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Hanno's DIUK 2008 report

 
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hanno




Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 186
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:56 pm    Post subject: Hanno's DIUK 2008 report Reply with quote

[This report was written for and first published on the Oxford Tri website]

A long event with an even longer race report, sorry if it takes you 24 hours to read it...

The Beginnings
I first read of the Double Iron event in 220 and it said it has long been sold out, ten minutes later I was online and put my name on the reserve list. The race I was more interested in was the Deca in 2009 that was mentioned as well, but I thought the Double would give me a good idea, whether my body was still happy to do ultra distance. A weekend later, and despite being sixth on the reserve list I managed to claim the next slot that became available. Thanks Sue for spotting the available place.

Training and Preparation
After that I forgot about it mostly, and concentrated on IM Lanzarote. The plan was to do the double on normal IM training, perhaps with a few longer sessions thrown in. It turns out, that I never got to do a long run, so the last time I ran more than a marathon remained May 2005, when I last started in the Grand Union Canal race, dropping out after 64 miles.

The training for Lanzarote went very well, working from mid January on a hard schedule set by Steve Trew. I achieved my goals, sub-4hr marathon and sub-11hr finish time, running a very even paced marathon of 2:41, with laps of 55, 55, 55 and 56 minutes. The finish time of 10h58 was great, but again not enough to book my ticket to Hawaii. Next year!!!

It took three weeks of recovery after Lanzarote before I felt I could start seriously thinking about training for the Double again. On 22 June I went to the event location to check the routes out, and did five laps (70 miles) of the bike course and ten laps (12 miles) of what I thought would be the run course, but I hadn't followed the tritalk forum, so didn't know that instead of going up and down along the road, we would do half the lap off-road through the woods. I also wanted to get a feel for the swimming pool, but at 29 degrees water temperature, I merely managed 1000m before giving it a miss and driving home.

Next up was Forestman, a new and lovely long distance event in the New Forest, in which I had another great race, but having punctured twice, broken a bolt in the left arm rest, I had to run much harder than I had planned to stay third overall. The run was a real bugger, and my body had not felt beaten up like this since long distance off-road running events years ago. No wonder, as the marathon was off-road and very hilly.

Three weeks to go...
Only three weeks left and it dawned on me that I hadn't done any specific training for the Double, by now I had started reading up on what had been said on the forum, and the amount of training some had done made me cringe. I knew I couldn't and shouldn't do any more long runs, but cycling and swimming I thought might still be possible, even if it was only to put my mind at rest.

Friday, 18 July, The Night Ride
I managed to find a way to attach my exposure light to my bike, and at midnight I headed out towards Stadthampton, Great Milton coming back through Forest Hill and Stanton St John. It felt a bit scary at times cycling at high speed along dark country roads, but I really wanted to know how fast I could go at night. When I got home I was very surprised and happy to see that I had averaged over 20 mph for an hour. One worry less...

Sunday, 20 July, The Long Bike Ride
200 miles, eleven hours riding time, fifteen hours total with two long breaks eating proper food, finishing in the dark at eleven at night. When I got home, I didn't feel like I wanted to go out for a double marathon, but fifteen minutes later after some dinner the thought didn't seem that horrible anymore. Lessons learned, the aero position is fine for a long time, but when it gets dark it gets very cold, and change of clothes will be necessary.

Tuesday, 22 July, The Long Swim
Uni pool, 7600m, 304 lengths, two hours and thirty eight minutes, including drink breaks and a toilet stop. Well under the expected 2h45. I didn't have much company in my lane, so I didn't get much chance for drafting. I could feel the left shoulder a bit afterwards, but with ten days to go I was confident, it would ease off enough to not harm the race. Confidence is growing...

Wednesday, 23 July, The Wet-suit Test
There had been a lot of discussion on the forum, whether or not to wear a wet-suit for the (pool) swim. Some of the more experienced participants reported from very long swims in wet-suits in heated pools, so I took the opportunity at the club session at the Barton pool to test it. And the result was amazing. I did 1000m really easy, because of my shoulder, and the time was 17 minutes with 14 to 16 strokes per length in the last 200m. And I didn't feel sweaty at all. Decision made, I would start the swim with a wet-suit. The wet-suit could take twenty minutes of my swim time, what a prospect...

