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THERE SHE BLOWS ! ( vit race rep - longish )
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dr dre

Joined: 03 Jun 2003
Posts: 15079

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:25 am    Post subject: THERE SHE BLOWS ! ( vit race rep - longish ) Reply with quote

you will need

a drink
comfy chair
half an hour to spare

By the start of this year’s season I had pretty much given up before it had started. A drawn out chest infection over the winter had left me with two different kinds of asthma inhaler and some months of low training hitting just 8 hours in May. The two races I had done had resulted in new slowest times for both of them in the 3 times I have raced them. So all in all it wasn’t looking good, add a new baby and new house into the mix and that should complete my excuses. Wink

My long term plan has always been to race Half Ironman (HIM) distance races for a few years and see where that takes me, so the thought of not doing one this year left me feeling the year would be a right off and I would be taking a step back after my first HIM distance race last year. Determined to not let this happen I entered the Vitruvian Triathlon (1900mtr swim 85k bike 21k run) in mid June and set my mind to finishing and nothing else.

I got to know the roads in my new neighbourhood very well and re-acquainted myself with the 5am starts for weekday training. So from the 8hrs training in May with no running I went to 12hrs in June, then 24hrs in July, and finally 22hrs in August.

Ready? Perhaps………confident of reaching the finish? No

So strangely I find myself standing in transition looking out over the lake thinking that I really don’t want to be here, usually I am fine but there was a strong urge to leave and not come back. Thankfully there were too many people there that knew me for me to be able to sneak off so I walked down to the race brief and then got into the water.

Swim 1900mtrs
The swim is done over two 950mtr laps with a 50mtr beach run in between the laps to let the crowd get a look at you and cheer you on. I seeded towards the rear of the start
too try to avoid the melee and get some space to swim in. As I was standing there chatting when a large fish swam between my legs brushing both ankles as it passed. I nearly got out then and there.
The gun fired and off we swam. I took a couple of whacks to the back of the head but managed to carry on swimming and with a bit of fighting back I found some space of my own and made the first turn. I was feeling reasonable strong and moved into a 3 strokes right 3 strokes left breathing pattern and excited the first lap after 21 minutes.
I tried in vain to find someone to draft off but the only people I could find were not swimming in what you’d call a straight line. I towed two people for the rest of the lap who then swam past me 100mtrs before the end. Second lap 23min.

Swim Total - 44minutes 23 seconds

Into transition and off with the wetsuit and on with bike kit and away we go! Somehow managed to take 3 minutes, must have been enjoying myself.

T1 3min 10sec

Bike 85k
So onto the first lap of the famous Vitruvian bike course, famous for the series of 3 hills one after another called the Rutland Ripple. The idea being to go as fast as you can on the down section to get as far up the incline as possible before slowing down and grinding up the rest of the hill. I felt good on the first section of the course before the Ripple and managed to crawl my way up the 3 hills as best as I could. I waited til the top of the last hill before starting on my picnic lunch, energy gels, bars and special drinks mix (think honey in bottle) alternating every 15-20 mins and regular sips of water. The rest of the course after the ripple was really enjoyable. A lot of time was spent in the aero position and the road surface was great to ride on. It seemed to take a long time to do the last section of the first lap and by the time I reached the race site / bike feed station, I had been on the bike for 1hr 45min. I swapped bottles without slowing and enjoyed a big cheer from the crowd as I headed out onto the second lap.

And then it started to go wrong. No energy. I actually stopped to check the brakes as it felt like they were rubbing………….but they weren’t. Still it gave me chance to stretch my legs and back out as they were aching.

I headed on towards the Ripple for the second and final time, knowing what waited for me made me feel ill. I span up the first hill at a slow pace and actually thanked the yobs who fired elastic bands at me from a passing car as it gave me some anger to channel into the pedals. The second and biggest hill was just hell. I stood up on the pedals and my legs went to jelly so I sat down and tried pounding my way up. I alternated between sitting and standing and came oh so close to stopping and walking up the last bit. But didn’t.

After the final hill of the Ripple I was wasted for at least 5 minutes and just rode in the lowest gear feeling very sorry for myself. I finally got the legs moving again and pushed on towards the turn at the bottom of the course, and into a nice headwind. The battle against this wind took the last bit of fight I had away and left me wanting to throw the bike into a hedge and hitch a lift home. So I stopped. And stretched. And pee’d. And then got back on my bike and talked myself through the last 15k of the bike route. (Imagine a bloke in lycra on a silly bike shouting at himself)

I arrived back at transition after taking 1hr 58mins, 13minutes longer than the first lap and very happy to be getting off the bike.

Bike Total – 3hrs 43min 1second

Transition was a slow affair as I prepared myself to run a half marathon, something that I really didn’t want to do. I loaded up my kit for the run – hat / bottle belt / gels / inhaler and made my way out onto the run course.

T2 3min 5sec

Run 21k
So I had a plan, run for 9 minutes walk for 1, and walk any steep sections both up and down. All aimed at protecting the knees and avoiding having to walk miles to finish. So I started running and it felt good. It was a relief not to be sat on the bike any more. There were loads of people out on the course and it was good to share some banter with people out running. The course was two laps of a 10.5k out and back route around the lake we had been swimming in earlier. I stuck to my nutrition plan and halfway round the first loop I had a gel and a nurofen to try to ease the back pain I was getting and just took water from the aid stations. The turnaround seemed to take a long time to get too. I collected the priceless wristband that showed I had been to the turnaround and headed back to the start/finish area.

I have never been a fan of running but was happy plodding along enjoying the race and sticking to my race plan. I knew that if I could keep the good mood going and make the turnaround and start the second lap the finish was in the bag no matter what.

