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Celtman 2013
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GraemeS




Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Posts: 587
Location: Dundee (Tayside)

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys, what a day! Seriously .... what a day! It is an immense effort to finish that race low course or high.

I have half a book in me over the last year leading up to this but here is a short report from me. There are some pictures and you can see my Strava file ect.

http://www.graemestewart.com/celtman-2013-winning-experience/

It was fully fully nuts but I am so proud to win in these conditions.

The conditions were so tough even the top guys were bricking it up there so there is no way everyone should have gone up.

If you can come through this Spectre Pilot you will be stronger and more determined. That is why races like this are there to change you. Think of all those who did not finish.

The only solution is to get fitter prepare better and go back next year and if you get it right it wont matter what happens with the weather you will still achieve your goal.
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TRO Saracen




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic report and effort, well done.

I lurk on this thread as I have 'certain urges' to do this race, not really sure if the news coming out of this year's race has increased or decreased them....
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GeordieM




Joined: 27 Oct 2004
Posts: 1244
Location: The cold, barren northern steppes of Aberdoom

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a big day out. I’m not going to write a huge race report, but in brief:

Swim – extremely cold. In fact, genuinely painful to put your hands in for the first few minutes and the skin on my face was screaming in complaint. You should have seen the expression on the faces of some of the continentals as we waded in through the weeds! It was an eerily atmospheric start and unusually quiet amongst the competitors. The piper was going with the flaming Celtman logo in the background. There were more support kayaks than I've ever seen at similar sized events. The crossing took me just under 1.08. I was never really worried, I was just aware that my hands were stiff with cold and that I was a bit slow especially in the choppy middle section. I knobbled a couple of big jelly fish but felt only the mildest of stings on the face and I may even have imagined the sting – I don’t know as my skin was numb anyway. A slow swim but I didn't do much swim training so no surprise. I got an impressive wetsuit burn on the back of my neck which by the look of it post race was a common injury. Regarding kit I wore neoprene booties and cap, plus an Orca Heat Seeker neoprene base layer which was fantastic and was probably responsible for me staying reasonably “warm”. (I strongly recommend similar for 2014 aspirants.) Exiting the swim I was able to stand up and run, but I was unable to work my numb jaw to speak.

Bike – the disc wheel was probably a mistake. I was blown off the road climbing out of Gairloch by a punchy gust that must have been 50-60 mph. Fortunately no damage was done as I was doing 3 mph anyway. I was undercooked on the bike training and given the consistent 20-30 mph strong headwinds and too many feed stops (four or five I think) the bike took just under 8 hours. It all blurs into one. The last 25 miles from Garva Bridge were mostly gently uphill into an unrelenting block headwind and took just forever. I was dreaming of an aero helmet and skin suit after the first hour of wind blasting after Garva.

Run – cut-offs never usually come into my mind as I've never missed one, or even come close. But, the Celtman is hardcore and starting the run, with only a limited time to make T2A, I knew that even with a strong run I’d likely be short by 10 mins. And so it proved to be. I’m not overly upset though as a) even if they’d let me I would have said ‘no’ to going up the hill – we should all be capable of making our own decisions and I have seen it truly crap out in the hills before and b) given my disappointing bike performance I didn't really feel I “deserved” it, if that makes any sense at all. So Carlito and I did the low route in the unrelenting wind and rain. Turning off the tarmac I had a deep low spot which was fixed with a couple of Snickers and a reminder of Rule #5 (applied to trail running in this instance). We proceeded to splash and bog stomp around the lower route overtaking six or more other competitors come the finish line. The hills and marshes really were flowing with water and some of the bogs were knee deep. I felt pretty good for the last couple of hours of the run so we maintained a good pace and the final tarmac section saw us overtake quite a few people before the final sprint finish.

I had a great support crew – three people in total including Carlito on this forum who ran the whole run with me. Big thanks to all of them. Without a support runner the second section of the run in that weather would have been a miserable and lonely plod so thanks to him for motivating me to chase those ahead.

The cut-off seems fair to me. On a calm day it’d be easy enough to make for most people. I did only very modest training by Ironman standards and, on an extremely tough day, missed it by 25 mins. That sounds a lot but I dawdled in T1 and practically took roadside picnics on the bike. Curiously there’s one bloke out there in a blue T-shirt who finished the race 15 mins after me, such is life.

The local community was great and many people in Shieldaig and Torridon really get behind the race and help out in various functions. So big thanks to them. Thanks also to all the marshals as it was a miserable day to be stood out there for hours on end. It’s easier to race it.