Sunday, 27 July, Bredon Triathlon
I got a race entry from Oli so I used this race as a sharpener. With a 1200m swim and a 50km bike it played to my strengths, and on the 10km run I practiced stopping every twelve minutes at the drink stations. I got a few strange looks, and I lost out on winning my age group, but I felt getting more and more into the Double Iron mind set. This race was also my first outing on my new Zipp 404 tubular wheels, and after a few miles it felt like I had never ridden anything else. Almost set now...

Tuesday, 29 July, BaR Event and Crew Meeting
Four club members joined me for my BaR event, the company was very much appreciated, thanks Sue, Paul, Tony and Jim. I really like this last blast on the bike for thirty minutes a few days before a big event. Afterwards I had dinner with Sue, Paul and Simon, my crew for the weekend. I had drafted a time schedule with lap times and a rough plan what kind of food I was expecting to consume to replace most of the 17000 calories I would burn during the event. Those numbers looked quite scary, but at least we had a first plan we could work from. It's getting closer...

Friday, 1 August, The Day Before
The last few days, I fine-tuned the schedules, bought some extra bits and pieces, packed and re-packed and finally bought food that would normally last for a week. The packing list included spares of almost every thing, four pairs of running shoes, two pairs of cycling shoes, two sets of race wheels, two boxes of cycling and running clothes, four head torches, and lots more. Early afternoon, Simon and I left Oxford, but being Friday afternoon, it took a long time before we reached Lichfield. Not much time left to register, but we still went first to the race venue, so Simon would have a first visual impression on the race set-up and I could check out that off-road part of the run route. The transition/feeding/support area was already taking shape, so we got a good idea on where my support crew could be during the different phases of the race. When I walked the run route with Simon, it gave me a bit of a freight as there were lots of roots and stumps in the off-road section and the entrance into the woods consisted of some nasty uneven steps. How on earth were we expected to negotiate that at midnight, possibly in the rain. I just couldn't believe it. Quick check at the pool entrance confirmed 29 degrees water temperature, ouch...

Next we drove the two miles to the race hotel and Esporta, for registration and the race briefing. Although there had been a lot of rules, that seemed to be very restrictive in terms of how the support was going to be able to interact with the athlete, it turned out that the organizers had quite a relaxed approach to sensible requests, and over the weekend it became more and more clear that they really wanted to provide a safe environment for as many finishers as possible. Thanks Steve and Eddie, you were stars!


After a photo shoot with all competitors, and a bit of chit-chat, everyone tried to get some food. Esporta quickly run out of anything edible. So Simon and myself drove back into town and found a rather nice Italian restaurant for a relaxed final carbo-loading meal. We were back at the hotel by 11pm and tried to get some sleep before a long day (and night) ahead.

I didn't get much sleep as my mind was rehearsing the race over and over. At least I remembered that I had forgotten the thermo flaks for tea and hot water later in the race. I texted Sue at 2am, so she could bring hers instead.

Saturday, 2 August, Race Morning
4am, the alarm goes and I am quickly into my pre-IM routine. Contact lenses, shaving, P20 for sun protection, always a strange thing to do while it's still dark outside. The plan was to get to the race venue, set-up the tent, and then have breakfast there, but when we packed the car, we saw the hotel had opened the breakfast kitchen early. As it was also raining heavily at the time, we changed plans and had a proper breakfast in the hotel, with fresh croissants, nice coffee, toast, cereals, banana, I'm sure I topped the planned 1300 calories.

When we eventually arrived at the race venue, there was not much time left for getting the bike into transition and Simon got a bit nervous I might not make it. Next we tried to find a spot for our tent in the supporters area. Being quite late the spots closest to the barriers were all taken, but we found a nice flat one close to the bike transition, and by the time we erected it, the rain had all but stopped. Not much later and the first competitor from the first wave appeared from the pool, having completed the swim in under two hours twenty. He obviously surprised his support crew who were not ready with his transition bag.

