Some of you might be more interested in the numbers around my race on Saturday. I am rather pleased to be placed 11th in my age group and 26th male. full results here
The 74 km bike took 4h26 with me keeping the effort pretty constant except for a bit of a surge after WP1 to try and catch a wheel. This was a waste as they rode away from me and I burnt a match. I lost a few places here but made them up in the last third of the route. The longest hill took well over 20 minutes of mostly granny gear! There are some fast sections towards the end where you can make up time. I fueled well on the bike, I consumed 4 X 750ml bottles with 1 scoop each of 32Gi powder in them. I had a total of 3 sticks of Landjaeger (go and ask a German Butcher), 2 hot cross buns, 1 banana, 1 32Gi bar, 1 packet of 32 Gi chews.
I hit T2 with nobody else in sight. I had no idea where anybody else was placed except that they were announcing Stuart who had finished already. My aim was to run each 7 km lap in 45 minutes. I was conservative on the first. the second finished in 82 minutes and I knew that it was race on. I tried to break 2h05 for the run but just did not have enough gears to push hard. I passed a lot of other runners but had no idea if they were in my age group or on which lap they were. I am glad that I biked relatively conservatively so that I had enough in the tank to run well.
I was fascinated by road kill. There it was, I had seen the blue gel packet in the same spot twice before and a little further on I would find the orange jelly baby just to my left on a flat rock. Discarded but now a friendly supporter on each of my three laps of the run course. And then he was not there….
I ran on wondering if somebody was desperate enough to pick him up and eat him. I had thought about that often (today and at previous races) in the closing stages of a triathlon. Where the hell was my little friend?
I climbed two of the three sandy hills and almost forgot about him when suddenly next to my left foot he cheered me on. Glowing bright orange in the sun.
I was a few hundred meters from the finish line of Enduroman SA and my race had gone to plan. In fact better than expected.
Just over seven hours ago I had to work hard against the cold, black, swallowing too much water. Not enjoying it much. The water temperature was 15*C but it felt colder. The darkness pulled at me while I tried to maintain form and I had to try really hard not just to call it a day. Then the rainbow appeared. Rain left little dimples on the surface and all became better. I waved at M and friends as we started lap two and then I found my rhythm.
Why are they all still in transition? It seemed like half the field was just standing there taking their time. Getting dressed. So different form the usual rushing madness. And off we rode up the first hill. A few passed me and I knew it would not last long. Over eager on the technical section. Then one of them fell. Frustration has to be held back so early on.
Spectator point one and I was ahead of schedule. Glad to see M and friendly cheers. I burnt a match trying to catch a draft. All in vein as they disappeared into the distance a little while later. A lesson in caution and patience. I ate meat and real food and fueled the machine. Spinning, spinning all the time. The monster hill and I let them go. Down the mudslide and front wheel was tracking well.
Easy down the cobbles and then I started to gain some places.
Pit stops went like clockwork thanks to fantastic support.
Get the speed up on the final approach.
Then Transition two and I heard them announce the winner. I knew I would walk the monster hill. But anything other than that was to be run. I stuck to the plan. Attack the downhill and then push on the sandy bits.
And so it was over. Just like that. Like a dream.
Thanks to organisers: Glyn, Geddan and crew; sponsors: Orca, 32Gi and Oakpics for making this possible. I certainly hope that this will become an annual fixture on the calendar.
This last weekend was another two days of core workouts in my preparation for Enduroman SA.
Saturday I met Geddan Ruddock of Franschoek Cycles, Ed from Atlantic Triathlon Club and new twitter friends for part two of the bike course. The 3km climb was sobering and set the tone for what is going to be a big day out. Total distance from Geddan’s Shop to the start and back was 47 km with over 1000 m vert. I stocked up on treats for the drive home.
Sunday I headed to Silvermine again. Old climbing friends with kids watched on as I suited up in my Orca wetsuit, two swim caps, ear plugs and goggles. The first lap I was doing ok, second lap I seriously wondered if this was a good idea and if I could actually complete my intended three laps, the third lap I just tried to keep my form as I saw M take some pictures.
So what is the point of a 45 minute session in 12*C? I now know that I can. It’s not going to be pretty but I know I will get onto the bike and after that the run course. After that it is just a hop, skip and jump….
What on earth is Enduroman you ask?
Enduroman takes us on a journey of a 2,5 km swim in the Breede River Dam, 90 km Mountainbike route and a 21 km trail run. The profile for the MTB shows 2400m of climb. Wow! Ok so how do I train for this?
So on Saturday I went looking for a hill and what better place to go than Tokai.
From the bottom gate I headed up to the Mast, back to the junction up to do the Silvermine Loop and back to the bottom. Awesome ride with plenty of climbing. Perfect in fact as it was 45 km with 1350 m of ascent. Pretty much exactly half of Enduroman! The training has started and my psyche is high!!