If any potential 2014 racers want any advice, Garmin files etc feel free to get in touch.

We stayed in Diabaig at a small rented cottage until Tuesday and enjoyed the great weather and mini-heat wave that of course followed immediately after the race. FFS. On the plus side we barely saw a midge the entire time we were on the W. coast.

2014? 15% probability of re-entering, 85% probability of marshaling (and being a back-up support runner on the day in case of illness/injury of others, as there were a few competitors stuck in the days pre-race which must be completely gutting).

GeordieM – 58th position and white finisher.
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Toyota_Crown




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

congrats GraemeS Worship
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GraemeS




Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Posts: 587
Location: Dundee (Tayside)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry you missed the cut GeordieM, I guess you would have done the low route even if you had made it!

I have not riden in winds like that before so not being to hard on myself for the decision.

It could be totally different next year, wait a while and you may feel like entering yet Wink
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fimm




Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeordieM wrote:
2014? 15% probability of re-entering


That's gone up from what you were saying on Sunday Wink
It was a pleasure to crew for you.

Well done to all who finished in such very tough conditions.
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GeordieM




Joined: 27 Oct 2004
Posts: 1244
Location: The cold, barren northern steppes of Aberdoom

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greame - to be honest had I been racing for a win I'd probably have gone up even had there been lava spewing from the summit. But, looking at the hill from the pass all I could think was there's no way I'm off up there in these winds! Well done for surviving and coming down off the right side of the hill.

fimm - thanks for all your support too it really helped. Liklihood of re-entering in 2014 has now increased to 16.64%. And I will do a training ride longer than 4 hours next year for sure. I have learned my lesson. I may even find a coach for the 1st time as Karl has inspired me Very Happy
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kingofcalifornia




Joined: 27 Oct 2010
Posts: 361

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great reports, and congratulations!

Sounds like the conditions were about as bad as it gets on all three disciplines (touch wood). I daresay those on the mountain must have been been wondering at times if they would be descending it of their own volition.

Graeme, I found your report incredibly inspiring. I hope to read more in due course.

Next year will be clear blue skies! Or depending on which day it falls there might be a cloud in an unusual cross formation Wink
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Damien




Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 1112
Location: Auld Reekie

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back from Torridon, into the land of the digitally connected.

Missed the cut-off for the bike Sad
report will follow over the weekend.

Already planning my next attempt at it, in 2015. Can't make it next year, for a number of reasons, but may try and see if they need extra volunteers, next year, to see the event from the other side...
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Chris G




Joined: 29 May 2008
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Location: Recovering before the next session

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of race reports here: http://www.edinburghrc.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=15406.0
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Oscar_Victor




Joined: 04 Jul 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris G wrote:
A couple of race reports here: http://www.edinburghrc.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=15406.0


Chris - Edinburgh RC site been down for few days. Any scope for posting these reports elsewhere?
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Chris G




Joined: 29 May 2008
Posts: 166
Location: Recovering before the next session

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, in the absence of the club forum here's my report:

That was a brutal race!
Celtman 2012 was an incredible race and the decision for me to race it again this year ended up being easy: the scenery is stunning, the course is tough (including running over a couple of mountains), the organisation is excellent, there are only a small number of racers , it was the Triathlon Scotland and British Triathlon race of the year and there is constant cheering from the support teams – just nothing like it in the UK.
My training had gone well and I was in fitter than last year: stronger and more efficient in the swim, comfortable and confident of riding my TT bike for 6+ hours and the last few months of running had been injury free. Five weeks out I got my first triathlon podium at Coniston Old Man – another tough race with stunning scenery. The goals for the race were simple – finish in the top 10 (I was 12th last year) and break 13 hours (I took 13.28 last year)
I spent race week looking at the forecast and in between the sunny calm days there was one day with high winds and rain – race day! Breakfast was at 2.30am with the other six racers from Edinburgh RC and their support crews (there are no feed stations on the bike and you must be accompanied over the mountain section of the run). We then drove over to Sheildaig to set-up T1 and I noticed just how windy it was. 4am soon arrived and the racers got on buses to be transported to the start of the point to point swim. After a group photo on the shore we headed into the water – cold but nothing us from Edinburgh weren’t used to and not as cold as year. Given the small numbers, it got a bit lonely at times and I couldn’t see many people but some were to the left and others to the right so I knew I must be heading the right way! The waves created by the wind were small and constant but I felt strong. I saw a few jelly fish at times but the mountains were hidden in cloud. Passing the last island the waves noticably picked up and T1 seemed to take a long time to arrive. There were a couple of people helping you out of the water and they were very welcome. My hands were cold and I needed help to get out of my wetsuit and put on my bike kit – Jane’s assistance was necessary! At some point I looked at my watch 1.15 – oh dear that really was a tough swim (under the hour last year).
Out onto the bike and I soon started to overtake people but also noticed how windy it was – was a disc a good idea?! I soon passed Tom and Berit and gave them a shout of encouragement. Dave and Jane passed me in the car and started the leapfrog process which would continue for the next 6 hours to pick up bottles and food. It’s great to see so many other supporter crews as they wait for the racers because they (mostly) gave you a cheer although you quickly learnt which ones would watch you ride past with no reaction. I was soon apparent that it was very gusty wind and hard to predict when it would strike so you needed to keep alert. There were a few sections of riding with a big lean but only a couple of section where I had to get off the tri-bars. Riding a disc was ok but I didn’t want anything deeper on the front. I was drinking more than I expected so I arranged a few extra stops with my support crew.Coming out of Gairloch after a couple of hours I reminded myself to look at the stunning view – my favourite of the whole course. The field had thinned out by this point and I stopped passing so many people– just the odd one. I had a quick chat with one guy who passed me but it turned into a good battle as he was faster on flats but I caught him on the hills.
I went through 100 miles well inside 5 hours but then hit the head wind. I was expecting this section to be tough but not quite this bad - 42km in 1hour 40mins.I found it mentally tough to be riding slowly at this point of the race and knowing there would probably be no respite until the end of the bike. I was also stuggling to eat and had to force things down a bit but I’d been eating well the rest of the time so I wasn’t too concerned.
I finally arrived at T2, gave Dave my bike, sat down to change and have a TV interview! Off on the run with another guy but he quickly got away from me as we headed straight up a hill. Going through the start of the Red Bull section and I saw I was ony 45mins down on leader – excellent. Jane was waiting for me at top of the hill and we ran together with bananas, coke and water being handed over on request – this is easy! Jane thought I was in the top ten and this was confirmed at one of the feed stations – dead on track! Given the condition I wasn’t sure we’d be heading over the mountain (and at this point I didn’t really want to) so was mentally preparing for the low route and a different race – path running throughout rather tha a steep mountain climb. I get onto the short road section to T2A which seems long and tough but I feel like I’m running strongly.
Into T2A and there is compulsory two minute kit check during which I eat a banana, get warned about conditions up the mountain (yes, we’re going up!) and do another TV interview. I head off with Dave for the walk up to first summit. I get passed about halfway up but just keep plugging away as quickly as I can. My hat and gloves go on and then my Goretex jacket as the rain starts to come down heavily. We head into the mist but I know the route and Dave has the map and compass out just in case. We climb onto the ridge and I know it is 5mins to the top but we feel the strength of the wind for the first time and it’s strong! We reach the top, thank the Mountain Rescue guys and Dave says just over an hour for the climb – spot on.The ridge is techincal and rocky and we run as much as possible but don’t push the pace due to the conditions with the wind blowing us towards the sheer drop. Good navigation helps us find the small sheep path without difficulty but then I almost fall over in front of Mountain Rescue guys! Passing the top of the scree slope we can see the stunning view to the end of the loch. Heading up to the second summit we see a few teams in front of us – people to catch up!! Despite the strict no littering rule I manage to drop a coke bottle top into the wind. We pass one team shortly after summit and then, amazingly find the coke bottle top again as we descend – phew, no need for me to be disqualified!! I fall down the top of scree slope whilst being filmed and scramble over lots of bouders down to the loch. We can see another team off to left getting stuck on crags – think this means I’m now in 7th place. Onto the ‘path’ but it’s not easy running and I still need to be alert. I’m still moving well and get a boost as we join up with low level route heading the other way. They (mostly) get out of the way and cheer us on and it’s great to see Berit and Mitch heading the other way – although surprising to see Berit in front! I get down to the road and then it’s only the final 7km back to Torridon. This was mentally really tough last year but it doesn’t seem as long this year, partly due to having support at the halfway point. Jane joins me at this point as she and Dave think I look like I’m struggling!! The trees just before Torridon are the most beautiful sight in the world and I know I’m going to make it. One last uphill section and I cross the finish line.
I thank the organisers for letting us go up the mountain – it turns out the mountain section was closed after 11 of us had headed up .No-one seems sure but we think I finished in 7th place and just inside 13.15 – one goal reached but given the conditions I’m just pleased to have beaten last year’s time. We head inside and sit down, have some food and chat to other finishers. I’m slightly surprised to be generally feeling better than I did last year and like last year all I’m thinking is - never again!
The next morning and it’s the prize giving and t-shirts handing out. It’s good to catch up with competitors and hear their stories from the day. After that it’s back to the our club’s house for the now traditional champagne and strawberries - that’s what we do it for!!
Despite my (slightly weak) protests that I’m never doing it again, I know that I will inevitability be back in 2014 to go for a third blue t-shirt – it’s that sort of race!!
Thanks to Jane and Dave for supporting on race day, Alister for the coaching advice and the other Edinburgh RC racers and supporters.
Results: http://www.cxtri.com/cmresults13.pdf
Pictures on Celtman Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Theceltman?hc_location=stream
My favourite: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=477305962360584&set=a.477305685693945.1073741830.164561316968385&type=1&theater
My swim: http://app.strava.com/activities/66397127
My bike: http://app.strava.com/activities/66397175
My run: http://app.strava.com/activities/66397151/overview
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Chris G