It was quite a distance from the car to the tent, so I was glad when Sue and Paul arrived, and helped with getting everything carried over. With half an hour to go, I couldn't find the bib shorts I had tested at the 200 mile bike ride, and I got really annoyed leaving the tent in a bit of a state. I had to take the spare pair which have some seams in the wrong places, but there was nothing I could do now. Next stop T2 tent to leave the bag with the running gear, and then it was good bye crew, see you in three hours, off to the changing rooms.

The tension was growing, but somehow I was surprisingly calm. With ten minutes to go I was ready, in my wet-suit, my four bottles, two with energy-drink and two with water, at the end of the lane. A last briefing about pool etiquette and we jumped into the water. How nice, the water temperature was well down, apparently they had shut down the heating at the end of play Friday evening, and the big stage lights were not on either, so I knew immediately, that swimming in a wet-suit wouldn't be a problem whatsoever. Bring it on...



THE RACE

10am, The Swim, 7600m, 304 lengths
[race clock 0:00]
In my lane two swimmers with wet suit and two without, only one admitted hoping for two hours ten everyone else like me said sub two and a half hours would be nice.

I decided to start in third position to get a look at who is swimming what pace and deciding on a swim strategy after a few laps. First 100m in under 1:30 and the first 200m split was 3:04, oh my god, what have I done, this pace will kill me.


I kept on the feet in front of me for the first 1000m in 15:52, no-one seemed to have a break for a drink yet. Although it was very tempting to keep drafting, I thought staying with my drinking strategy was more important, even if it meant to loose a few laps. After the drink break, the other guys were half a length up and I had to swim on my own, joined by Steve after he had taken a drink too. After the second km and another drink break I was lapped by the fast guys, Dave and Howard, but from then onwards I changed my drinking strategy: short sips more often, short enough to be able to sprint after the fast guys and get back into the draft.

And it worked, I didn't loose another lap and finished the swim strongly in just under 2 hours and ten minutes.

Swim Time: 2:09:52

12.10pm Transition 1
[2:10:30]
When I got out, my crew was waiting at the barrier close to the bike transition. Ready with a latte, a croissant, a salmon and creme cheese sandwich and more energy drink, superb. They said I had come out of the pool in fifth or sixth position. I couldn't quite believe it, but on the other hand 2:10 is pretty fast, so who knows, perhaps they are right. I got changed and got my bike, and just when I wanted to go I realized I didn't have my shades. So I send the crew to find them in the cycling box and moments later I was ready and gone.

Transition Time: 8:28

12.19pm The Bike, 224 miles, 16 laps of 14 miles each
[2:18:58]
Out on the road, and plenty cyclists to chase as twenty four riders from the first wave plus a few from my wave were out on the course already. I didn't wear my heart rate strap today, so I didn't have a beep warning me, but looking at the average speed on the first way out, I knew I was enjoying it a little too much, nearly 25 mph on average, okay with a bit of tailwind, but anyway, that was probably a bit too fast. Fair enough the head wind on the way back brought me to my senses and by the end of the first lap I was spot on on the time I had planned: 40 minutes for 14 miles. The support crew had changed to a position they could hand me stuff over the barrier without me getting off the bike proper. First stop twenty seconds , half a banana, drink system re-filled with energy drink. One lap down, fifteen more to go...
[2:59:20]

Second lap was even faster 39:03, I was really enjoying it. Second break, the cheese roll was waiting, but it didn't say tea on the list, so I had to wait a bit to get one, after that, there was always a hot drink, but never too hot, ready for me when I arrived. After four laps the crew were confident I had made it into second position, with only Hywel up the road. He was the pre-race favourite - with a 8:52 in Austria three weeks earlier, so no surprise there. Simon, Sue and Paul had put all 24 numbers of the second wave into the computer to get everybody's lap count. There were no printouts with intermediate snapshots as they do in events like sleepless-in-the-saddle. Thanks for your effort, it definitely spurred me on even more.

