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Repoman's T184 Race Report
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Joined: 19 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:46 pm    Post subject: Repoman's T184 Race Report Reply with quote

T184 is a new event on the ultra calendar that took place for the first time this year. It is a 184 mile foot race from the Thames Barrier in Woolwich to the stone marking the source of the river at Kemble. Unlike other ultras this race is completely self supported meaning that competitors need to carry everything that they require to complete the race ,including food and overnight kit. Water is the only thing that is provided at checkpoints. The race has an 80 hour time limit with intermediate time cut offs.

I like to have an A race for the year and once I found out that I had been unsuccessful in the UTMB ballot, T184 quickly became it. I was challenged by the distance and intrigued by the self supported dimension, and the additional rigour that would require.It had all the ingredients for a bit of an epic and I began to quietly obsess about it as I usually do when I get the bit between my teeth.

I joined the T184 Facebook group, and ramped my training into gear with a few staging races throughout the year: Ultra Trail de Paris in March, Apocalypse 100 in May (the horror, the horror...) and a reasonably brisk Enduroman 50. When I couldn't train through injury I trained anyway and when I couldn't be arsed to train I bought new stuff. I probably averaged 50-60 miles a week with pretty good consistency and made sure I got my run/walk strategy nailed with sessions designed simply to train walking briskly rather than simply ambling along like a poet in a pullover.

As the race got closer I took my Jetboil (aka My New Best Friend) with me on my long runs and always went out with my WAA pack and at least 6kg of weight. I tried various freeze dried expedition foods and found them to be very tasty...I bought a bivvy bag and a sleeping bag and slept out behind a wall on our local trail in the Peaks. It was very uncomfortable but I still managed to oversleep, meaning that Mrs.R very nearly called the police to look for me.

Within a week or two of the race I contracted my now traditional Life Threatening Pre Race Injury. On this occasion I was standing in the kitchen at breakfast when I experienced electric shooting pains throughout the back of my rib cage which failed to subside for several hours. Panic ensued and self diagnosis of kidney failure was quick to follow. As a last resort, I eventually stopped googling for advice and visited a qualified physician. He thought that it may be something to do with training with a heavy pack and prescribed me some tablets that warned of possible side effects of suicidal thoughts. Thanks for that. In the end the pain just went away. It may have been a trapped Sugar Puff.

In the last few days before the race I was off work and able to indulge in a Bacchanalian orgy of sorting, packing, list checking and panic buying. Final panic buys? Sealskinz socks and a Salomon hat with a Beau Geste neck flap - both subsequently used to good effect.

By Thursday I was ready to travel down to London with a pack that would weigh 11.5 kg once loaded with water, some training in the bank, and as usual, trusting everything else to charm and a winning smile. What could possibly go wrong?

My home on my back, like a snail, but not as fast –

With the prospect of slightly more uncomfortable human powered travel for the next few days, I had booked first class rail to London from Manchester which was very agreeable aside from a curious incident whereby the lady next to me remonstrated with the pleasant steward that he should have warned her that the complimentary wasabi peas - that she chose - would be hot. They are wasabi peas FFS, you numpty, leave the poor man alone.

Clueless fellow passengers notwithstanding, within a few hours of leaving home on Thursday I was checking into the Woolwich Travelodge and meeting fellow competitors. Wetherspoons provided basic but functional grub that night along with a couple of pints, and the ever present suggestion that a fight would be available whenever required.

Race HQ on Friday was at the Thames Barrier Cafe. Registration was straightforward and I handed in my drop bag to be retrieved at the end. I was involved in a Kent University study (of....what? I'm not quite sure now. Old men walking slowly by a river?) which had involved lying about how much fruit and veg you eat for a few days and giving some samples on the day. Saliva was collected very slowly by drooling into a bottle for several minutes. If I'd known, I could have just got them to stick a basin under my chin on the train journey down. As usual everyone else looked fitter, thinner, better prepared, younger and better looking than me. There seemed to be a variety of kit strategies on view from the packhorse approach like myself to people like Glenn who appeared to be using a mouse’s handbag as a backpack.

Race Director Shane gave a simple race briefing outside the cafe, people faffed about with kit a bit more and with no great ceremony that race started at 10.30.

A race briefing:

with Glenn at the start:

Inevitably my pace for the first few miles hovered between Too Fast and Much Too Fast and the unforgiving nature of the surface quickly confirmed my Hoka Rapa Nuis as the right shoe choice. Despite training with it, my pack still felt very heavy and the expression ”long day at the office” quickly became wholly inadequate for the reality of what now lay ahead. Thankfully however, I am quite lazy so after 5 or 6 miles I abandoned my gung-ho starting pace and started on my run walk strategy, running comfortably and marching with purpose in various ratios of the two.

I'm not great with London landmarks but I think we passed through a few of them. There was a ship, we went under the river, and we went past the place that is on the brown sauce bottles. There were policemen and tourists but I didn't see any pearly kings & queens or anyone doing the Lambeth Walk. It felt slightly too warm for the ice age to be coming, but I suspect that the wheat may have been growing thin.

My abiding memory of this first leg was that it felt far harder than it should have done. My pack weighed heavy on the shoulders and I felt a hot spot in the middle of my back which I quickly accelerated in my mind into a sulphurous boil that would surely cause me to withdraw within a few miles. It didn't: it simply went away.

As we approached CP1 the evening was warm and the pubs engorged with Friday nigh post work drinkers. Cruelly the checkpoint itself was at a pub, but thankfully it was in Brentford so the urge to stay was quickly counteracted.

Checkpoint 1 26 miles, 6.08

My nutrition plan for the race was based around plentiful hot meals (3 per 24 hour period and a couple spare) backed up with 9 Bars and chia seed gels for snacking between these meals. On balance I think I got it right (clinical proof: I finished and didn't die) but next time I would take more snacks, or snacks like peanuts that I could drip in a couple at a time. I was getting a great hit of 800 calories every time I stopped but it felt pretty sparse in between times and my stomach was literally rumbling most of the time. It still is in fact.

I whisked out the Jetboil and was very quickly scoffing down Chicken Tikka with rice and, with a tragic inevitability, spilling it down my new Ashmei top. Stef and a couple of others were also taking the opportunity for a food break and after refilling with water a few of us left at a similar time. Within 8 or 9 miles I was in a small cluster which included Francisco, Norseman Dave and Robin.

I can't really remember much about this second leg aside from the fact that it meandered through Egham and Staines and I had a bit of a protracted flat spot, as you would do. The pack was still heavy, my feet were fizzing slightly and I was suffused with a sense of malaise that felt like it had arrived far too early. I hadn't even done 50 miles FFS, this wasn't good.

Checkpoint 2 52 miles 14.54

CP2 was at Ouzeley and I quickly got the Jetboil on and took off my shoes and socks to air the feet. I had pre-taped my heels and balls of my feet and they seemed to be holding up ok. There was a slight blood blister on my super long second toe which I lanced with my hypodermic and taped up. Exposing the feet to the air felt good and I enjoyed my meal in the style of Sandie Shaw before packing up and getting on the road again.

My rough sleep plan had been to at least get past CP3 at which point it would be light (and warmer) but I knew that my slow pace and general grumpiness over the first two legs may force a re-evaluation. In the end I spotted a suitable tree with some spongy undergrowth beneath it at about 60 miles and unrolled the bivvy bag for an uncomfortable 90 minutes of fitful sleep. The spongy undergrowth turned out to be mostly nettles too.

By now we were around Windsor and the general going underfoot was typical grass or cinder track rather than the concrete of the opening stage so that was an improvement at least. It was still feeling a bit heavy going though - considering that it is pancake flat and pushing the prospect of more than 100 miles left to do out of my mind became a struggle. I trudged on, desperately in need of a mental lift.

It was somewhere around here that I decided to crack open some tunes to try and improve things. I do run with music a lot, but in a race I like to ration it a little bit for when times are tough. I sometimes make up specific playlists although these always contain the touchstones of Bug Powder Dust by Bomb the Bass, Guns of Navarone by the Skatalites and The Night by Franki Valli which have become talismanic troika of running songs for me, never failing to lift the moment.

Considering how long this race was however I had also loaded an audio book, so rather than music I gave this a go for a while. Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a book I read maybe 30 years ago and it definitely felt ripe for a revisit. When I lived in the midlands as a kid I used to see a 2cv van with the flower / spanner logo painted on the door and thought it very cool at the time. The memory of that cool was actually stronger than that of the book itself, and I wanted to reconnect the two.

It didn't really work.

In some ways my solitude in the dark of the Thames Path was the ideal place to focus on Pirsig’s meditations on classical and romantic interpretations of functions and form but in the end I just got a bit irritated by it all, and was left with a plangent sadness not really suited to athletic endeavour. Eye of the Tiger it wasn't.

Thankfully it was somewhere after this episode that I bumped into the indefatigable Nina Smith who I spent an enjoyable few miles with yo-yo ing up and down the trail, talking nonsense and pleased to have some company for a while. It rained for a bit and I donned a waterproof top which quickly became too hot. The WAA pack is great but taking it on and off repeatedly to change gear quickly becomes a royal pain in the ass. It's a triumph of micro adjustability, but ideally you need several of Houdini’s assistants or a very efficient dominatrix on hand to help buckle into it.

Checkpoint 3 The Anchor at Henley 80 miles 26.28

By the time I reached CP3 it was about noon on Saturday and I had been ambling pleasantly through Henley for a while which had me thinking of Absolute Beginners and Crepe Suzette. There was quite a lot of action on the river and I decided there and then that more than anything what I really need is a 1950s speed boat and a jaunty hat. With no previous nautical leanings I was quite entranced by the variety of craft pottering about the river.

With Stef, by a river:

My time at the checkpoint wasn’t great but far from a disaster and my systems check confirmed that there really wasn't too much wrong. Always hungry yes, but my feet were manageable, legs OK and my mood was now slightly above floor level.

It was around about here that I fell loosely in stride with Rob Gill who was to become my companion for the rest of the race. Rob hopefully wont mind me saying that he is quite a taciturn, considered sort of fellow but we made a curiously compatible couple, not feeling the need to constantly natter, but quietly cracking on with it. By this point we were also joined by a third companion in the form of an arse trombone that appeared in my trousers and proceeded to emit a near constant tourettic symphony of guffs and parps. For the next 120 miles. Sorry Rob.

Saturday evening afternoon turned into Saturday evening and runners passed back and forth, solo or coagulating into buddy groups. I ran for a while with Roz and Stef and had to run walk just to keep up with Roz’s walking. Impressive.

The river wound through Reading and the perimeter of the Festival which was taking place over the weekend. The wide footpath now sported occasional gaggles of arm linked teenage girls, a blur of denim shorts and wellies, cheap vodka and starry eyes. Blazered steam boat pilots gave way to crusty river pirates, their floating squats offering hair braids and no doubt more. The grease in the hair of a speedway operator is all a tremulous heart desires…

Progress was slow but the mood was just about OK. Plenty of time for that to change.

Checkpoint 4 The Swan at Streatley 100 miles 34.25

Streatley will be well known to many ultra runners as it features in the TP100 and is the race HQ for the Winter 100. As we approached the village from across the meadow it turned noticeably colder as the dew formed and darkness fell once again. The CP was in the back of the Swan car park and manned by a merry band who made everything feel instantly better. I cracked out the Jetboil and got another hot meal on the go and took Rob’s lead to don waterproof trousers for the next leg. I normally only pack these if they are on the mandatory kit list (they were) but they were a blessing, keeping the worst effects of nettles, dew and of course rain at bay. With another 800 calories of hot food inside me I felt good to go again and the arse trombone was recharged with wind to continue preaching its toxic ministries.

Unfortunately Stef decided to pull out here and despite good natured cajoling he wasn’t for persuading otherwise.

We left the checkpoint with a very loose plan about sleeping: aim to grab some sleep within a few hours, but be guided mainly by opportunity- if something decent turned up we would grab it. And turn up It most certainly did..

About 5 miles out from the CP we passed through Moulsford and turning off the road we came upon and open sided building on the left of the track. I now know this to be Cranford Barn, but to me it will forever be the Moulsford Hilton...

