Sunday, November 11, 2012

Just Crazy!!


I have always admitted that being on the bike turns me into a different person! If you want a war you will get one and this was no different, at times I was out of control. I became totally consumed and obsessed by what Kale was doing. 18 hour rides, I tried in vain to sleep but I lay awake listening to see if Kale was moving. It was hopeless I just couldn’t relax!!!

I had amassed a 100km (62 Mile) lead while Kale continued to swim. I was happy I wasn’t the one chasing. We would both sneak out while the other was sleeping it became crazy. My first meltdown occurred as I woke from a short sleep, Pete was worried about me and I looked terrible. I couldn’t operate my brain, Pete was asking me questions I just couldn’t answer. Deca had started in earnest. I was a lost soul, no sleep, long days in the saddle, I was shot and Pete asked me to make a decision! “Ride on” or “Sleep”. A quick snack and I chose to ride on! It took me an age to reach a final decision but it was the right decision. “Beyond Exhaustion” I was there and it felt scary!!

I cried on the bike, the rash in my groin was so painful at one point I rode for 15 hours out of the saddle, I thought about how I would possibly run. Every time I stopped for a break getting back into the saddle was pure hell! It reduced me to tears………We rode for days on little or no sleep and it just got worse. We attacked each other constantly, it was relentless, tearing round the circuit! Common sense and good advice from fellow athletes fell on deaf ears, this was a raging battle!!

Pete would stand on the track side waving his arms pleading with me to ease up, it was no use I had the bit between my teeth Kale had applied the pressure again and I simply wouldn’t let it go. I just don’t know where it came from. I latched onto Kari Martin, arguably one of the best ultra-athletes in the world. We smashed the course, lap after lap at high speed like a steam train, it was the middle of the night and I was loving it! I was doing what I loved most and I had a new phrase “Lets Smoke It”.

At one point Kale came alongside me in tears and said “Why are we doing this to each other”? “This is just crazy man”. We both cried, we both laughed, we couldn’t answer the question! It wasn’t too long before one of us ripped into the other, testing, probing, simply looking for a weakness!!

I lost count of the number of times I approached Pete and said “Sorry”!! The plan worked as we entered the last day in the saddle. I left Pete in bed asleep as I sneaked out. I was on the circuit alone building up the gap. I texted Pete from the canteen to tell him we were still 100km ahead. The final day was 300km (185 miles) and that evening I would start the run!!! Despite the unbelievable pain and suffering I adore the bike. Sudocrem was my saviour along with a gel saddle kindly donated by Suraya. My crutch was absolutely destroyed, at times the pain was unbearable!!

Phase 2 was over and I didn’t think the suffering could get any worse? It did………………..far worse!!

Phase 1 - Swim Long Swim Steady!!



24 Miles in a 50 metre Olympic pool sounds a long haul, 21 miles will get you over to France from dear old blighty so you can imagine what the swim phase of Deca was like? Or can you? 760 lengths is hard to prepare for mentally but to be honest it went like a dream!

Having trained in Cambridge outdoor Lido and Abbeycroft Leisure Centre I simply practiced length after length in a wet suit. Boring but necessary!! On the plus side the water temperature in Bury was 29/30 degrees, in Monterrey outdoor pool it was 24-26 degrees so I was confident I wouldn’t overheat. The water temperature was perfect!! I was happy………………..

As we entered the water I had practiced and practiced the first 2 hours, I had focused on a smooth steady stroke rhythm in training. After a few lengths I realised that my pace was slightly quicker than the other athletes so my confidence grew quickly. Breaks for food and drink were kept short and sharp. As the blazing sun rose in the Monterrey sky it was blinding, I had to close my eyes as I breathed and open them to look at the bottom of the pool. I focused on the central yellow line of the lane. I was feeling good, strong and confident, my training and preparation had been spot on.

As day turned to night my ritual of stopping every 30 minutes to feed changed to counting 10 lengths as I struggled to concentrate, it worked perfectly, fatigue in the shoulders was making it difficult to lift my arms out of the water and I had strayed into the lane ropes a couple of times!!

 I had planned on 18 hours but as I slowed I exited the water in 19 hours 37 minutes, we had got it right!! I had created an early gap so we decided to sleep for a couple of hours before going to work on the bike! I had been swimming since 8am and it was now 3.37am the following day! A top tip on the swim received from the race director was to smother your hands and feet in sudocrem to prevent them from softening too much and the skin splitting, causing problems on the bike. Something I neglected on the swim was applying sun screen to my face, as a result I was quite badly burnt on my left cheek and ear. Lesson learnt!!

Phase 1 complete now it was time for the bike! The majority of my training was focused around the bike so let’s go to war! I simply thrive on being in the saddle, it brings me to life!!! Me and Pete made a plan now it was time to put it into place…………………..

