Ultra Triathlons

MidWalesStart

On Saturday I competed in my first ever Ultra Triathlon: the Mid Wales Ultra (click for a race report). Like an ultra marathon is longer than a marathon an ultra triathlon is longer than Ironman. In this case the swim was cut short because the water was ridiculously cold (about 10c). It ended up 1.8km swim, 166 mile bike and 32 mile run.

I feel on cloud nine right now. Like I’ve found something I really really enjoy doing. There was something about that run, the feeling I got… I want to have that feeling again. It really hit me in the second half of the run. I managed to get to a place in my mind where time just flew by, but not only that I seemed able to run fast despite the severe aching in my quads. Not sure whether this made it tougher on Jo but I was enjoying the running and about every 5 minutes I’d be getting to the point Jo couldn’t see me and either I’d notice or Jo would shout and I’d walk till she caught up. She was so understanding – she totally realised that we couldn’t really do it any other way, to run at an unnatural pace would have been crippling for me.

At the moment I just want to feel that again.  Be setting out on a long long run into the night in the middle of nowhere. Seriously running through my mind entering the West highland Ultra run by the same people. This is 3.5 mile swim, 175 mile bike and then a 35 mile run round Applecross. It takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland. It’s 2 weeks before Ironman Germany so I know I can convince myself that there are merits in it – last big day of work before rest and taper. Anyway,… Germany isn’t that important now, I’d like a fast time but in the grand scheme of things my result is of little concern. Only other issue is getting support crew. It’s quite a commitment as it’s gotta be the nearly 600 miles of driving to the start and further to drive back.

Jo’s was an amazing achievement on Saturday, the first woman to finish that event. I had been looking forward to doing the event together and the fact that most likely I would be the strongest one and would be able to help motivate Jo. I guess I’ve always enjoyed that role – when fell walking and fell running I’ve liked it. Jo, however, got quite concerned, even during the race that I wasn’t able to race it. I feel she felt I could be competing for the win. I said I didn’t mind but she’s put the seed of that thought in my mind and I think if I did it again I would want to race. When we look at it … we spent 35 minutes in T1, 10 minutes in T2, had over an hour of stops on the bike and probably 45 minutes of stops on the run. Conservatively, with a more efficient approach (ie racing) I’d save 1h15m easily just from less dithering ignoring the fact I could have ridden and run quicker. That’s for next time, this time I wouldn’t have swapped the experience – it was great to race together and I think it’s confirmed that we will race the KIMM together (hopefully this year) and perhaps at some point try some sort of cycling challenge on a tandem – a fast Lands End To john O’groats is top of the list.

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