Peering in through the side, some cruel and unusual looking agricultural equipment came into focus, and beyond this a huge pile of loose straw about 15 feet high, and with a ready made 2 man flattened out section at the top. Abso-~#*$-lutely perfect. Rob needed no persuasion and within minutes we were bedded down and literally covered in straw. Sleep forecast: excellent, with a slight chance of rats.

Time to bed down cowboy!

Rob set his alarm and 2 hours later we were up, refreshed and ready to go again. I really enjoyed this straw palace and I'll be putting something up on Trip Advisor. Indeed, I enjoyed it so much that I may yet go back to consummate my fantasy of gambolling down through the straw, flushed of face, my hair in pigtails, doing up the bodice on my red and white gingham dress... I felt it was probably a bit early in my acquaintance with Rob to introduce this idea at the time.

Although modestly recharged by two hours kip within a couple of hours we were well into the small hours of Sunday morning and in a bit of a trudge. I think it was somewhere around this time that we encountered the Benson Lock Conundrum which is actually just a diversion around a closed lock but at the time felt like a mental and physical challenge that had surely confounded the finest minds throughout the centuries.

There was reference to this closure somewhere in the briefing or race notes but the actual facts of what you had to do instead were hopelessly beyond recall. There was a big yellow notice on the lock gate advising of a diversion but no sign of where that diversion was. Rob and I stared at the sign for about 10 minutes hoping to will a solution into being. Nothing happened so more positive action was required so we went around the sign and sat down on the steps of the lock house while I made some tea and applied compeed to my blisters. I actually applied four before I got it right, my fatigued cack-handedness and obsession to apply the patch with no wrinkles at all working at odds with each other to make this task near impossible.

Despite all the signs we crossed the narrow metal bridge over the weir determined to pick up the original route rather than the elusive detour. At the end of the bridge was a huge metal gate with anti climb spikes all around it, emphatically blocking the original route. With about 3 hours sleep in the last 2 days, over 100 miles in our legs, a heavy topple-inducing pack and standing 30ft above a precipitous drop into a raging weir I started eyeing up the best way to swing around the spikes. Thankfully with his matter of fact precision, Rob advised that this probably wasn’t a good idea. So we trudged back over the weir so that I could have a very unsatisfactory crap in a hole instead. Eventually we resorted to some rough bush navigation and this involved cows with satanic eyes, some deep grass, a barbed wire fence, an excursion through a vineyard and after a long stretch on the road and we were back on the path. Hoo-bloody-ray.

At some point it must have got light and we passed through Abingdon, erstwhile home of MG cars. I think it was on this stretch that my brain became a bit of an issue in that I couldn’t turn off The Counting. It’s all well and good saying that every journey starts with a single step and all that but if the journey is 184 miles and you insist on counting every single step thereafter, trust me, you are in trouble.

I quite often break things down into chunks in races and count my steps to measure these chunks out. Typically this might mean running 500 strides then walking 200, something like that: it gives me achievable micro goals and stops the big distances appearing too monstrous. In this race though I literally couldn’t stop the counting, even when there was nothing to count. It was like a rolling hallucination with nothing to see and just an idiotic voice to listen too that – ironically enough – couldn’t even count. I rarely got above 50 before forgetting where I was and I seemed to also randomly switch to tens rather than units further complicating things. It was like having a slightly drunk and inumerate dwarf sat in my head. And I needed him to just shut the fcuk up.

Its hard to exactly transcribe my inner monologue – well dialogue effectively - but what with Rob asking eminently practical questions and the arse trombone chipping in with tedious inevitability it was all a bit of an odd going on.

Rob: “how far do you reckon to the next CP?”
Me, Internal: “4,5,6,70,80,90,2,3,4,5”
Me, external: “er…..6? <parrrrrrrppp> <brrraaap>”

Etc, etc.

It was all rather wearing and got even worse later. I desperately needed to zone out and think of absolutely nothing and I was stuck with the counting dwarf and Dali’s stopwatch leaking numbers all over the inside of my head.

