Enduroman race report

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.


seconds before the start

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 rainbowon 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.

Silverman Triathlon

One of the best kept secrets around. I completed the Silverman Triathlon on Saturday. No entry fees, no marshals, no prize money, friendly photographers at every corner. Just getting out there and doing it and enjoying.

The standard route to follow: Swim two loops of the Silvermine Dam (1400m +) , walk back to your car, Drive the 500m to the MTB parking lot, hop onto the mountain bike, follow the Silvermine Loop, then down to the Tokai Gate via any single track that you like and back to your car (25km +). Trail shoes on and run the Perimeter Trail (11km) but more of that exact description later.

Obviously shorter options and much longer options are available.silverman map

On Saturday I chose to do a slightly longer route of the Silverman Tri in my prep for Enduroman SA. Here is my story:

silverman swim

ambit showing a rather interesting swim course

M was my only spectator for the swim leg. Flat like a pool conditions and 13*C made me feel quite chuffed. Two laps around the periphery of the Silvermine Dam gave me between 1400m and 1680m depending if you believe my Ambit or Google Earth.

As I entered T1 Tony and Nix arrived and slowed down just long enough so that I had company on the climb to Noordhoek Peak. It was a really nice way to start the second leg. We did some single track on the way to the bottom of the Fairy Garden where I turned to add some more altitude zig zags to my movescount graph. I started to deal with puncture issues so opted to head back to the car. (Nice that I could do that as there were no officials around who would disqualify me.) On with my trail shoes in search of my dropped water bottle from leg 2. Not the most interesting option but it did give me an opportunity to think about pacing for the run leg of ESA.

Despite me not hitting the distance numbers that I had intended for the day I was pleased that I have worked out nutrition solutions which should work come race day. Also some pacing for the run.

Another piece of the puzzle is worked out J

Silverman Tri

not impressive numbers but I got out there and did it



Disclaimer: any similarities in name to actual persons is purely coincidental and is not the intention of the author.


Week Summary 24 Jan – 2 Feb 2014

So why post what I did last week?

Ambit week summary 050214

The week started with a rest day on Monday.

Tuesday was a double: trail run in Newlands Forest in the morn. Swim squad in the afternoon.

Wednesday was easy with only a swim.

Thursday another double with trail run up Mowbray Ridge in the morn and swim in the afternoon.

Friday easy swim. Just turning over.

Saturday was the Lion of Africa half marathon.

Well it was a pretty big week for me this year. Not in volume but intensity. Especially considering that the 85km Roller Coaster bike race on Sunday was pretty hard.

I admit that I am pretty tired this week and need to recover properly before I build again.

For me the crux is finding the right volume that I can maintain for a couple of weeks rather than do a massive week and then recover for a week repeat. Intensity is key!

This week would have been fine if the intensity were lower. But hey I was wanting to race my bike and keep up with the boys at the half! I only succeeded at one of those..

Totalsports Terra Firma:

tsMy first challenge this year is the land based activities of the Totalsports Challenge. Namely 50km road cycle, 13km road run, 25km mountain bike and 9 km beach run. Basically this starts in Gordon’s Bay and finishes in Kleinmond.

A fair bit of planning into seconding logistics has been taken care of by M who is also competing. And thanks to Roger, Kylie, Skidaw and Balloch for handing over road shoes, collecting road bike, racing to new venue, collect road shoes, hand over mountain bike, race to next venue, collect mountain bike and hurl abuse as we disappear for an hour of beach running. Then tell us how well we did! (oh I am sure there is a separate blog post there…)

My plan is to try and break 5h. It seems like a nice round number and I think it might just be doable! The theory is: 1 ½ h for the road bike (just over 33km/h), 4:36 min/km for the road run should get me to T2 in an hour for that sector, 1 ½ h for the MTB and under 60 min for the beach run. There you go: that is the theory. Wish me luck for Saturday!

Fueling and pacing will be vital. I suspect the road bike will be pretty busy so I plan on drinking 1 X 750ml bottle of 32Gi energy drink. I will have a jungle bar. I will use 32Gi chews for the run. This road always feels super hot so the two water tables will be very welcome. Another bottle of 32Gi for the MTB and a bar and gel (maybe some caffeine thrown in). I will make sure that I have a spare bottle with plain water to cool me down for the climb up Highlands. I will have a emergency gel for the run. let’s see how that plan works out.

This is the first time that I am taking part in the event as an individual so I do not have too much to base this on but we will see what the day brings. Most importantly I will be having fun!

links from the organisers: