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I ONLY EVER WANTED SUPER-POWERS

London Duathlon Ultra

mhowoodby mhowoodSep 14th 2014
London Duathlon Ultra
Anyway I wanted to let you know how my Ultra Duathlon went on Sunday, and to thank all those that donated.
I was there representing the Make A Wish Foundation https://www.justgiving.com/Martin-Hollywood1/

The week of the race I started getting ill, and was properly sick by midweek and not even starting felt like a possibility (visions of Make A Wish Bailiffs coming to the door). Not great preparation at all, however by Friday I was feeling a bit better.

Sunday dawned along with the size of the event. In a word, massive. Richmond Park is closed off to all cars and other cyclists, a taste of things can be seen here https://www.facebook.com/LondonDuathlon/photos_stream

The Ultra distance breaks down to Run 1: 20km (basically a half marathon), Bike: 77km (7 hilly laps), Run 2: 10 km.
My event started at 8:45, with less than a hundred people daft enough to do it and a World Champion, compared to the thousands entered for the shorter events.
The weeks before I’d put in the miles, and felt that I could do close to 5 hours and maybe even podium in my Age Group. however after being ill and no exercise at all for a week, all bets were off.
London Duathlon Ultra
The first lap of the run went okay, just a matter of not going out too quick and keep even pacing. Lap1: 45 min, and a split of 1:31 for the first run. I felt good. I hadn’t let myself get caught up in racing other runners. Into transition and a quick change into bike shoes, grabbed helmet and bike and off I went, out onto the traffic-free roads of Richmond Park. Note to self: try not to crash into deer.
I can do this!
…
..
.
Aaarghh! Cramp? In both calves?! Referee!
I’ve never had this before. Frankly, it’s quite sore. Only minutes into the bike section was not welcome, especially with the slog up Broomfield Hill looming. I slowed. I cursed. I stretched on the pedals. I cursed some more. I eventually selected a lower gear and spun my legs out… for a further 76km! My race was over, it was just about Completing now.
Every time I tried to put any power through the pedals, my calves would cramp, and later my quads joined in. This would cost me 3 minutes per lap, and add over 15 minutes to what I had expected to cycle it in. By the time I got off my bike, 2 hours and 51 mins later (having being passed by about 20 of the Ultra field), I was washed out. It did give me time to observe the rogue skateboarder, deer and crashes on the course.
Never having suffered cramps before, even in Ironman triathlons and marathons, I can only assume it was down to being ill during the week. Dehydration? Salts? I need to get around to Googling it.
Dump bike in transition. Chuck helmet at it for good measure, whilst daydreaming the wording for it’s eBay advert.
Anyway, “Only 10km to go, and you like running”, I thought.

After 4:30hrs of activity my legs were pretty leaden now, but the best was for last.
The 2nd run starts at Roehampton Gate, so it’s a 3km incline to Richmond Gate and the sloping turn towards Pembroke Lodge.
Now my quads turn to cramp! I remember jogging to a halt, as my quads stuck out of my legs like they had been electrocuted. Not to be left out, my stomach soon joined in. I was a wreck!
Those last 10km took 55mins, with walking breaks, and I was just glad to see the finish line.

I pulled it together enough to run across the line, collect my medal, before finding the first free area to lie down and curl up.
It was only then I realised how much my jaw hurt; I must have been clenching my teeth for ages!

Final time: 5 hrs 21 mins.

SPLITS
Run 1 01:31:58
T1 00:00:43
Bike 02:51:19
T2 00:02:15
Run 2 00:55:32
London Duathlon Ultra
I did say I was ‘always up for a challenge’, careful what you wish for! :)
It was tough old day, but I’m glad I stuck it out.
My body disagreed much of Monday through Tuesday though, and currently shows an aversion to stairs.

Nutrition
Run 1: 2 High5 IsoGels, at 7km and 16km, plus water on course (bottles). Should have taken Nunn tablets.
Bike: 2 bottles: 1 High5, 1 High5 Zero, plus a bottle of water on lap 6. 1 bag Ride Shots, 2 or 3 IsoGels. 2 Ibruprofen.
Run 2: some water. Abs cramping too much top take anything on.
 
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