Nature called just before the turnaround and I sneaked of into the trees as you do in these situations. When I reached the end of lap one all the supporters cheered loads as they thought I was finishing, no such luck. First run loop 1hr 27min.

Running out for the second lap was hard as I knew how far I had to go and my legs were more than used to running by now. I kept to my plan and had a gel with caffeine in to give me a boost whether it did or not I can’t really tell but I kept going. I thought someone with heavy breathing was struggling to overtake me until I realised it was me that was wheezing so I had a blast on the inhaler which opened things up and helped me along.

There we few people left on the course now and it was easier to see who you were catching or was catching you. There was a chap about 500mtrs ahead of me that I was determined to catch as we passed before I made the final turnaround, and then when I made the turnaround a chap in blue was about 2minutes behind me and he said jokingly he was gaining on me.

Making the final turn is one of my favourite parts in the race, as there is only one way to get back and that’s to the finish ( well you could drop out but I don’t think about that) So it’s a big grin for a few minutes until you realise you still have to keep going.

So with renewed determination and a second wristband I set off to catch the guy in front. I ran when he was walking, I ran when he was running and walked as little as possible. I caught him about 2.5k from the finish and walked for a moment to see if he was ok. He was just knackered so I carried on and tried to put a good gap between us.

I was within 1k of the finish when I caught a glimpse of the guy in blue running about 400mtrs behind me. So I had to run the last uphill section to keep the gap the same. In fact I ran harder in that last kilometre than I did for the whole race. I knew if I could run to within 200mtrs of the finish the adrenaline would carry me the rest of the way.

A few checks over the shoulder showed I was in no danger of having my to share my finish line moment so I turned into the final straight and let rip. There is nothing like the feeling of running down the finish straight hearing people cheering just for you. It’s absolutely the best part of the race. No aches no pain no worries just pure exhilaration. Lots of high fives and I might have yelled once or twice and then it’s all over. There was only one more thing I wanted, the finishers t-shirt that I had seen people wearing for the last hour or two (ok three)

Second Run loop 1hr 25min

Run Total 2hrs 53min 33sec.

Total Time 7hrs 27minutes 15seconds

I was very grateful for the finish area marshals who gave me Jaffa cakes a banana and water as I was in a bit of a daze and would probably wandered off without having anything. I then took my finishers shirt and went and lay in the shade for a long while.

So I finished, it wasn’t pretty, the bike course nearly broke me. Will I go back next year? Ask me when I can walk normally again.


Ok so the above was written for non TT people – as it takes too long to explain all the funny names and references to family and stuff. BIG THANKS to all you guys, supporters and racers, as I had a right laugh (apart from a dark hour on the bike) and really enjoyed all the cheering each other on. I think my right hand is sore from all the high5s on the run. Oh and cheers to the world famous model Big Bopper for travelling up and bringing some of Bels excellent cakes with him.

That has to be the best organised race I have ever done.


ps do people really race double this distance Shocked
Racing triathlons with both direction and magnitude
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mark stride

Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 4234
Location: World of Camp Domination

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mate, respect. I mean that.
You remind me alot of Tommy Cooper .. when he was alive of course (Speedo Swimmer ©)
70% Judy Garland, 27% Wayne Rooney, 5% Frank Spencer
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Dale Cannonman

Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 2633

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dre - the beauty of triathlon is that it is never easy for anybody, whether you are a Tim Don, a middle of the packer or just out to achieve a personal aim and finish. I take my hat off to you for having the guts to slog it out and finish despite everything you have had to contend with this past 12 months. Muchos respect.

Dale Cannonman Cool Cool

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Joined: 06 Sep 2005
Posts: 3997

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report, great effort. You can join in the ironman with me and Paul L
Race New Forest
How I long for afternoon naps with Planet Earth on my tele
No Shortcuts - Votwo
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Joined: 09 Feb 2005
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great stuff Dre...great to meet you over the weekend and congratulations once again...

Kulia i ko Ikaika
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Joined: 07 Sep 2005
Posts: 421
Location: East Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great effort dre - bet you're glad you didn't let this year drift by now Smile
A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission
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Joined: 24 Feb 2005
Posts: 3873
Location: The North

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice report dre , i know exactly how you felt ... it was lovely to meet you as well.
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 5309
Location: East Molesey

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds painful! Come join us at IM Switzerland next year Very Happy
Foggys Bloggy!
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Paul L

Joined: 20 Apr 2005
Posts: 4357
Location: London

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outstanding effort in both the race and the report. Cool

You are still the daddy!

Recover Strong, Paul. Very Happy
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Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 2748
Location: High Barnet, North London/Herts

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dre, great to meet you again at the weekend. I was so relieved to see a friendly face at registration and I saw you out on the course a few times too. On the run you looked pained but so determined, I knew you would slog it out to the finish no matter what. Watching you and p00key go over the line was almost as good as doing it myself.

I think technically you may have broken the 'no swearing' rule the 2nd time up the Ripple, but I won't tell anyone Very Happy

Well done mate, see you again soon I hope.
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Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 1994
Location: Republic of Mancunia

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great effort. see you at sherborne camp site next august Very Happy

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Joined: 16 Sep 2004
Posts: 184
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Dr Dre - excellent race report & fantastic achievement!!

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Joined: 23 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report, Dre - sounds scarily familar!
I suspect we'll both/(all?) be back next year. Very Happy
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putt putt

Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 1712

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great report. Enjoyed reading that! looking forward to the next one already. Good racing - a determined effort! Well done.
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Fidgie Pie

Joined: 02 Aug 2005
Posts: 3082
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report Dre - you manage to convey the despair you must have been feeling on the bike, but you stuck to it and sounds like a top finish!!! - well done to you Very Happy Very Happy - hope you recover well - next stop TOUGH GUY!!!!! (you will wish you were back on the Ripple Wink )

No, really really well done
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