Joined: 29 May 2008
Posts: 166
Location: Recovering before the next session

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And in case you anyone hasn't seen: https://www.facebook.com/Theceltman/posts/479480185476495
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Damien




Joined: 24 Aug 2010
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Location: Auld Reekie

PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Autopsy of a failure (my Celtman report)

WARNING: Celtman was my first attempt at a triathlon (and it showed on the day). If that offends you, and you believe that the natural order of things (sprint then standard, then half, then full distance) should be religiously followed at all times, then please save yourself some time, and stop reading now.


Part 1: What the heck am I doing here?
My path to Celtman started in The 2010 Alpe d'Huez tri, which my better half, Suzanne, completed. I thought she was absolutely bonkers to put herself through all that training, to then go and race in the mountains. On the day, though (I had to be dragged there against my better judgement), I loved the atmosphere, and started to look at the possibility to join the madness. The one snatch was that after the AdH, the local races felt uninspiring to me, and didn't fire me to want to go train. At the time, my running was nonexistent, although I had no problem being in water, I could not swim 25m front crawl, and my cycling was limited to my commute: 8.5 miles, each way. Then I discovered Norseman, and this was a race I could get my butt off the sofa for. I tried to go to the ERC swimming session, with the aim of entering Edinburgh's New Year's Day tri, but I was so bad that I felt that I was slowing everybody down, in the slow lane... Although everybody was supportive, my initial resolve disappeared, and when the NYD tri was cancelled, I stopped going. Suzanne and I would still go cycling, from times to times, loops of around 60 Km.

A few year later, and Celtman was announced. Again, I was inspired. By that time, we had some money for some bikes, so in March last year, Suzanne got the tri bike she wanted, and I got myself a proper racer. It was then decided that I would attempt Celtman in 2013. I enrolled in adult swimming classes, started running, and going for longer rides. I got the Don Fink training book, selected a plan (intermediate, but with the swim sets from the 'just finish'), and my training went from haphazard to build some base, to structured. Forward to early this year and I got myself a wetsuit, but had to wait several months before I could use it, as the Forth was bloody cold! By then, I was getting stronger in all 3 disciplines, and was quietly confident that I would finish the event (aiming for White). The toughest part of the training, for me, was that I was feeling very selfish, especially in the last few months. Thankfully, with Suzanne doing triathlon herself, she was very understanding.

During the club recce weekend, Suzanne and I decided that although allowed in the race manual, it would not be practical to have her as my only support. So to the rescue came our friend Olivier, a great guy to know, who accepted to come and help, even though the race was on Wimbledon's finals weekend, and he is tennis-mad (so much so that he left us early on the Sunday morning, so that he could drive back to Edinburgh and watch the men's final with another of our tennis-mad friend).

With that, it was time for the race itself...



Part 2: On the day
One thing needs to be made clear right now... The weather was 'Scottish'!!!

Woke up at 2:00, and checked out the window. The wind was already strong, but it was dry. Time enough to get some porridge in, reiterate the meeting/feeding plans with my support team, then it was time to go. Got to Shieldaig, racked the bike, and setup the transition area. Having Suzanne keeping a clear head helped a lot. Then it was time to change into the wetsuit, and board the busses.

