Challenge Henley 2011

For those who think the Outlaw is too far ooop naaarth

281 to 300 of 346 messages
19/09/2011 at 22:22

The change tent in T1 was an interesting affair – open at either end so anyone could really just look in if they wanted. I was glad of the volunteers assistance to put on my right arm warmer as I could barely move my right hand properly as I was freezing! Round to the bike and mount line then out in 6:08.

I was feeling un peu miserable at the start of the bike – I couldn’t feel my feet and I needed a wee, had tried to pee whislt swimming (tricky) to no avail. The portaloos on the course were at the start of the second out and back section though so, in lieu of searching for an appropriate hedge/tree, I had about an hour to wait. It was about 3ish flat miles until the first out and back section, where the first uphill drag (~3 miles) starts. However after that, you are rewarded with a nice steady 2.5 miles downhill to the dead turn, then back up! The out and back section finishes by going back down that 3 mile long drag (good fun). Went to the loo and felt miles better, if only I could feel my feet now. The next 6 miles or so climbs very slowly until you get to Pishill (not pronounced piss-hill, to our dismay, but pish-ill) where it starts to pick up a little and kicks up towards the top – nothing really worse than the Crow though. At the top of Pishill, there’s another 5 miles or so very gradual incline to the next dead turn. The aid station marshalls were all kitted out in silly wigs with a car stereo blaring – I requested a cup of tea and a pair of slipper socks which they, alas, did not have. I did get a laugh though. I was overtaken by Aaron Farlow and another pro (can’t remember who the other one was?!) just after the turn – man they cycle fast! From this turn back down to the end of the loop (another dead turn!) is a great way to make up time and I eked my average speed up to 16mph. Scottish support crew were stationed at the junction of the two out and back sections so I saw them 3 times per loop. They’d recruited a large group of supporters watching out for a woman called Kate who was consistently not far behind me into screaming my name as well. I was overtaken by loooots of people on this loop, including a woman called Deborra, inspiring the theme tune to lap one, Pulp’s Disco 2000.

Lap 2 was punctuated by the joy of feeling returning to my feet and themed by a song from The Little Mermaid (I have no idea why). Apart from flagrant disobeying of the rule not to cross the coned line in the middle of the road by at least 4 people I saw, I had someone sucking my wheel for a good ten minutes – to the point where when a motorcycle came towards us I heard him spin his pedals backwards to fall off my wheel. Was allllmost tempted to try peeing on the bike just for the karmic revenge but decided it wasn’t worth it. He eventually went past when Pishill started to kick up (appropriate). By lap 3 I was ready for it to be over but I wanted to do the best I could so pushed it all the way to from the last dead turn to the Phyllis Court entrance. The bike was taken off me and I headed to T2 – 7:03:25 (dropped to 390th  – lots of places lost!).

19/09/2011 at 22:23

A slight downpour meant my clean socks were slightly soggy and I forgot to switch from contacts to glasses. I then dropped a gel down the portaloo – oops (T2 – 4:34). Was happy to be on the run though and saw my support crew at the start of the loop. The support through the town was awesome and having your name on your number meant everyone was calling at you individually. The loop had two inclines, one gradual, one steeper and was about 50% off road. I took a cup of coke at ~3k to settle my stomach and plodded on until the same aid station on the next loop where I got stuck into the coke again. The far part of the course went past a pub, where the support was also really good. However, instead of just band envy, I now had pint envy. I passed Jaffa at the start of the off road section on the second loop and had a little chat. I started doing calculations at the halfway point. I had done 2:07 for the first two loops so: was sub-13 possible, and how much leeway did I have if so? My calculations required about 11 minute miles until the end, I was running about 10s pretty steadily so adding in stops for coke (now 3x per lap rather than once!), I should be ok.

I felt like I started pushing on a little about 15 k from the end. You collected a band at the start of the 2nd (red), 3rd (white) and 4th laps (blue) – I welcomed the blue band marshal with open arms and brandished my band at the next few marshals, whilst thanking them for their support. I was really pushing it from the far side of the course, I wanted to have spare time to milk my finish! The finish chute is a long S-shape – I high fived Victoria and took off my hat, remembering to look up as I crossed the finishing line this time! Run time 4:23:03 (overall position 252, kicked run ass!), overall 12:55:39 and 306th. I finished not a moment too soon – it started pouring with rain after that!. I left to get dry whilst Victoria waited for Jaffa to finish. A few weeks before the race, when asked what my aim was for Henley, I responded that I wanted to have a good run (last year I had to walk for three miles as my stomach was too sore to run!), I hoped but didn’t really believe I’d be able to take off as much time as I did – 57 minutes faster than Outlaw!!

It meant so much to have my support crew there to cheer me round and especially afterwards when I was feeling a bit queasy. Luckily our hotel was <5 minute walk so we headed back to the hotel after I changed with my stuff , I had a long shower (flooded the bathroom, oops again!) and went to bed. Last year I tried to force down food and recovery drink even though I felt ill, this year I took my crack medical team’s advice (support crew were a first aider, pharmacist and doctor!) and ate and drank nothing afterwards, woke today feeling hungry and with a lingering craving for salt and vinegar crisps – job done!

Ally Bally Bee    pirate
20/09/2011 at 03:51

Sounds like a challenging race (no pun intended) and already a friend of mine here in NZ wants to do it while her sister is still living in the UK.

The old kiwi mentioned earlier is a legend here, called Garth Barfoot. He's done IMNZ, Challenge Wanaka, Challenge Copenhagen and Coast to Coast.

