PSOF Championships 2013 - Challenge Henley

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iron fraggle    pirate
17/09/2012 at 21:39
Bedders..    pirate
18/09/2012 at 08:25

Back from the Henley Half after posting a 5:45:53 time so very pleased -  rubbish swim (I seem to have developed OW issues), nailed the bike and and OK run.

Well done Fraggle - thanks for the help before the swim looking forward to seeing your race report. You looked great on the run.

Just a few words on the event for those considering doing it next year. On the positive side

  • Thames swim fine with wave starts, fair but undulating cycle course (maxed out at 65km/h), standard out and back run along the Thames
  • Superb organisation and well manned cycle feed stations by very friendly people who could not do enough to help
  • Great athlete support at T1 and T2 by volunteers made it very slick 

On the negative side:

  • I found the swim ramp to get out of the Thames at the end of the swim impossible. Far too steep and thought I would never get out - but this could be an age thing!       
  • Few if any km markers on the run so no idea really how far you had to go
  • 1 bag of crisps, 2 biscuits and 3 pieces of pineapple at the end was not what really what was expected. But this may have just been for the Half Arsed runners.
  • Collection of T2 bags at the end needs to be far better organised.

In summary, I will deffo do this again next year.. The fact it is late in the season means you can do this having already done one in June/July. On the flip side if this is your only IM/Half then keeping training up during the late summer I found a bit harder.

When I was at the end in bag collection resplendent in my yellow and black I was approached by one of the organising team who knew that a fair few of us might do this in 2013 and offered the chance to give us a discount if a few of us do it. I am not sure how this would work but it all helps so if I do get an email offering this I will post it here.

They seem to like Pirates......!!!           

Thanks Challenge Henley and see you in 2013.


Iron Muffin    pirate
18/09/2012 at 09:22

Well done Bedders, your report may have just tipped me over the edge.

I am in for 2013.
Now need to decide between half or relay.


18/09/2012 at 11:11

Any idea of the date for Henley next year?

iron fraggle    pirate
18/09/2012 at 13:10

Bedders - have done my report on the other thread lol!

iron fraggle    pirate
18/09/2012 at 14:46

A few more comments from me

Swim - yes the wave start meant that i didn't get bashed at all, and in fact felt like I was on my own most of the time. It was bloody freezing though, so two swim hats may be a good idea. Apart from cramp I had no probs getting out of the water as there were plenty of helpers.

Bike course : as Bedders says its undulating (approx 1500ft of climb per lap, and 3 laps for the full distance), the road surface itself is very poor, and there was not much warning when approaching some of the tight turnabout points. The feed stations and marshall were fabulous and cheerful.

I have read that the bike course may be changing for next year though, as there have been compaints from the locals.

Run : it's a combination of road /towpaths and off road, some of which is a bit stony/gravelly underfoot. Plenty of crowd support through Henley, but once you're out on the run loop it's quiet apart from the feedstations.

For the Half-Arsed there is no cut-off time - and I think the last finisher was 8.50ish - they only ask you to let the Pro's doing the Full have their moment of glory if you're finishing at the same time. Although the cut-off for the full is 16 hrs, the last finisher was 17 and a few minutes, so they don't seem to pull you off the course.


oh, and be prepared for any type of weather!


iron fraggle    pirate
18/09/2012 at 16:27
Cake - the current wasn't very strong on Sunday, but then we haven't had much rain recently. (I did do a river swim near here in August and the current was stronger, but nothing you can't deal with - it takes forever to get to the turnaround point, then you whizz back to the start with the current) .it wasn't anywhere near as choppy as Nottingham was this year
As for the water, well it was bloody freezing, but visibility was quite good, surprisingly so.
Bedders..    pirate
18/09/2012 at 17:07

I have to say Frags that I did not find the water was as cold on Sunday as you did. Don't get me wrong it wasn't balmy but not as bad as I expected it to be tbh. It certainly wasn't flowing very fast and as you say on another post, at some points it was so clear yopu could see the bottom (well the weeds).

I did down half a can of flat cola in T1 just to try and threaten any bugs and so far so good.....

iron fraggle    pirate
18/09/2012 at 17:15

I'm obviously a delicate little flower then

M...eldy    pirate
18/09/2012 at 18:05

Trogs    pirate
18/09/2012 at 20:16

 Lost your voice Melds?

Have also read that bike course likely to change next year.  Apparently folks on the out n back to Christmas Common don't like being shut in for most of the day.

ChallengeCheggers    pirate
18/09/2012 at 21:05


First post on here but been messaging Bedders and Fraggle earlier today. There's a confirmed date of 15 Sept on the Challenge Henley site now and I'm going to go for it. (99% sure it'll be the full distance). There's going to be exciting news - or something like that - about the bike route apparently.

Been wandering around on here for a week or two now and somewhere I read that people would suggest a better forum name for me. Suggestions welcome!!

iron fraggle    pirate
18/09/2012 at 21:25

welcome to the mad house keith

Trogs    pirate
18/09/2012 at 22:27
keith319 wrote (see)

Been wandering around on here for a week or two now and somewhere I read that people would suggest a better forum name for me. Suggestions welcome!!

Oh oh! Quick Keith, choose something for yourself - or be prepared to live with the consequences

18/09/2012 at 22:50
Let's call him Cheggers!
ChallengeCheggers    pirate
19/09/2012 at 08:43

Let's not eh!

19/09/2012 at 09:27
Nice one Gladyd. How bout ChallengeCheggers?
ChallengeCheggers    pirate
19/09/2012 at 10:30

This is wandering off topic a bit so best bring it to a conclusion. I vaguely remebered a programme called Cheggers Challenge (this is so sad) so I looked it up and it's real - in the circumstances ChallengeCheggers seems apt, so I'll go with it. Thanks for the suggestions.......I think!

19/09/2012 at 12:04

Shame, was just going to suggest Orville next!

iron fraggle    pirate
19/09/2012 at 12:35

awww, Cake, you flatterer 

Edited: 19/09/2012 at 12:36
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