Phase 2 tomorrow! How I suffered on the bike. It was relentless………….1800 laps in searing heat!!

The warm up was over so now it was down to business……………………


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Decatriathlon - The Athletes Story!!



Firstly, and most importantly I must say that my best mate and wing man, Pete Golding has done an incredible job with both facebook and the blog! He banned me from electronic communication so I was blissfully unaware of the interest that the race had generated! Simply superb!!

Now that the race is over I am going to tell you how it was from the athletes perspective, the highs, the lows and the agony. The laughter, the many tears and just what sleep deprivation does to you! If your thinking of doing Deca, get ready for WAR!!! Not only with the race but also with yourself. I had a race plan before we departed and it changed on a daily basis. The only thing that didn’t change was the lack of sleep. It certainly does make the mind do some funny things!!

Kale Poland gets my upmost respect, we had a titanic battle on the bike, it was at times crazy, exhilarating and painful! We simply smashed each other to pieces! Ever seen 2 grown men cry? I have and I am not ashamed to admit it! At times we were simply out of control!! I didn’t listen to Pete’s advice as I ripped round the course obsessed with speed.
 I want to tell the story before the memories start to fade! What exactly motivates someone to attempt Decatriathlon? What goes through your mind during the tough times? How do you cope with little or no sleep and then perform at a maximal level! Some things we do are just unbelievable and I can honestly say one thing! We are capable of things, extraordinary things, under pressure we go to levels I didn’t even know existed. “Beyond Exhaustion” is not a bad place to be at all! It is another world, a place where few people choose to enter, those who do will certainly never forget it!! Tomorrow, The Swim “Following The Yellow Line”…………………………………………………………….

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Together We Simply Smashed It!!! Destination DECA!!

It is now time for me to try and put into words just how I am feeling after this monumental race!

Firstly I could not possibly have raced or succeeded alone. Pete has been instrumental in our success out here in Mexico. His dedication, unselfish support and commitment have been priceless. To have a right hand man who will stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the heat of battle cannot be measured. Secondly, during the dark lonely times he fed me updates from supporters that reduced me to tears, people willing me forward from around the globe provided me with the pockets of inspiration that I needed! Do not underestimate what we together have achieved here!

The race was extremely painful, on the bike  Kale and I repeatedly attacked each other looking to break each other’s resolve. At one point we cycled side by side in tears asking why we were doing this to each other? It wouldn’t be long before it happened again! The run was a war of attrition. There was no time for self-pity, blistered and bleeding feet, swollen shins, they just had to be ignored! I have never suffered like I suffered during this foot race in temperatures around 100 degrees!

 I always felt that Decaman was my destiny, a race that I just had to do before I was the complete athlete. Before the race I didn’t have the answer to my reasons for wanting to complete such a tortuous race. Now I have all the answers. I sit here a World Champion at the end of an incredible journey of pain and suffering. I knew with the right combination I could win this race, Pete was the answer to that! I now realise that “Anything is Possible”!! If through Decaman I can inspire one person to train then my job is done!!!

To be crowned World Champion on your birthday is what dreams are made of! Some things you simply cannot script but this indeed has been a fairy tale ending!!

The final piece in the jig saw is firmly in place!! Together we have lived the dream!! I thank you for that!!

 Now I can rest!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Morning After

Good Morning and what a good morning it is. Simon and I have woken in the HOTEL.
Where do I start?

 I suppose with those last few laps, anyone would think that when you get down to the last 10k of such a monumental event having completed 22...
48km's already would be easy, the line is in sight and your spirits would lift; not a jot.
What really happened?
As we were approaching our scheduled stop with 22km's to go, Simon quite rightly decided to keep going, because starting again was agony and having seen several times what he put himself through I completely agreed. So on and on he went, in that last 10k he went through so many different emotions; strangely none of those were the euphoric ones we had imagined. Despite regular quick stops to drink and eat, he continued to spiral downwards. He had to concentrate every on every step, those of you that know him, will testify that he hardly ever shuts up, well last night he did just that. He became very grumpy as he went deeper and deeper into his reserves to get to that line, as we were approaching 5k he told me he couldn't do any more with out sleep. I convinced him that he could that we would work through it, keep talking well I would, so we went on, he doesn’t remember the 5th and then 4th kilometres to go, because he was running asleep! I was right beside him ready to prevent him falling over, a drink of coke and an energy bar at 3k to go, seemed to lift him, the banter suddenly came back and he forged on.

