Enduroman UK Festival Of Ultra Triathlon 2012
14th Jun 2012 Posted in: People, Sport 0
Enduroman UK Festival Of Ultra Triathlon 2012

This past weekend my wife Sharon and I headed down to the New Forest to support some friends taking part in the Enduroman UK Festival Of Ultra Triathlon.  I wasn’t there to get any crazy ideas of doing super long triathlons – it was purely a supporting role.  The venue at Avon Tyrrell was superb – a small lake for the swim, a testing off road trail track of a little over a mile for running and a road  (let’s ignore the potholes) leading in and out of the location so the cyclists could get out onto the bike course.

A number of different events were taking place between 1st and 10th June ranging from a half Ironman distance triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile run, 13.1 mile run – the distances are actually slightly longer) through to a 100 mile run and the ultimate distance – the Deca Enduroman event – an Ironman-like distance race every day for 10 days!  Yes, seriously.

We arrived on day nine of the event (Sharon by car and myself by bicycle – well, it was only 109 miles away!) and watched and cheered both our friends (two taking part in the ‘double’ event and one running in the ’100 mile’ run) and the other people taking part.  Because of the multiple lap course profile that they set up (it helps to be close to ‘base’ when you’re taking part in one of these endurance events and hallucinating at 3am after exercising and not sleeping for far too long!) you get to see the athletes fairly often as on each lap they come through a central area with electronic timing mats (to run or cycle over).  Most of the supporters were based in this area and the atmosphere was excellent.

Heading into the 'race centre' at the end of one lap and the start of another...

On Saturday evening we were there until about 7:30pm when we headed off for dinner.  Sunday morning we were back at about 9:30am.  Having not been to one of these events before it was bizarre to see the same athletes you saw the night before still out on the course, most of them having not slept at all during the night.

Anthony Gerundini - winner of the 'Deca' Iron-distance event

One aspect of the event that I really liked was that when you get to the final lap of your run, you turn around and have to run it anti-clockwise – that is you are running the 1.1 mile loop in reverse.  During this lap you will (hopefully) be smiling and will also (hopefully) be cheered on by other competitors coming the other way (on earlier laps).  When a runner turns 180 degrees at the electronic timing mat and starts their final lap the cheers from all the supporters in the race centre were amazing.  I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the athlete involved.

So, a couple of our friends were doing the ‘half’ distance event and I managed to catch Pete on his final lap when he came across his other half, Jessica.  Ahhhhhh.  Sometimes with photography you just have to get lucky and be in the right place at the right time – but then you have to take ‘the’ photo (that’s where the knowledge of all the buttons, dials, lenses and composition comes into play).

I wasn’t at the event as an official photographer so really only took photos of a few people that we know and I’ve uploaded a few photographs from our brief supporting visit to the event over on the gallery.

Finally, have a look at this timelapse video of a single lap of the run route and then think what it must be like doing this in the pouring rain as part of your tenth day in the middle of the night with only a head torch for company.  Brilliant.

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