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Spike's Norseman 2009 report
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Spike




Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 5875
Location: Ipswich

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:43 pm    Post subject: Spike's Norseman 2009 report Reply with quote

Not sure I approve of starting a new thread for every report, but since that seems to be the fashion, here goes.

I've been careful not to read anyone else's before writing this, so as not to be influenced. Let's see whether my memory matches reality...
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"Spike you are a true genius" - littlefatwelshman 23 Sep 2006
"You soft southern jessie" - Toyota_Crown 24 Sep 2006
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Spike




Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 5875
Location: Ipswich

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Race morning. Knock on the door at 2am from Endurancelife to wake us up. Quick shower to liven up then over to the main cabin for a cup of tea and a bowl of porridge. Still doesnít seem quite right to be eating breakfast at that time but third time round itís starting to feel more normal.

Into the wetsuit, into the minibus and by 3am weíre at transition. Stick some air into my tyres and peel the wetsuit off again for body marking. Arrange kit by bike and I seem to be all set by 3:10. Spend the next half hour checking kit, final-checking kit and final-final-checking kit.

Onto the ferry. Sit down. Stand up. Wander around. Chat to Tri-talkers, Endurancelife people and assorted East Anglian triathletes. Go onto deck. Itís a lot warmer than previous years so stay outside watching the jellyfish. Wait, jellyfish? Didnít have those last year.

Tannoy says that weíll be entering the water in one minute. Position myself in Middle Of Jumping Off a Ferry Pack.

Wheeeeeeeeeee!

Return to surface. They werenít lying at the briefing Ė itís a pleasant 17 degrees. Swim in the general direction of the other blue hats. Keep swimming. Hang on, where are the flippiní kayaks that are supposed to form the start line? Answer: theyíre about 400m over there, thatís where. Seems the ferry captain has stopped in the wrong place, despite taking 20 minutes to manoeuvre into position.

Swim to the start line. Thereís loads of jellyfish, but mostly well below swim stroke depth. Hooter sounds. Weíre off. Immediately, somethingís not right. Wetsuit is bunching around my shoulders. I realise that my zip is undone. Donít stop right away because Iím in the middle of the pack and I donít want a dozen swimmers crashing into me.

Five minutes later I reach around to grab my zip cord. Bugger. Seems that the zip hasnít come down, itís bust. Bugger. Carry on swimming in lieu of a better plan.

Five more minutes and I realise this is unsustainable. Fiddle around a bit more and realise the zip isnít bust after all, itís just come down. Flap around like something out of a cartoon trying to do up my zip (harder than on dry land, much harder) while hyperventilating and drinking and snorting more of the fjord than Iíd like.

Back onto my front and I take it easy while my breathing subsides. Soon back into normal rhythm.

Thirty minutes later I discover that (sorry for the technical term, here) I could do with a dump. This is unfortunate. I also need a pee but Iím not sure I can safely ease open the front door without the back door slamming open too. The feeling doesnít diminish for the rest of the swim. Nothing for it but to carry on. Why isnít there a clenched buttock swimming drill? Iíd be great at it now.

Calf cramps up when I grab a handful of seaweed, think that itís a jellyfish, panic and tense my whole body. Idiot.

Out of the water in 1:15. Commence the worldís slowest transition with a dash into the restaurant of the Hotel de Posh looking for a toilet. Find one. Blessed relief. Back into the restaurant. Get lost. Waiter guides me to a door and wishes me good luck. Put on ĺ length shorts because Iíve been cold at Norseman before and I donít trust the weather forecast.

Onto the bike and start the gentle rise to the beginning of the first climb. Fortunately, theyíve repaired the old ďtouristĒ road so we donít have to take the threatened main road with its tunnels and need for lights.

Pass loads of people on the climb to Dyranut. Arrive in about 1:50, so very pleased. Stop briefly to grab food and drink then off again. The next section is a plateau, so this is where all the 90kg Vikings on disk wheels come flying past.