The route to the swim start was twisty, but the view was gorgeous. Once there, I milled around, with the other RC racers, waiting to be called to enter the water. the setting was beautiful. The two ladies from our group were interviewed by one of the film crews at hand, then we were given the 5 minutes warning, and told to enter the water. It was COLD! Much colder than the firth of Forth had been in the weeks prior. At that point, I noticed someone getting in with a sleeveless wetsuit, and let out an audible 'what the h...'. Looking around, the few peeps around me who had noticed him looked just as puzzled as I was (from the rumor mill, it sound like this guy had had to borrow a suit, and only found that one). I would have liked a few more minutes to get used to the water temp, but I have a feeling the competitors from warmer climes would not have appreciated spending more time in the water all that much...



The swim:
When the hooter sounded, I got going, head up and well out of the water. After a few strokes, I gradually lowered my head in the water, and got going properly. The wind was strong and pushing me to the left and my lack of experience of ow swimming, I only started this year, showed. I was blown off course, and wasn't sighting often enough to correct myself effectively. Once past the first island, I started seeing the jellyfish. They didn't bother me until I put my hand on one of them. Didn't feel anything at the time, but it did sting me. At the same time, I think the cold started to get to me and I was swimming more in zig zag than in a straigth line. I then noticed that I had forgotten to remove my wedding ring, and for the rest of the swimm, I regularly checked that it was still there as I was worried I would lose it. Strange how 'small' things can become important in those moments. As I neared the 2nd island, I was looking forward to entering the sheltered creek behind it... Except that it was anything but sheltered. The wind, and possibly a change of tide direction, made the area very choppy, and I found it difficult to sight the exit jetty. In order to help with that I decided to 'stand' in the water. This proved to be a bad move, as the sudden change in position caused caused me to start returning my breakfast to the water. A concerned canoist came to check on me, and I spend a minute or 2 clinging to his canoe, while I finished puking, then I soldiered on to the exit. For some reason, my legs refused to work, and I had to be helped up to the road that led to the transition area (after a final emptying of my stomach).

Total swim time: 1:44:57
Gains to be made: at least 20 minutes, by swimming a better line, and not stopping to puke my guts up Smile



The transition:
Suzanne guided me to the right spot, and I got changed. A concerned marshall had followed me from the water edge. He helped me to put my heart rate belt on, as I was struggling with cold my fingers. Made a quick trip to the loo, had a few spoonfull of instant porridge, then finished getting dressed and got on my way.

Total Transition time: ... 28:59 !!! I honestly do not know where that time went. I would have estimated it at 10, maybe 15 minutes.
Gains to be made: at least 15 minutes, probably 20... More experience will definitely help, and reducing the swim time should hopefully help with how badly I was affected by the cold.



The bike:
Off from transition, I felt good. The wind was in my back, and helping. Because of this, there wasn't much windchill and I warmed up quickly and settled for the distance ahead. It was at this point that I noticed that something was wrong with my hrm. The values on show were too low, for perceived effort (low 70s when going uphill) and they would then jump to extremely high (150+) within a matter of seconds, before settling back down to low. My initial reaction to this was that it was a bloody bad time for the belt's battery to die on me, and I carried on, trying my best to estimate an acceptable level of effort (I failed in that and it would come back to bite me on the proverbial). In transition, I had added a stop at Kinlochewe, so that I could hand my leg warmers to the crew, on the basis that I would probably have warmed up by then, and that I would not need them anymore, so I duly offloaded them and carried on towards Gairloch for the first of the originally scheduled meeting. As I was going along Loch Maree something black seems to pop of my shoulder. Worried that I may need whatever it was, I stopped and turned around. I could not see anything on the ground, nor find anything missing of my equipment, so concluded it may have been a big insect or something like that and carried on to Gairloch.

When I reached the crew, I was short of 2 hours bike time, and ahead of my target of a 8 hours by just over 5 minutes. All was well. I left Suzanne and Olivier to go and enjoy their breakfast, and kept going towards the next scheduled stop, in Dundonnell. At the 3 hours mark, I had lost my 5 minutes advantage, but I was fine with that, although my right knee started to be painful. From then on, I lost the help of the wind, and felt it either from the side, or in my face, all the way to the end. The unfortunate side effect of being 6'4'' is that a front wind tends to have a huge effect on my progress. On the descent to Dundonnell, a gel wrapper flew off my bento box. Cue sudden breaking, a quick run to go and pick it up, and a bit of time lost, but nothing major. I was, however, much unimpressed a while later, when I rode over a zip-lock bag containing some nutrition, which someone had dropped and not bothered to stop and pick up.... When I reached my crew, I was about 10 minutes behind schedule. No panic, as I knew that after the climb out of there, I should be able to pick up some time back. I decided to add a stop at the T-junction with the A835, and got going. The climb was tough, as I had expected, except that that I had the wind in my face for all of it. I lost a huge amount of time, much more than I was planning for, and my head started to drop. I gave myself a MTFU pep-talk, and kept climbing. At the same time, I discovered that my hrm belt's battery was fine. What hapened is that when that nice marshall helped me to strap it on in T1 (stop sniggering at the back), I had not straightened it. So it ended up sideway, to my left. Once I dragged it back in place, the readings stabilised, way too high...

