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Enduroman 2009 race report - sorry its so late

 
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DoingWhatTheRevSays




Joined: 12 Feb 2009
Posts: 19
Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject: Enduroman 2009 race report - sorry its so late Reply with quote

Firstly I would like to apologise for my general crapness at posting to this board - I had promised Graham that I would write a report about crewing at the Double Iron Man but every time I sat down to write, something came up - so I scheduled some time in to write this this morning. I would also like to thank Graham and Sally for inviting me along - I had an awesome time!

Graham advised me to arrive on the Friday so we may set things up; I booked that day off work - however due to various complications ended up going in for a few hours. I left work around noon, armed with: Sleeping bag, tent, some clothes and a map should my sat nav die. Finding the place wasn't too hard, however my mobile went flat just as I got to Lichfield.. Thankfully, Graham and Sally weren't too hard to find. I met them on the yard - cordoned off with traffic cones. Graham asked why I was limping..

I don't feel like I'm limping, but enough people have asked me about this.. my mate Laurence (who's a physio) asked me a couple of days ago.. anyway.. I guess I just walk funny. The first thing we had to do was get the tents set up.. we took a spot in the field behind the bike transition area - and this was when I learnt about Pop Up tents!

Lesson 1: Don't listen to the lady in Halfords (make sure you have the proper kit)

The lady in Halfords the night before advised me against a Pop Up Tent.. (I left it to the last minute - my other tent had a hole in it) she said that they take forever to put away. I asked for a demonstration and was told I couldn't have one because they take too long to put back in their bag.. I think Sally had her tent up in about 10 seconds.. Mine took about 40 mins.. Graham was able to put his away in under a minute.. mine took about 20 minutes. Pop up tents are Brilliant!

Lesson 2: IronMen need to EAT

After the tents were set up, cars unloaded and general introductions it was time to register. I followed Graham and Sally to the leisure centre (in the interest of detail I've checked the sat nav, but don't have the name stored) where Graham registered - we then went to get some food from the Franky and Bennies around the corner. I watched other IronMen hoover up vast quantities of food. According to Dicky I eat like an IronMan.. and there is the problem: I don't train like one.

Due to a mix up in the kitchen, the food didn't make it out on time.. The manageress was very apologetic.. and very pretty too Smile

Lesson 3: Obey the rules - they are a matter of survival

After the mishap at Franky and Benny's everyone gathered to hear the race rules. Athletes were given strong instructions about their use of lights, crew were given strong instructions to make sure their Athletes were set up with appropriate lights. The threat was: If you're not suitably lit, you'll be pulled from the race. All of the rules were there for safety - so I did my best to listen intently. Afterwards Graham showed me his lights - they were light portable Suns!

Lesson 4: It's normal to be nervous

The build up to the race was a little surreal - I really had no clue what to expect. Graham started dry retching, coughing, spluttering - I thought he was about to have a heart attack or something equally nasty. Bizarrely, nobody seemed in the least bit bothered by this.. I was told not to worry, and that it was race nerves.

This in itself was strange because I honestly didn't think an IronMen had the capacity to be nervous - they all appear to be supremely confident, ethereal, rock star like. The build up actually pretty surreal.. I was expecting some kind of explosion, or for the heavens to open up casting down fire and brimstone.. The swim wasn't quite as dramatic as that, but almost..

Lesson 5: Technique is everything

I watched everyone as they swam into the pool, some were thrashing about like piranha, others were taking it steady - some were seemingly bending the laws of physics; using a limited amount of strokes and less energy to travel a seemingly vast distance. They almost looked out of sync with the water as they effortlessly glided through it. The gaps started to open up with the most efficient swimmers being around 4 lengths ahead of their less efficient rivals.

Lesson 6: Sleep is for mortals

About an hour into the swim my eyes were so heavy I could barely keep them open.. I was finding it hard to think. I was offered Red Bull, but declined as the last time I drank the stuff I ended up in Hospital. I think I was 22 - I was working on a TV commercial.. I had a few hundred drawings to produce and only one day to produce them.. I was flagging and a friend suggested I drink some redbull and pro-plus. 12 cans later I'm staring at my drawing board - a shambles of a man. One minute I'm euphoric, the next I'm really, really low - I couldn't focus.. or sleep. I ended up in Hospital for the night and received the biggest telling off from the Dr's in the morning. Apparently I could have done myself some serious damage..