Checkpoint 5 The Punter Inn, Oxford 130 miles 49.53

The CP in Oxford took forever to reach. In real terms it was actually one of the longer stages (at 30 miles) but I had long since abandoned normal forms of measurement and was navigating on lunar tides of numbers in my head. The good news was that Chris Edmonds (who had dropped earlier with Achillies problems) was in attendance with more kind words and cheerful banter which brought me back into the moment while I prepared another hot meal. It has to be said that both the Extreme Adventure Foods and Expedition Foods meals were great and I scarfed through beef stroganoff, chicken tikka, macaroni cheese, asian noodles, porridge and blueberries and many more through the race.

I was however by now constantly hungry. Although my hot meals were working well in 800 calorie bursts I really needed more snacks and I was getting through 7 or 8 hour sections on just a 9 bar and maybe a chia seed gel.

Throughout the preceding checkpoints we had been getting notice that the drop out rate was high, and I was gobsmacked to learn that there were now just twenty something left in the race from 69 starters which was bittersweet news. I was saddened that some of my earlier companions had jacked – knowing how much everyone put into prepared for this race - but at the same time buoyed that we were still going and not in immediate peril.

I remember the section after Oxford as being deeply unpleasant. The sun came up during the afternoon and it was really quite hot and I felt a twinge of sunburn on one side of my face. I deployed the sun hat to protect my neck and marched blankly through some wide river plains that would have been pleasant in less strained circumstances. We passed strolling families, dog walkers, some bare chested boys playing some kind of party game and a giant inflatable penis abandoned with no apparent context. The dwarf kept up his demented auctioneer’s babble and the trombone parped.

Rob remained stoically positive and we ruminated on another sleep stop. By now we had been going for 50 or more hours and I had slept for about 3. I did a triple ironman of 50+ hours on just 20 minutes but I was now playing a longer game and would need another hour or two. Once again we decided to be guided by opportunity rather than time and within an hour or two we found a suitable open field that had recently been harvested and we made a meal and bedded down for an hour.

Field of dreams:

Morning campers!

Sometime during this brief sleep stop I noticed a car wheel about a foot from my face. I was pretty sure it wasn’t there when I went to sleep so I groggily focused to find that it was actually a whole car parked next to me with a young man leaning out the window asking what we were doing. I simply didn’t have the brain function to fully explain and while he gently remonstrated about us being on private land (we were about 50 feet up the field from the path proper) I realised that he was not in a 4X4 as you might expect but an Audi A3. In the middle of a ploughed field, with no apparent road in or out. The whole thing was slightly odd to say the least and I still don’t know if he was the landowner or simply a curious and under-equipped anti-vagrancy enthusiast. Whatever.

Evening turned to night and we journeyed through insufferable stretches of densely overgrown riverbank, the nettles always just too close and too wet for comfort and what compacted path there was always just too narrow for unfettered progress. It was epically miserable but it was going to get worse. The path made sallies away from the river and around ploughed fields an electric fence always just too close for comfort. I was now in a full on Low Spot and struggling to tame the distance left in front of me. I tried co-opting the counting dwarf to help but the most I could comfortably do was get him to count up to 0.1mile increments before he returned to freeform numeric psychobabble like a permanently spinning odometer, too fast and inaccurate to be useful and never, ever stopping. Unlike the path, which went on forever.


Checkpoint 6 The Swan, Bampton 155 miles 61.53

It was approaching midnight when we checked into CP6 at Bampton and I slumped into a chair next to the tailgate of the support van. Once again Chris and the rest of the crew dispensed good cheer while I knocked up another meal, sharing some porridge with Rob. It was delicious, but by now it was also simply fuel and the calorie craving never ended. I assessed what supplies I had remaining and evaluated my medical kit for calories, wondering what calories were in the sugar coating of ibuprofen tablets. I necked a few just in case and blankly considered how I could hack off Rob’s leg and cook it in a Jetboil if things got worse.

By the time we left with 30 miles still to go it was now Bank Holiday Monday so inevitably it started to piss down with the ferocity of a horse on a tin roof. The #@?# river bank and tedious fields continued and I hallucinated a bivvy shelter by a fence, only for it to actually turn out to be real, as fellow competitor Rich Cranswick piped up from inside to wish us well.