 Kale was desperate to be at the finish for him, we had had a chat as Simon passed him about 7k to go, Kale himself was in much better spirits and we booked a pace beside the bar for Friday night. With 2k to go I think it began to sink in, at the bell once we had picked up the Union Flag, he was smiling and going down the hill to the finish thought of pain was gone.
The reception he got was truly wonderful, fellow competitors and crews and those on the fringes like the ladies from the kitchen and computer people, he deserved every accolade. Kale could only stay for a while because he wanted to tick of more laps himself, so Simon got himself of the track, sat down and took of his trainers.
Getting back up to get to the hotel bus was excruciating, I gathered all of our gear and followed behind, then collected our bags from the tents and put them in the bus, and Simon had hobbled to the loo. I decided not to let him hobble back There have been many posts about Pre Para, believe me Simon used many of the thought processes needed to get to the end of that in those last few K’s and I used the last part of the 10 miler to get him to the bus, yes I carried him piggy back, then did the same to get him into the hotel. I had to book in, but they already knew our room so whilst I completed the process Simon was taken to the sanctuary on a porter’s baggage trolley.

 And here we are, a comfortable sleep, Simon’s feet dressed and we are almost ready for breakfast.
The Red Socks were with us, but Simon would not take the Union Flag pair of in case he disturbed the dressings on his blistered feet. But as you can see he didn’t get a medal for his efforts (not yet anyway) but he did get the red socks draped around his shoulders.
Simon Bourne World Decatriathlon Champion.

World Champion

Short Post, few words.

 Simon Bourne is the World Decatriathlon Champion.
Nuff said, more from us tomorrow.
Ye ha

Ok Folks,
The laps are counting down 10 minutes at a time. Simon has decided not to stop because its far to difficult starting again. We have had a chat with Kale and he is confident he can finish tomorrow sometime.

Simon meanwhile is just
about to cross the line with 11 to go, thats about 1hour and 50 minutes from now which will be 9.30 local 3.30 am UK, bring it home Simon we're all with you.

The photo was taken running across the blast furnace.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Almost, almost there.

Well what can I say, I have just read the posts on Lucy's call to arms and they are a huge boost for what Simon is putting himself through. 

To make the last marathon seem more manageable we have broken it down into 10km chunks. He's hurting
now, it's painful to see him walk, but once he is up the hill away from the start he breaks into a joggle.
This was Steve Harvey completing his 10 Ironman Events on consecutive days.
It will be Simons turn for the limelight tonight, both he and Kale are doing the harder event of all the distances added together and non stop.
Kale has been going through different emotions, not coping with this furnace as well, having to 'run to the bathroom' often and blisters, for which he is using 'Silver Gaffer' tape. He too is working on a finish strategy, but it's different from ours.

 Simon is currently on his second 10k having rested an hour after the first, he is shuffling through the start/finish area now and ascending the hill, so I must finish this post quickly so I can join him. We hope that he will finish sometime between 11 & 12 tonight, once the blast furnace is turned of it will be easier to predict. I shall post again before the final push.
He is going to get there, on On ON ONNNNNN Simon.

Nine down, One to go, the hardest one.

The last 2 hours have been amazing;
I thought that fatigue was about to totally consume Simon and I would have happily let him sleep for longer than the agreed hour. But I did wake him at 9.30 with a mexican omelette and coffee and he was almost chirpy, those of you that know him well will realise that it takes a lot to knock the stuffing out of him, but it was this morning.
Fed and watered he was back to his best, almost running the whole way on each lap, he seemed to get stronger and stronger. We passed Kale a couple of times, he told us that his new strategy was to take it easier and aim to finish before Sunday morning.
Simon mean while has just completed his 9th marathon at around 1030 local. Now that Simon has rallied our aim is to finish tonight, this side of midnight.

 Where will those socks turn up next ?

The Red Socks rallying cry is working

Tough it has been, tougher it will become.

What pain these boys are going through, last night was epic. My last post was around 4am our time, so you will want an update I guess.

Simon was shattered last night, exhausted in fact, we had factored in a stop between 7 and 9, I wrote that last post then, I put Simon on to the couch and he was out like a light, the burger and coffee went untouched, less than an hour and a half after starting again he was back on the couch, sleeping like there was no tomorrow. Kale I know has been much the same, out to complete a few laps back in his tent recuperating.

These last kilometres are going to be as brutal as the weather today, which will only compound the enormity of what they still have to do. Do you remember the analogy I used of the mountain, where when all the difficulties are over and you crest the summit ridge, only for the ridge to be never ending? Well we are most definitely at that point. After Simon retired for the night Kale managed another 7 laps before sleeping himself, Simon and I decided to have a 2 hour sleep so that we could get as many laps done as possible before the sun came up. I walked with Simon for the ran with Simon for the first 9 laps, then decided it was time to write his blog, he passes me every lap, on the second he told me he had been finding it difficult to walk/run straight, fatigue is back with a vengeance, I have put him back on the couch, he is comatosed. Kale is still lapping and currently has 302 to Simon’s 369. Our intent was to get a half marathon (21 laps) finished before a break; the plan is being revised as we write.