I think he did C2C and IMNZ the same year (they are 3 weeks apart).

I've looked on the results and he has a finish time of 15:51 but it says he was withdrawn during the race. How does that work? 

Ally Bally Bee    pirate
20/09/2011 at 03:52
And WW - enjoy those crisps. Thick cut ready salted do the trick for me.
20/09/2011 at 07:50
Well done WW! Sounds like you had a great time and race!

Would you recommend the event?

What was your secret to knocking half an hour off your run time? 'Just' fitness or nutrition, or pacing better, or more long runs?

Come on Chicked Jaffa, where's your report?!
20/09/2011 at 08:24
Ally Bally Bee wrote (see)

The old kiwi mentioned earlier is a legend here, called Garth Barfoot. He's done IMNZ, Challenge Wanaka, Challenge Copenhagen and Coast to Coast.

I think he did C2C and IMNZ the same year (they are 3 weeks apart).

I've looked on the results and he has a finish time of 15:51 but it says he was withdrawn during the race. How does that work? 


I gave him a big well done when I went past him on the run, he was mentioned in the race booklet as the oldest competitor. From the results it doesnt look like he went over the mat at 35k and 41.5k but his chip has gone over the finish mat, giving him a time even though he was withdrawn perhaps?

Thanks gladys - lets get it right tho, it was an hour i took off I ran a marathon PB of 3:49 this year so was hoping I could 10 minute mile my way around the course, just wasn't sure if I could do it! Last year my stomach was extremely bloated at about 19M and I had to walk for about 3 miles until it passed, after which I started running again to discover my shoulder had seized up so could only manage about 1-2min run/1 min walk (until the last mile or so, then I dug in!). So I finished in 5:20 last year when I could have done about 4:50. The bloatedness was a combination, I think, of eating tracker bars on the bike and tanking two whole cups of water on the run about 1M before my stomach started to hurt (and at the next aid station after the one that had completely run out of fluids!). So this year I took clif shot bloks on the bike and I carried a water bottle with me on the run to stop me over drinking. Last year I also walked through all the aid stations where this year I only stopped twice in the first half for a drink of coke, then 5 times or so in the second half for coke. Long explanation! 

20/09/2011 at 09:28
"Saw at least two people with ipods on the bike course"

as refs we can only get them if we see them - the sneaky barstewards will put them on after they leave T1. it's then down to the motorbike officials to spot them and DQ them but you can't have eyes everywhere.

well done ww - I probably saw you at some point but when people are coming past in droves, everybody becomes a blur - unless they're wearing pirate kit which is very spottable!
seren nos    pirate
20/09/2011 at 09:39
great performance and report WW
20/09/2011 at 09:54
fat buddha wrote (see)
as refs we can only get them if we see them - the sneaky barstewards will put them on after they leave T1. it's then down to the motorbike officials to spot them and DQ them but you can't have eyes everywhere.


It must be so difficult for you guys to try and watch so many people at once as well! I was marshalling in transition at strathclyde standard the other week and spotted someone with his helmet unclipped away to rack his bike but by the time I ran over to him to ask him to do it back up he had already racked.

Glasgow tri kit is black and red so definitely not as easy to spot as pirate kit!

20/09/2011 at 15:35

WW - ace, toptastic racing.  Very, very cool to knock so much off your time.

Speaking as a stomach bloater/puker/general run stomach nightmare, interested to hear your crew saying don't eat afterwards if you feel rubbish.  I must say, I haven't managed to eat a thing after either of mine and, luckily, was back to my gluttonous normal the next day.   Did they say anything else to explain or was it simply a case of 'if it doesn't feel right, don't do it'?

20/09/2011 at 16:20
My mum is a doctor and told me that if you are feeling sick then your digestive system will have stopped functioning so forcing yourself to eat and drink will probably only make you feel worse as your body can't process it. Seemed to work much better for me this year anyways!
The Silent Assassin    pirate
20/09/2011 at 16:39

top performance and a bloody good report

Well done  WW

20/09/2011 at 16:48
Echo what SA said WW - top racing
20/09/2011 at 17:50
which witch wrote (see)
My mum is a doctor and told me that if you are feeling sick then your digestive system will have stopped functioning so forcing yourself to eat and drink will probably only make you feel worse as your body can't process it. Seemed to work much better for me this year anyways!
Makes perfect sense!
PSC    pirate
20/09/2011 at 17:53
Well done WW. Tempted to do this one in 2013. Cracking result.
PSC    pirate
20/09/2011 at 17:53
Is Jaffa still writing his
Alan W    pirate
20/09/2011 at 18:50
Well done WW, excellent race and report!
20/09/2011 at 19:02
Jaffa's been witch-chicked again!
21/09/2011 at 13:20
top effort WW, sub-13-tastic 8) and great report.

It was Bayliss chasing Aaron, they passed me at the same time as you so we must have been close at that point.

Thanks to Fat Buddha for reffing, and vocal support.

Pirate supporters were excellent - Ta

I was a victim of Thames Tummy on Tues night, both ends, despite some cole in T1 and attempting not to swallow any waer (I think I only took one gulp, but didnt have a nose clip either)

But I'm fine now. At least 3 or 4 other Tripe Talkers suffered too.

So thats sort of my 13th iron distance race completed for the year including a clean sweep of all the UK events - had to be done!
Edited: 21/09/2011 at 13:22
M...eldy    pirate
21/09/2011 at 13:32
You are certifiable .. you do know that dont you?   
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