I could sense Rob’s mood sinking a bit and an unexpected – but accurate – diversion off the river bank and along a mile or so of unlit A road was the last straw. The rain was bouncing off the road and we diced with either sporadic oncoming cars or an overgrown lumpy verge. Rob simply didn’t want to believe that this was the right way although my Garmin eTrex confirmed that it was. We turned off the A road and sat on a wall, near catatonic.

They say that dawn lifts the mood but they are wrong. What has light ever done for anybody? As the day struggled into being all that happened was we could start to actually see how hard it was raining rather than just feel it. Great to have all the senses miserable at once. I seem to remember some long hilly bits around here too but then I remember complaining to Rob during the previous night that all the flat bits had been uphill so I may have been wrong.

The miles ground on towards CP7. I had a gel. I had a 9 bar. I realised I had just 2 meals left and one snack. I was grumbling hungry and I’m sure that a belly bassoon started to join in with the arse trombone.

Checkpoint 7 The Red Lion, Castle Eaton 168 miles 68.30

The CP crew once again lifted the moment advising that another two runners had not long left and I had a near hysterical mood swing upwards to the point that I raced out of the checkpoint determined to chase them down. This lasted for about a mile until we turned into yet another series of relentless fields which just seemed to go nowhere but took forever getting there. At least it was by now only intermittently drizzling albeit with the certainty that sustained rain would never be far away.

It’s worth noting that since about 100 miles or so Rob and I both felt that only a wild card physical meltdown or some act of god would stop us from finishing. We were safely inside the cut-offs, sore but not incapacitated, and just about on the viable spectrum of mental function. I didn’t analyse it as such at the time, but I guess I had done the training, had the right gear and plan and not given up. Fcuk me, that stuff actually works! Now there’s a thing.

However, at no point did this make anything any easier, it just defined the fact that we would finish but we had to do some other stuff first. We both desperately wanted to get it done and broke into a jogging shuffle whenever we could. It wasn’t often, but it kept things roughly focused and shut the dwarf out for a bit.

The last approaches through Cricklade and Ashton Keynes were interminable with the lakes at Ashton Keynes being a particular nadir. The route weaved through endless lakes and lagoons which looked absolutely wretched in the dim light of the morning rather than the leisure haven that they are no doubt intended to be. Rounding each corner produced not a nice bench or a pleasing vista but another section of track studded with dog turds and marriage guidance leaflets. Each inlet seemed to promise a bloated corpse bobbing in the water and the nihilistic masterpiece that is River’s Edge came to mind. Rob and I yo-yo’ed up and down the track, babbling incoherently.

My Garmin eTrex batteries finally died and Rob’s near-spent headtorch batteries failed to revive it. We were now reliant on the provided course maps which Rob seemed to have been carrying forever like a soggy baton. We left the lakes behind and the finish now became just a matter of two map pages away. The trouble was we had lost all sense of scale, time and reason so two pages may as well have been two hundred. Bad stuff happened. It rained more and we found ourselves on a road and then 15 minutes later at the wrong end of the road having gone 180 degrees and nearly 2 miles in the wrong direction. We found ourselves on the doorstep of a house like two mormons who had gone very badly off the rails during a rainstorm. I got extremely crabby while Rob readjusted to our new circumstances (lost) with relentless sufferance. Along with earlier navigational malfunctions this little jaunt pushed my total distance covered by the finish to 192 miles.

Eventually we reconnected with the map at Ewen and passed through Kemble. Kemble’s the end right? No. No, it fcuking isn’t. There’s a big hilly sh1tty field first. And then another one. And then another one. And then?

It’s over.

Race director Shane is there greet us at a gazebo and it’s done. We walk to the stone marking the source of the river for a photo and its over. The razzamatazz of the finish is inversely proportional to the severity of the event but I don’t care. Done. Dusted. Nailed. Thames? I fcuking own you, you soft slithery southern girl’s blouse.

Result: 74 hours for 13th =
69 Starters
17 Finishers

Immediately after the race, bad things stopped and good things started. I checked into the Thames Head Inn, had a bath, a sleep, a steak and a few pints, the trombone took his bow and the dwarf went to sleep. I felt something like pride or at the least contentment with a job well done. Magic.