I met my crew at the A835 and told them that it was over. My head was trully gone.. Suzanne told me to shut up and keep going, so I did. I didn't want to disapoint her. I knew that I had reached the high point of the course, and that it should get easier. Except for that blasted wind. I think that by then I was starting to bonk as well. I had not replenished the breakfast I had puked, and while my on the bike nutrition had mostly gone to plan, I had started in deficit, and never built back up. Add to that the fact that I probably went too fast for the first 4 hours, and I wasn't in a position to deal effectively with the wind anymore. I met Suzanne and Olivier in Black Water, and again at the turn-off from the A835 towards Achnasheen. That meeting had been organised at Black Water, as I was certain then that I wasn't going to make the cut-off, and I would need a moral boost to finish the bike.

From then on, I had a nightmare. I thought that I had had a front wind up to then, I was emphatically proven wrong. I knew that the road to Achnasheen was mostly a steady, gentle uphill, with a few steeper bits, so I just kept it going, but the wind was atrocious, and then came the rain! During the club recce, I had not ridden the road from Achnasheen to T2, only driven it, and I knew there was a big downhill to get there. What had not registered, was the exposed uphill bit before the road headed down, neither that it was actually steeper than before the village. By then I just had enough, and wanted it to stop. Eventually, I reached T2, and was officially out of the race

Total Bike Time: 9:26:06
Gains to be made: 1 hour, at the very least, probably over 1h30. tri bars, better pacing (properly placed hrm belt), better organised exchange of water and food, and my nutrition plan can probably be improved too, for better energy.



Part 3: The aftermath
From T2, we decided to head to our cottqage, not far from the finish line, so that I could get a shower before heading to the finish. On the way, we passed Chris G, so yelled encouragement from the car... After my shower, we went to the townhall, where I had a chance to congratulate Chris and the one other ERC member who had finished, and was able to see the other 2 from our groups finish (the 6th member was a DNF too). After a while, the whole group, including the support teams went back to celebrate/comiserate at the cottage.

The next day was the awards ceremony, which I enjoyed. 'Being in the aero position' will never hold the same meaning to me, after Paul's speech... The one sour note was when it was announced that all the competitors who had made the cut-off at T2a but not been allowed up the mountain would get a Blue T-shirt. Some grumpy guy let me know that these were imposters, as /he/ had gone through the low route faster than some of these finisher, but would only get a White... Well, dear sir, those people may have burried themselves to make that cut-off. You were either unable or unwilling to do the same, so wear your White with pride, those of us who didn't manage to finish the event do not begrudge it to you, but come back to earn your Blue if you want it that badly...

I found it tough to watch all the finisher line up for their group photo. I really had wanted to be amongst them (why enter otherwise), and felt that the weather had played a huge part in my failure. To the people who were asking me about it, I said that I found it hard, but that given a week, I would say that I had enjoyed myself. And this is what happened. We stayed in Torridon until the following Friday, enjoyed the great weather we had, and bemoaned the fact that we had all missed that good weather by only 24 hours... I also still got to bag my first Munro.

Three days after being back, I have already entered my next tri (a standard, at the end of the month), am on the waiting list for another standard in Sept, and looking at the possibility of entering the Big Ben Nevis tri (don't want all my training to go to waste). On the Celtman front, I have decided that I would offer to help the organisers, next year, but that I will be back in 2015. It and I have unfinished business, and it will not defeat me for ever...
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Joined: 09 Dec 2005
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Location: Birmingham

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul McG wrote:
The revised cut-off times were hardly sprung on people - they've been public knowledge for a long time.

...

We think the cut-offs this year were spot on. The race finished at a reasonable time (just as it was getting dark), and there was a balance of White/Blue.

Agree 100% with Paul. Cut-offs will always be arbitrary in some way, and the relative difficulty will be influenced by the weather. Very hard to get it perfectly right, but cxtri did a great job at it. Now, if one year the water is a bit warmer and we go around the fist island, it will be even tougher Twisted Evil
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