So I went back to my tent for a couple of hours kip. I felt quite bad about this, but as Sally said that once Graham is in the water there isn't much crewing to do. I woke up just in time to see him be first out.

Lesson 7: Transitions

Transitions are bizarre. A lot going on.. it was a bit of a blur so I just did as I was told. I can't remember if at this point it was raining, or if the rain came after.. I just did what I was told Smile

Lesson 8: Don't stand to close to the circuit - you might loose something

So we're several hours in and I'm getting a little hungry.. I went over to the chip van.. I think the chip van guys were ignorant nobs.. but that's a long story. I stood down from the time sensor to cheer people on.. Out of nowhere my chips were swiped followed by "thanks, I'll replace them next loop".. It happened so fast, it was stealth like. Another hand did the same.. at that point I looked down at the tray.. I had less than a handful left so I thought sod it and gave them to the next chap: Paul - who asked for more salt. I then got some more chips - and shared those out with TC Smile

Lesson 9: Control over your emotions.

It was getting dark, and I was flagging.. I must have been sleeping anywhere and everywhere. Sally's phone was beginning to die so I offered to take it to the hut for her, and give it a charge. I soon as I plugged the phone in I must have fallen asleep in the chair.

In my half awake state I vaguely remember hearing someone talk about someone being knocked off their bike by some yobs. When I woke up I found out that it was Graham who had been knocked off. Had that happened to me - especially with the pressure of the race and lack of sleep I would have battered them to within an inch of their lives. I almost certainly would have been arrested.. although probably not charged. Suffice to say, had I been racing that would have ended my race. Graham just got back on his bike - that's a sign of composure.

Lesson 10: All shapes and sizes

My initial assumption was that IronMen would be young and super lean. This was not the case. My Dad has a saying "Middle age begins at 60, old age begins at 90" and IronMan illustrates this point beautifully. Nobody looked their age, sure you had chaps with a bit of a belly but everyone looked at least 10 years younger than their age would have you believe. It really is the elixir of youth. I liked that it was so accessible.

Lesson 11: All about humility

As the race progressed I became increasingly aware of the task each athlete had ahead of them. On paper the distances don't seem that far.. after all it's just a number. In reality, that number is insane.

Physically it's hard. Mentally it's so much harder. I'm sorry, but I forget the name of the chap who had everything strapped up but his will was incredible. He just kept going, even if he had to walk it - he was going to complete it. He must have been in an immense amount of pain - but he just kept going. That was quite humbling.

Lesson 12: Why would they do it?

Initially I thought they were all a bit crazy.. that something was missing from their brains which compelled them to take part in this race. I really, really didn't get it.. but by the end of the race I think I did. Everyone had such a positive attitude - they are in full control of who they are and what they want to do. The strength of character is such that I doubt these fella's would ever simply role over and die or stick their head in the sand when confronted with a difficult situation. That's not to say they won't find situations difficult, I'm sure they will - but they have the strength of mind and character to face them. It's a weird contradictory mix of confidence which borders on arrogance served up alongside a massive wedge of humility - I can certainly see the appeal, and indeed it's helped me to put a lot of things into perspective. I work insane hours, and juggle so many plates - and for what? All pointless really.

I've started training again - with a vengeance. Circuits on Monday and Tuesday nights. Bike ride on Wednesday, Circuits on Thursday, Swim on Friday to get myself to a basic level of fitness. I've entered a 10k run in October to start things off. I'm eating properly for the first time in ages, and making a point of actually sleeping as opposed to napping here and there. I've given up all my involvement with various things (which I wasn't that fussed on, and consumed my weekends). I've learnt to say no to people. I've also put my foot down at work so after September I'm back to 8 hour days as opposed to 15. I'm also going to take my holiday.

I've been talking about the Double IronMan to friends and work colleges and they've all looked at me as if I'm talking like a crazy. But I guess they need to just go and see one - see what it's like. The Boss is worried about me - worried that I might get the "dumb idea to do one". Well.. I doubt I'll ever be capable - it's a lot of work to train for such an event.. (I think that's why the boss was worried - they need me at my desk! haha) but.. part of me thinks.. a slight crazy, wired up wrong part of me thinks.. Well I probably shouldn't talk myself into doing anything too soon. My folks say they've noticed a positive difference in my attitude at least.

