
The common factor in all these races is that they all have a certain zing.
Key factors are:
    - Something amazing that makes this event stand out from the crowd
    - Location - it's gotta be somewhere gorgeous where I want to spend a weekend or longer
    - Grass roots feel - generally < 200 competitors with a strong cameraderie amongst competitors, crew and supporters, where each person counts
    - Reasonably priced and relatively bling free

My current list is
    * Norseman Xtreme
    * Celtman Extreme
    * O till O
    * Wensleydale Full Cheese (was Yorkshire Dales)
    * Coniston Old Man
    * Blaenafon
    * Helwith Bridge Duathlon


So...how they qualify:

Norseman
- competitors jump off a car ferry and swim to shore, cycle over 5 mountain passes, run round a lake and finish at the top of a mountain.
- it's in Norway. It is so stunningly beautiful it takes your breath away
- previous years have had about 200 competitors. This year that is doubled over 2 days, so we'll see how it goes.
- all the race crew are caring and fun. Each athlete has to have their own support crew to provide clothing, food, drink, motivation, love and accompany them to the top of the mountain
- price is about 250 for an iron distance race. You get a t-shirt for winning or completing

Celtman
- insprired by Norseman - nuff said.
- as a Norwegian support crew said to me "It's like Norway but with lovely old pubs and reasonably priced beer". And midges.
- Inaugural year accepted 150 entries - just under 130 starters.
- price 225 for an iron distance race. Includes a mountain survival bag. Winners got champagne and Oakleys. Everyone gets a t-shirt for winning or completing

O Till O
- Go to Sweden, get a boat out to an island. Run across island and swim to next. Repeat till you reach island 19
- Like Norway but flatter.
- 100 teams of 2
- I think it cost about 200 which included 2 nights accommodation and quite a lot of food.

Wensleydale Full Cheese (was Yorkshire Dales)
- "The oldest and toughest". It's history is the stuff of legend.
- Swim in Semer Water, cycle up and down ridiculously steep hills, run up and down Great Shunner Fell (was Pen y Gent)
- If you don't love gazing at the Yorkshire Dales you have no soul. Official.
- Entry rarely reaches 100 competitors. No idea why not. This race has everything and then some. And cheese.
- Price for a near as dammit half iron-man is 50 - and you may bag yourself an early bird discount.
- And our fave B&B is 50 yards from the finish.

Coniston Old Man
- Think Wensleydale Tri in the Lakes. Organised by the same crew, with a similar friendly, inclusive atmosphere.

Blaenafon
- Slightly sneaky putting this in the list. But it's my list and I can put what I like in it.
- It's early season, really friendly and the dirt cheap entry includes a buffet for 100 athletes and supporters.
- This race has the most amazing trophies I have seen. I openly covet the winners lump of amethyst. Every year I'm disappointed that Spike isn't allowed to take it home.

Helwith Bridge Duathlon
- Yes, I have completed this on several occassions. I have been last on several occassions.
- Another weekend in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
- With around 100 competitors, everyone counts.
- Funny how all the women seem to win something Smile
- Loads of alcohol and choc related prizes.

I'll be working on my Celtman report soon...
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Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:06 pm barnetrose
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Looking forward to reading about all the amazing places you visit. I had my first experience of proper supporting last weekend for Lex at the West Highland Way race. I loved it which is just as well, as Andy is getting into this Ultra lark now so I'll be in charge of his support for at least 4 events over the next year. It's quite a responsibility really if you consider that the quality of support can make or break a competitor's race day. Anyhoo. Feel free to share any tips of the trade in your blog Smile
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Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:44 pm Sue
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welcome to blogland Very Happy
great to read from the other side of the fence
nice summaries
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