On the fourth lap I also discovered some rattling at the light fixation, so I asked them to get the tool box for the next break. With a long break coming up after the sixth lap anyway, I thought I'll go round once more before fixing it, but that was a bad move. a few miles out on the sixth lap the rattling got worse and worse, and just when I stopped to fix it with my on board mini-toolkit, one bolt had already gone. Damn! Remember: in a long race, if something needs fixing or adjusting, do it as early as you get aware of it.

[6:26:00]
First "long" break after six laps, I got off my bike to sit down properly, I had a plate of ravioli, another latte and croissants, I tightened all the bolts that were still there and tried to find the bike mechanic, but he didn't have any spare bolts. So I sent the crew to find some zip-ties to improvise something at the next break. It was still five laps or so to go before I would need the light, plenty of time to get creative.
[6:31:19]


Lap times stayed between 40 and 44 minutes all the way, but in the second stint (laps 7-12) I had some extra break time for mending the light fixation, a toilet stop and after 11 laps changing into "night gear", i.e. long sleeved top, reflective vest, switching the lights on. The second sit-down break had super-noodles on the menu, followed by more latte and croissants.
[11:05:30]

At the beginning of lap 14 I was lapped by Hywel, and I managed to stay with him for the rest of the lap. Apparently I lapped everybody else at least once, giving me a good margin before the run. On the second but last lap I was past by a rider who looked a bit too fresh to be real. At the turn-around I asked the lap counters and they confirmed, it was a rider of the relay team on their last lap. I was still in second position with a lap on everyone other than Hywel. Brilliant!

The last two laps I felt quite sore on the saddle, but I didn't stop for some re-greasing. Another mistake. Also my feet got really numb and with more laps to go, I would have changed bike shoes, but it just didn't seem worth for one more lap.

Bike Time: 11:42:33, as 11:10:27 riding time plus 32:06 on breaks, average cycling pace 20.05 mph, Wow!

12.01am Transition 2
[14:01:31]
One minute past midnight I went over the bike timing mat for the last time. What a relief! Bike done, bring on the run! really? I changed into running gear, and went to take my next sit-down break. I was wondering whether I should try a couple of laps first, but when I heard that another plate of ravioli was waiting, I went for that, although I couldn't remember I had put it down on the list.

Transition Time: 8:38

12.10am The Run, 54.4 miles, 42 laps of 2km each
[14:10:09]
I wasn't looking forward to the off-road bit through the woods, but it turned out they had marked all the obstacles very well, the steps, the roots, the rocks were marked as in MTB races with orange fluorescent paint and the stumps were covered with traffic cones, and as they were highly reflective they gave a good guide where to head to through the trees. I have run a lot with a head torch before so I felt very happy with the course when i saw how well it was prepared by the time we hit the track. On the first lap I established what would remain my run-walk pattern for the following 41 laps. Out of the transition/feed area it was a small path around the back of the leisure center, slightly downhill, with some sharp corners. After reaching the path along the road, it went slightly uphill to a road junction, I walked about fifty meters of that section. Immediately after the road junction we hit the woods, ie the steep steps, which gave me the second reason to walk. After the steps it leveled out pretty soon, before starting to go down gently. There was one prominent root across the path, which I took as the last point for starting the running throughout the whole race. On some laps I would start immediately after reaching the top of the steps, at other times I walked ten, twenty meters, but never past that root.

The next section down to the turn-around point required some concentration, but was really fun, and the needly ground made for very soft running. Then after one kilometer some lights and a shout: "What's your number?" just before the entrance too the Cricket and Rugby Club. "31, 3 - 1, 31!" half a lap gone, those lap counters were a welcome sight on each of the 42 laps, always friendly, always encouraging, and I could use their sheet to check my position. After the lap counters, we turned out of the woods and back to the path along the road, and what comes down must go up, most of the way back was uphill. The first bit was still on grass, so I ran that plus a bit on the tarmac. Then I would walk 150m to the bus stop and restart running over the top before reaching the road junction again. During the later stages of the run I sometimes walked two shorter sections along the road, but I always tried to run part of the uphill. Then the last bit back to the feed area, I always walked the first ramp, before running the last few steps before the next quick break.