Get to Geilo in about 3:25, so still on target. Stop again to top up food supplies. Three short (thatís ďNorsemanĒ short) hills follow and I pass and get passed by the same people over and over. A guy from Team Iron Cowboys and I are pretty much inseparable.

Starting to feel a bit tired now, so ease up slightly on the approach to the toughest climb of the day, Imingfjell. JohnA catches me near the top and we ride the last k or so together.



Into a headwind on the false flat at the top of Imingfjell. It really knocks the stuffing out of me. Can only manage 16kph, though itís not as bad as 2007 when 12kph was the best I could do. Eventually reach the descent but Iím really tired now. Not tired in the legs, just wishing I could be in bed. Itís literally an effort to keep my eyes open, which I really need to do when going downhill. I donít blame the early morning, which is the same for everyone, but I didnít get enough sleep the previous two nights.

Arrive at T2 in 7:16, which isnít too bad, all things considered. Dreading the run somewhat, but surprised and pleased to discover that getting off the bike has woken me up. Change into running shorts, invoking the compulsory public nudity rule. Load up with Camelbak and gels, and off I go. La Marquise lowers the saddle of my bike so that she can accompany me on the flat section of the run.



Start off at about 4:45/km pace, which is pretty much what I managed last year. It doesnít last long, though. By 9k I have to take a walk and as time goes by, the run/walk ratio becomes increasingly less favourable.



Eventually get to the bottom of Zombie hill, around 25k into the marathon. Iíd hoped to do it in close to 2 hours, based on a slight improvement on last yearís time, but itís taken me 2:25. With 1km to go, La Marquise points ahead to where we can see Cobbie. Thatís just enough to raise my pace to catch him before he starts the slog. Iím glad Iíve done that because I fancy some company on the climb. We strike a truce and start the long trek upwards.

La Marquise pops up on each hairpin, yelling encouragement (as usual) like a mad thing. As Cobbie remarks, ďI donít think Susannah appreciates that this stopped being a race some time ago.Ē



We reach the 32k checkpoint. The road flattens a bit here but Iím in no mood to start running. Well actually, now that Iím not climbing so much, my body says, ďYou could run now if you wantĒ but my head knows that if I start, Iíll probably have to stop within 50 metres.

A couple of km later it starts to rain. Lightly at first, then stronger. Coupled with whatís now a strong headwind, Iím getting cold but Iíll have to wait until the 37k checkpoint to do anything about it.

Get to the checkpoint in good time, so a black T-shirt is in the bag as long as we can physically get to the top of the mountain. Put on all the clothes I have in my mountain bag, the ones I was expecting to carry to the top. Weíre just about to set off when Matt the Cat arrives so we wait for him and head up the mountain as a group.

La Marquise has already set off up the mountain. Sheíd been hoping to get to the top before us but the weather is poor and the trail is trickier than sheíd expected. We catch up with her just at the point where sheís decided to go back down. A good choice, really, because sheíd have had to walk down whereas competitors are entitled to use the lift. A quick photo opportunity and weíre on our way again.



The climb is mentally tougher (for me) than in 2008 because I canít see the top through the rain and mist. Thereís no feeling that Iím making any progress, other than that itís hard work.

At last, the finish comes into sight. We gather ourselves together so that we can cross the line LeMond & Hinault style (whilst carefully checking that weíre not about to get overtaken in the process). Arms aloft, weíre given the same time, though not equal finishing position (I wuz robbed).

Tomato soup has never been more welcome than at that moment. We sit for a few minutes admiring the view, which has cleared a little. SpectrePilot arrives just as weíre leaving Ė we donít want to get cold but in fact itís too late for that.

Head off to the lift, which turns out to be an unexpected gem. Itís a funicular railway inside the mountain that looks as though it was designed by Terry Gilliam. It has room for about 10 passengers and not quite enough room for the driver to get to the controls when the passengers are in their seats.

Out of the tunnel, the evening has turned mild with glorious sunshine giving us the view weíd missed from the top.

Back to our cabin. Shower, beer and eat. By rights, I ought to have crashed out by now but Iíve got my second wind. Head off to the white T-shirt finish line to cheer in the last ones from the Endurancelife group at around midnight. Eat more. Bed at 1:30.