It was great to meet Graham and Sally again, Paul and Dicky, the other Paul and his family; TC and Mr and Mrs Mash. I'm really glad I went, indeed I'm looking forward to the next one - and the vitruvian Smile

And one day.. Maybe.. I'll just work on my fitness first Smile
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Toyota_Crown




Joined: 07 Mar 2005
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Location: Lincoln / Scarborough (Algerino-Land) / Fircombe-on-Sea. sandbagging for daveM

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yo buddy, good to hear from you. nice report. Cool
cheers for the chips and support. Smile

Git yourself joined up via www.lincolntri.co.uk
Open Water Swimming tonite!
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EnduroManChamp:Euro2010-12,Deca12, Quin11,D10
HH1x2 HM30 1&3 SRock1 BelC2 GP2 VLM2h58 FellsM
Ard2 D2 FMan-11 TT2 Out16 10.15 CDS5 Ang3 IMUK-11 Jx1 Ult6 BW3 Stap1 Hel23 IMW11 Hx6 BxD1 Wx9 RR8
85IM+11DIM+D+2Q+2T=133IM
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Reverend Graham




Joined: 12 Sep 2006
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Location: Grimsby, Meggies Mafia ( We go in Mob handed)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good report mate, captures the other side of the fence beautifully, get yourself signed up with Lincoln Tri, and I'll be crewing for you in no time.

You are alway well come to crew for me, Ican't do this stuff without you guys.

See you at the Vit.

JFT Graham
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Swimmingdunce




Joined: 07 Apr 2005
Posts: 633
Location: Lincoln

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a good read and very insightful! It was good to see it from an "outsider's" perspective. I liked lesson 12 particularly. I might quote you and pretend it was mine Smile


"Everyone had such a positive attitude - they are in full control of who they are and what they want to do."
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repoman




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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good write up PSG, an interesting persepective.

Good luck with the trainning
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Bainsy




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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice report - everybody says the DIM is such an inspirational event to attend - i'll hopefully find out next year
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Big Ted




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

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

good report - and uselful tip re: the chips situation. Very Happy
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Toyota_Crown




Joined: 07 Mar 2005
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Location: Lincoln / Scarborough (Algerino-Land) / Fircombe-on-Sea. sandbagging for daveM

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Enduroman 2009 race report - sorry its so late Reply with quote

Photoshopguru wrote:
I've given up all my involvement with various things (which I wasn't that fussed on, and consumed my weekends). I've learnt to say no to people. I've also put my foot down at work so after September I'm back to 8 hour days as opposed to 15. I'm also going to take my holiday.
so, triathlon makes you selfish Razz
nah, good on you m8.

good idea with the work and hols. well maybe not if you were getting paid overtime but i spect not.

as swimmingdunce (the other LincolnTri-er Colm) pointed out, you had some good nuggets of wisdom in your report. Cool so i've linked it from the main thread so its findable in future.
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EnduroManChamp:Euro2010-12,Deca12, Quin11,D10
HH1x2 HM30 1&3 SRock1 BelC2 GP2 VLM2h58 FellsM
Ard2 D2 FMan-11 TT2 Out16 10.15 CDS5 Ang3 IMUK-11 Jx1 Ult6 BW3 Stap1 Hel23 IMW11 Hx6 BxD1 Wx9 RR8
85IM+11DIM+D+2Q+2T=133IM
UKIMGrandSlam04-16


Last edited by Toyota_Crown on Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PinkSally




Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 457
Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey Rob, GREAT report!!

Glad you came along to help out, you're welcome anytime and will probably see you at the Vit'.

I am amazed at all the positive changes that you've made in your life after watching your first event, I've been watching/crewing for 20years and it's taken me that long to make ANY changes!! well done mate Wink

As for falling asleep whilst you charged my fone for me.....heh..... I have proof on film, bless ya...... Smile

Thanks for linking this TC as I hadn't noticed it in the main list and I would've missed a good 'un.

Cheers,
PinkSally
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putt putt




Joined: 23 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

interesting report and great to read that it has positively affected you but..........given your TT name.......where are the pics?!! Laughing
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