[14:22:00; 41 laps to go]
Most laps I only stopped very quickly for some drink and some food, but taking on food became more and more of an issue as my stomach started to play up. When I started the run I felt a bit bloated, and after a few laps it got worse and worse. So instead of taking in more food, I spent more and more time on the porta loos, But having had so many calories on the bike, I wasn't too concerned yet, it was just very annoying and added to my soreness I had developed in the saddle.

Throughout the run I tried to forget about the distance, I was just counting laps, one at a time, and those eleven to twelve minutes, broken up into little bits of running and walking, exchanging some words with the marshals and supporters at the road junction and with the lap counters at the far end as well with my fellow runners seemed to pass very quickly. I was about half way, when day light returned and it was great to think, this was the night marathon, let's do one in daylight. Day light meant we could get rid of the head torch and the fluorescent vest, and a few laps later I had a complete change of clothes, all but my trusted white long compression socks, that stayed with me for all of the bike and run. That was my longest break at about ten minutes, but I felt so refreshed, the next few laps were great despite my stomach problems.

[19:44:54; 18 laps to go]
Now that it was day light, it was also easier to see who else was out there. There was some very strong running to be seen, no more so than by Neil, who I first met at the Marathon of Britain, who managed to run the two marathons in under seven and a half hours. Luckily for me he had started the run almost four hours after me, so shouldn't really be able to catch me. Steve who was getting closer and closer to me during the earlier stages of the run, had stomach problems of his own, and took some really long breaks. He had finished the bike in third and was at one stage only four run laps behind me and closing, but in the end he had to let others go past. Darryl (Daz) and Anthony (TC) also showed enormous strength on the run, and they eventually finished in third and fifth respectively, running both under nine hours, while Neil split the two finishing in fourth.

[21:26:52; 12 laps to go]
My own running was slower, but very consistent and in fact the last ten miles took the same time as the first ten, and the longer times in the middle were mainly due to the extra breaks. With twelve laps to go, I was certain to maintain second position, so I was wondering whether I could still hit my 24 hour target. Due to those extra breaks for food, toilet stops and cloth changes I was down forty minutes compared to my pre-race time-schedule. If I could get to a position were fifteen minutes per lap were sufficient for the 24-hour finish, I thought I would be on the safe side. So I started to chase those target times, and lap by lap I got closer to them. For the last five laps (ten kilometers to go) I changed into my trusted red racing flats, that served me so well in Lanzarote and put the Oxford Tri top on for the finishing pictures. Those last few laps felt like a long lap of honor, as I knew, and all the spectators did as well, that I had wrapped up second place and a sub-24 hour-finish. In the end, I had a quarter of an hour to spare before the last lap, so I started celebrating early and thanked everyone around the course for their support.



It was just such a great feeling to finish the first Enduroman Double Iron event. Finishing it in second position and going under the twenty hour mark was just unbelievable. I still find it difficult to understand how I did it. It just seemed to come right on the day, and night, and day, and despite a few minor hick-ups I felt in control all the way around.

Run Time: 9:36:06, ten mile splits including breaks: 1:43:18 - 1:50:51 - 2:00:28 - 1:54:08 - 1:43:21

A great, unexpectedly fast swim, a solid bike ride, and a controlled run with a support crew that was there for me every step of the way, Thank you very much, Sue, Paul and Simon! I couldn't have done it without you. The organization was almost faultless, the support was unbelievable, the camaraderie between athletes superb. An event that will stay in my memory for the rest of my life.

23 hours, 46 minutes and 15 seconds, I'm a Double Ironman!!!



Just a shame I won't be able to do the Deca next year as the date has been changed to June in the middle of the examination period.