Wake up at 6:45 so still lacking sleep. Eat. Pack gear. Head off to presentation ceremony. Whole spectrum of people: happy to get black, surprised to get black, happy to get white and disappointed to get white. Sorry to hear that Mrs SpectreP and Norsemandave didnít finish. We donít get called up by name to join the photo shoot this year, but maybe that just dragged the proceedings out too much last year.



So, thatís 60% of the way to a green 5-times finisherís T-shirt, then. Smile



-----------------------------------------------------------------

The stats (for T_C):

Swim: 1:14:35
T1: 9:59 (includes trip to hotel)
Bike: 7:16:11
T2: 4:52
Run: 6:11:35

Finished 82nd/216 = 38%
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"Spike you are a true genius" - littlefatwelshman 23 Sep 2006
"You soft southern jessie" - Toyota_Crown 24 Sep 2006


Last edited by Spike on Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:43 am; edited 2 times in total
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craig7




Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Posts: 1468
Location: North yorkshire

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile Nice one Spike, you actually look quite proud on that finisher photo, good on ya mate .

60% gonna become 80% then in 2010, or too early to decide that yet ?
Good climbing speed up to Dyranut, must have been the exces weight you dropped...in Hotel Posh !!! Very Happy

Seriously though mate ,well done. Smile
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Cleo




Joined: 15 Aug 2006
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Location: at the top of a hill shaking my pom poms

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report, Spike!

Maybe there are no butt clenching drills in swimming, but there are in running.

Really well done! I'd so love to go back - I want to see this great funicular thingy. Only problem with that is I'll only ever be support crew. Sad
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Cadence Minge




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'oorah!!

Nice report mate - class act
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TSH




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Spike. It sounds like the early season hill climbing tri's have paid off. I live in awe of your ability to race uphill and this is a fantastic achievement. See you again early next year.
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Cobbie




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one - I'd forgotten my quote about La Marquise and her cheering on Zombie Hill...and of course she shouldn't lose any of that enthusiasm, it was always good to know somebody cared about us Smile

JohnA must have really belted across the plateau and down the hill to catch me if you were together at the top of the climb
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wiganer




Joined: 01 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great effort with a race that didnt go to plan........and a marvellous report to boot !!!!

that finishers photo is great ........ although there doesnt seem to be too many 90kg Vikings around ........ maybe not the race for me (yet) Very Happy
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Bluepoolshark




Joined: 09 May 2006
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Location: Swimming with icebergs

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report there, seriously well done Clap

2011 for the green t then Cool
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Bluepoolshark




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wiganer wrote:
that finishers photo is great ........ although there doesnt seem to be too many 90kg Vikings around ........ maybe not the race for me (yet) Very Happy
Of course it is, I was about that weight last year!!! Very Happy
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mrchopsaloty




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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good stuff. I'm sure a mail to the nxtri folks could sort the equal placing out.


Cleo wrote:
Great report, Spike!

Maybe there are no butt clenching drills in swimming, but there are in running.

Really well done! I'd so love to go back - I want to see this great funicular thingy. Only problem with that is I'll only ever be support crew. Sad


Slightly OT but I'm after support for next year AND they are re-vamping the lift planning to open it to the public in the winter. Should be plenty of time to iron out any problems for August 2010 Wink
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Big Ted




Joined: 03 May 2009
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Location: On a motorcycle, in the distance.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great report - i dread stuff like that happening te me in a wetsuit!

I didnt know much about this race until i read this and now i'm into white, black and green tshirts - and i thought it was just the WTC who understood marketing.... Wink

Well done - quite out of my league.
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adrian73




Joined: 02 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report & race Spike!! You are convincing me about doing this race Very Happy

I only need to sort out my riding (and yes, swimming and running too Mad )
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savaloy




Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report tractor boy Smile
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FatPom




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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Spike, great pics as well.

I need to build a bridge to connect the gap between desire and reality with this race. Wink
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