I think that T184 is set to become a classic ultra race and the self supported nature (oh, and the distance) makes it a unique challenge. Race Director Shane is a great chap, responsive to feedback and eager to grow the event so it looks good for next year. It needs preparation and perseverance, but if a shuffling old gimmer like me can do it anyone can.

With thanks to Shane and all the CP volunteers and other folks who worked tirelessly for over three days to make this happen, and of course to Rob Gill for his company – thanks partner.

I’ve used a couple of photos from Facebook and I’m not sure who to credit – apologies if they are yours.
Walk like The Clash, sing like The Supremes...

Last edited by repoman on Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Impressive stuff. The bit about the Audi in the field made me chuckle for some reason.

Being DanL from Brentwood I was going to take exception to your scurrilous ascertains of the inhabitants but I reckon you meant Brentford - unless you took a 40 mile detour East (then West again).

Congratulations on making a completely ridiculous undertaking read like a stroll by the river - but I liked the isights into the mental gymnastics you had to deal with.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As ever Nick, a fantastic read. Sounds like it really was a massive challenge and with a drop out rate so high getting to the end is an incredible achievement.

Well done.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love reading your reports . I followed you online and noticed at the end you were going in the opposite direction !! was a tad worried.

Well done Nick , great effort . Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great read, funny as hell actually!

I never knew Ultra nutters ate Sugar Puffs. Interesting what you can glean from a race report!

Loved the concept of the race, not so sure waking up with a car in your face matches the dream though. If you ever get to fulfilling your fantasy at Moulsford Hilton, and need a hand doing up the bodice let me know. I'll bring me camera.

Less than a 25% finish rate and shows what a monster of an event this was.

Big respect Mr Repo - you keep upping the ante and making it all these events seem so easy. Thanks for sharing a great report Very Happy
2017 - will get around to something soon.........
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed following your progress.......

brilliant report.....Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LEG-END Very Happy
"If you risk nothing, You gain nothing"
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another brilliant report, loved it. The Audi bit made me laugh on the train, people think I am mad 👀
2016: 7 marathons in 7 days Enigma running.....BRING IT ON.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great report of a fantastic achievment, I am in awe of what you have done and yet you still have time to think about taking on the restoration of a VW beetle??. A truely inspirational story that leaves me gobsmacked at what is achieviably if the will and determination is there.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fecking rock star.
I have reached 100kg - my maximum weight ever. The only way is down from here.....or is it?!
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Joined: 16 Nov 2008
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Location: Up above the streets & houses

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best report I've read in a long while & kudos to you for a tremendous athletic(?) achievement also.

Many thanks.
If in doubt, Flat out.
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Big Ted

Joined: 03 May 2009
Posts: 4991
Location: On a motorcycle, in the distance.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A race well suited to you. Your jaunts out on strava showed not just your physical preparation but all the specific planning you'd done for this. You really earnt this Nick - well deserved kudos from me (and everyone else!). Smile

Preparation? Doesn't sound like an event for me to be honest. Does make me wonder (yet again) where the limits are though, you know? (I'm sure it hasnt escaped your OCD that you've just run 300k which sounds more than 192 miles Wink ) Run to Max at Enduroman might be a fun testing ground for that? Smile

I know the knowledge has been hard won but I'm sure everyone would be interested in a detailed kit list/food list that you took as well as anything you'd add subtract from that?

Congrats again, having been in the doldrums endurance wise for some time now your achievement and (excellent as always) report have me feeling inspired again tonight. Thank you for sharing.
"Cycle on your bicycle,

Leave all this misery behind"
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Location: Wearing Hokas/Altras/Sketchers and Ashmei - looking good is more important than running fast

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The most impressive thing of all is the number of pubs you had to run past without going in

I am the Completely Fearless Overlord

But I'm still not going to swim
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Location: Watford

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great read. Tremendous achievement. You make it sound so effortless, yet I could feel your elation at completing this inaugural event sure to become a classic.
If at first u don't succeed - tri again

2016: Enduroman Continuous Triple DNF (61:30 after 2x maras); JOGLE in 12 days

2017: The Oner (DNF); Deca UK ironman (10x1) DNS

2018: IM Lanzarote (DNS)
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Location: Strava

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done Nick! Awesome result and a brilliant race report, as usual. Cool
Does it come in pink?
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