Anyone interested in the Double? Next year's race will have three waves for seventy two competitors and will take place on 1/2 August 2009.

Thanks to all that helped me in one way or another,
Hanno

PS for those interested in the spreadsheets, click here
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Norsemandave




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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report Hanno, ran a very short bit of the course with you and you were going strong.
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Reverend Graham




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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report mate, always a pleasure to meet and talk with you.

JFT Graham
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I'm a Double Ironman, me! no wait ! Triple Ironman !

I am the Reverend Graham, Commander of the Squirrel Army, third in line to the King of the Potato People !
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p00key




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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice report well done Cool
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Toyota_Crown




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Location: Lincoln / Scarborough (Algerino-Land) / Fircombe-on-Sea. sandbagging for daveM

PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spreadsheet - tastic!!

the legend that is HANNO Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool

sub 24 hrs Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool Cool

risked blowing up by going out hard throughout the bike - but still made it with strength left for a very good run

and you had recovered seemingly completely to take a storming 3rd place at The Big Woody just 2 weeks later - which was a very arduous hilly IM distance event, and very wet on the run. You may be the only man on the planet qulaified to ask: Which was tougher, The Big Woody or ForestMan, where you also finished 3rd Cool Question

thanks for sharing all that info with us - great inspiration and advice for others

honoured to know u m8

btw - how the feck did I beat you at The Big Woody and Ben Nevis Tri's last year!!
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85IM+11DIM+D+2Q+2T=133IM
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hanno




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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dave, we also talked at Esporta before the event. Nice to meet you. Hope I will be able to call myself one day NorsemanHanno Laughing

Thanks Graham, hope you get a better race at the Vit. Won't be there as I'm racing IM UK next day.

Thanks p00key!

Thanks T_C, looking forward to cross swords again at IM UK Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad
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Norsemandave




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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norseman has got to be done Hanno, its a classic.
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hanno




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was on my list this year until the Double came about. One week apart I didn't think it would be a good idea to do both. Had I known how well I would cope with the Double....
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Bainsy




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report Hanno - I concur with ND - I think you would love Norseman, it's a cut above the rest (well teh single IM distance races anyway Shocked !)
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2015 ?
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hanno




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bainsy,

I know, you are right about Norseman. All the reports I have seen show it's exactly up my lane Laughing

Cheers,
Hanno
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Toyota_Crown




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hanno - wot races are you planning / hoping for next year then. Question
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hanno




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

T_C - so far I only entered Lanzarote, and I hope to do Hawaii,
I also got a place in the European Olympic Distance Champs, otherwise I haven't decided yet.
Still wondering whether I should make an attempt at work regarding the Deca
What are your plans for next year?
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Toyota_Crown




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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

u really arent kidding about the deca. cant wait to see THAT spreadsheet!!

for me hopefully Lanza at long last

prob NOT Pennine Du but we'll see
as 1 week later its IM France

2 weeks later its ForestMan

The Longest Day - if runs

Double Iron UK

The Big Woody - if runs

IM UK

plus whatever hilly 1/2 IM's I can squeeze in/fancy doing, usually 3 to 5 number, defo to include Wensleydale if recovered from DI UK.

May do Tour of Wessex all 3 days in early season and a few other cyclosportifs like Etape du Dales.

So which of these you going to challenge me at then.. Twisted Evil What 1/2 IMs do you fancy.
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85IM+11DIM+D+2Q+2T=133IM
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EnduranceUK.com




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quality report Hanno - and apart from Towel (expected!), yours was the outstanding performance of the day.

Couple of years ago you finished one place ahead of me at the Compton 40 and my running may be on a par with yours - but that bike split!!!!
Have my work cut out to get anywhere near you WHEN you sign up for 2009.

Impressed with the Big Woody result - top effort.

Brian
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hanno




Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 186
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Brian,

I had a good run of results recently with podium finishes in ForestMan, DIUK and Big Woody. I just hope I can carry some of that over into next year.

Do you mean when I sign up for the Double or for the Deca Confused

Cheers,

Hanno
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