Challenge Henley 2011

For those who think the Outlaw is too far ooop naaarth

321 to 340 of 346 messages
22/09/2011 at 22:38

Onto the run and saw Mrs Jaffa trying to give me a waterproof and asking if I’m ok,  she looked concerned bless her ( I later found out from her that I looked rough as sh*t at this stage with puffy,  bloodshot eyes) but no way I’m covering the pirate top up,  with the additional support this generates.
Into my running rhythm fairly soon and try to hold a pace of about 9m30s miles. 

1st lap went well,  a couple of undulations in the first half of it,  then out on some trails before turning and following path through fields and the towpath, over Henley Bridge and a loop of Phyllis Court,  the base for T2 and the finish.  Still felt good, wasn’t sure of my time but my estimate from my watch was about 60 mins for 10.5k,   picked up my red band,  quick pause for kisses with the Jaffa clan as they had to get home for school the next day.  Body still felt ok,  left quad sore from the bike but hanging on,  sole of left foot sore and right shin,  thought it was just a niggle so kept going,  water and high 5 at feed stations with a bit of banana and a gel, my plan was to hold off the coke until after halfway. 

Lap 2 was a bit slower but not too bad.  The Jaffa clan were still hanging around so final kisses from my little angels before they headed off home.  Over Henley Bridge and I realised my stomach was cramping so took a walk break and then felt some serious pain from my foot and shin,  tried to run again which set off the stomach,  and just carried on in this vicious cycle until the next feedstation where the vision of a portaloo gave temporary respite.

I soon got passed by WW on one of my ever more frequent walkbreaks,  and her attempt to engage me in conversation about “blue band envy” was met with an uncharacteristically grumpy response,  luckily she had the sense not to hang around but ran on leaving 2 words of wisdom with me “Coca Cola”.  I don’t remember a great deal of that lap to be honest as was feeling sick / dizzy and just keeping on going on empty but having been reminded what to do,  necked some coke at the next feedstation and at least every other feedstation (along with water and banana) until the finish.  Turning into the final lap they supplied us slower runners with headtorches which were needed on some of the far stretches of the course where the temporary lighting was limited in it’s effectiveness. 

5k to go and the heavens opened again,  however the armwarmers and cap were back on by this stage so I didn’t feel too cold.  This torrential downpour left me running along the towpath of the Thames,  through huge amounts of standing water in the dark,  a slightly surreal experience having completed my other IM races when there was more daylight available.

Over a by now mostly deserted Henley Bridge for the final time,  thank the final feedstation and every marshall / supporter I passed along the way and then into the Finish chute,  the rain is forgotten by now and I milk the crowd,  over the line for a marathon PW.  All of a sudden feel very emotional and want to burst into tears, at this stage I need to give massive thanks to Victoria,  (one of Witch’s Support Crew) who hung around in the wet to make sure I got over the line safely and gave me a much needed hug at the end.

 Estimate 05:07:52
Total 13:31:29
Edited: 22/09/2011 at 22:38
22/09/2011 at 22:42

After this tried to eat but couldn't really manage it,  got a lift back from the events team to pick up my car at T1,  and grabbed my bike and one of my Transition bags as the other had gone missing,  pleased to hear that it's since been found but I bet it's stinking by now!

My feet were in bits and only now am I just about able to walk without looking like an extra from a John Wayne movie,  not sure what caused this,  running gait or trainers too tight but hopefully it'll be the first and last time I feel like that.

Would I recommend this race,  absolutely.  For a first running I think the Just Racing team did a great job,  a few teething troubles and some areas for improvement but can't fault the venue or course.  Despite the 2000m of bike climb,  I don't think this is a slow course,  only 2 real hills per lap and plenty of quick stretches on the bike,  a decent cyclist would put in a really good time.

Pleased to see that they've announced the 16th Sept 2012 as next year's date,  I'll be back in Henley that weekend..........supporting those of you who think it's a good late season race to do.

Thanks for staying awake long enough to read my drivel & the online support from you all on the day.

22/09/2011 at 22:51
About bloody time!

(and well done! - let me know when you are up for another run!)
23/09/2011 at 07:59
Great report, and well done!
23/09/2011 at 09:54
nice report Jaffa

seren nos    pirate
23/09/2011 at 10:14
speedy time considering all the problems you had.....well done
23/09/2011 at 10:55
I think Henley needs to do some navel contemplation about the event and read the reactions of the locals in Tenby

23/09/2011 at 11:03
last I looked, the poll on the Henley Standard was showing a majority FOR 'putting up with the inconvenience'.
purpletrilady    pirate
23/09/2011 at 11:10
Brill race report Jaffa

23/09/2011 at 11:14
I read that as well Jj - and pleased to see it

I might send that link to the Henley Standard
The Silent Assassin    pirate
23/09/2011 at 11:19

better late than never!

top reporting sir

23/09/2011 at 11:24
just been reading some of the comments in the Henley Standard and was amazed to read this one - until I saw the signature....

"Im afraid I must agree with those against these events. The regatta has been nothing less than the ruin of the town. Henley should be the preserve of those rich enough to deserve its delights. In any case, the piffling exploits of inferior persons engaged in sport, the arts and other such nonsense should not be allowed to spoil the routine of the established and very, very important Henley populace.

A. Streeb-Greebling"

23/09/2011 at 11:41

Awesome work Jaffa, brilliant time on the bike!

My blue band envy turned to pint envy very shortly after that, going past that pub!

23/09/2011 at 17:55
Jaffa - sounds like you had a bit of a battle on the run - but you won it.  Two IMs in one season - awesome, young man.
Cortina5    pirate
23/09/2011 at 19:24
I wonder if Henley will continue for 2013? It's very local to me, and it would be nice to do a doorstep challenge. I don't think I could do it 10 weeks after Outlaw...
23/09/2011 at 19:51
That's what jaffa did cat5! although it was less than 10 weeks!
Cortina5    pirate
23/09/2011 at 20:24

Ah, but Jaffa has previous!

24/09/2011 at 10:15


10 weeks is imminently doable between these 2 events,  in all honesty I'd have probably preferred 4-5 weeks to the 8 that I had as that seemed to be a bit of a non-time and possibly why I was in a cba mode for a few weeks,  10 weeks would have given time for a couple more weeks of decent work,  I'd suggest going for it,  it's a great event as well and neither of them are the toughest courses out there.  If you want any pointers let me know.

24/09/2011 at 21:06
Aww Jaffa. Well done :0)
25/09/2011 at 16:35
Great report JAFFA
fat buddha wrote (see

I think Henley needs to do some navel contemplation about the event and read the reactions of the locals in Tenby amazing

They printed my letter bottom right
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