Last night was very emotional in other ways, 2 of the lads who were competing in the Deca Ironman, 10 Ironmen races in 10 days finished their own race. Steve Harvey from England finished his last one in 12:30:40, which was a staggering performance on top of the previous 9 and Sergio Cordeiro from Brazil completed his in 14:51:01 truly wonderful performances on a very tough course in brutal heat. What was even more unique for me; was to witness the best Ultra Triathletes in the world in floods of emotion as they welcomed Steve into the Deca family, and the tears of elation from Sergio as he crossed the finish line. I can’t bare to think at the moment what Simon and I are going to be like, and then what it will be like for Kale and his father Wes. Deep breaths Pete, deep breaths.

I must wake Simon, he only wanted a 30 minute power nap, we shall see how the day unfolds, but I do know already that this is going to be really tough. Wayne Kurtz told us that the whole race comes down to the last 25% of the run, and whether you finish or not. We are about to find out, watch this space.

Get those Red Socks out, oh and the tissues, a man size box.

Kale and Simon congratulating Steve Harvey as he finished his 10th Ironman event in 10 days.

The start of the long road home

 What a day night we have had, as I reported earlier the heat was so oppresive, both of the guys suffered really badly today. Across the car park area the searing temperature was brutal. Simon battled gamely on and on, whilst Kale chose wisely to get out of it, eventually Simon succumed to the heat and had to retire, to the shade and that doctors bench. Heat exhaustion can be very serious, so it is vital that that a close watch is kept over athletes when the extremes are like those we experienced today.

 The aim for today was to complete 3 half marathons making a total of 8.5 full ones, Simon acheived that by 3.15am and is now tucked up on the doctors bench, so that is 357km's covered whilst Kale who is currently on track has 291 as I write.
Simon is desperate to finish today (Thursday), so we will be back up at 6 to try to get the first half out of the way before the heat of the day, then we will see just how high the temperature will rise, it's forecast to be soaring even more than today.
Both of these gladiators have very stiff muscles and are walking/running like I imagine an automan would. What they are putting their bodies through is remarkable. They will both take away so many positives from this experience, which hopefully will outway the inevitable negatives.

 Whatever the outcome over the next couple of days, it will be something neither they nor I will ever forget. Sleep well Simon, whilst Kale makes some ground and then rise and head for the finish later.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Put a sock in it!

When you’re tired you sometimes do things without thinking that could end in disaster, I have done that three times in the last 12 hours, first I walked out in front of one of the cyclists who was zipping through the start finish area in the small hours, then I walked out in front of the same guy, only an hour ago as I was intent in getting across the track to talk with Simon, then last and I hope it is least, I deleted the last post instead of a duplicate photo of the Red Socks helping the White Rabbit cheer on Simon. So I am going to try and remember what I wrote and give you a prĂ©cis of the last post.
Simon was exhausted yesterday, I walked and jogged with him on several laps during the second half of the 7th marathon, he was lucid, but then only 4km’s short of his goal he fell asleep whilst running. I quickly decided to send him to his sleeping bag, I tidied all of the loose ends and then followed him into mine. Whilst we slept Kale was able to claw back some of the laps, as I said yesterday this is a fascinating event with all of the different strategies that carry competitors to the end. Simon and I really do want Kale to make it too and will help him and his Dad as much as we can to ensure that he too achieves his dream.
Once Simon was back on track this morning he was able to run again, having hobbled for most of yesterday and quickly took back some ground lapping much quicker than Kale, the goal for us this morning was to complete another half marathon plus the 4km’s lost last night. However the heat today is by far the most oppressive it has been, especially across the open car park area, we decided to only run the projected 21km and save the missing 4 until it’s cooler. I have left Simon sleeping in the shade on the favoured couch. The thought was to start again at 2pm but that might have to go out of the window until it cools down, Kale has his head down so I may as well let Simon sleep more too.

We have a new plan for finishing and finish we will.

That little fella Bourne is a marvel truly triumphing over adversity, when we finish tomorrow it is going to be very emotional, and from reading the posts, no doubt you will feel the same.

As I walked round the parque this morning I noticed the Red Socks getting aggressive with a band member, who was told in no uncertain terms “to put a sock in it”.

Sleep on Simon, come back strong.

Bringing it home slowly

Good Morning to all of you waking or at work or going to in the UK, Simon has just completed 290km’s at about 0315 race time 0215 local.

It has been purgatory watching him this evening and night, during the first half of the 7th marathon he could barely walk because his quads were so tight and shins so sore, but as for the blisters what blisters! But walk he did for the 21k/13 miles completing the distance in a little over 3 hours. We had not seen Kale during this period, he too has been suffering with muscle fatigue in the legs. Simon finished that half around 10.30 and I got him straight onto the favourite couch, he went straight to sleep and couldn’t eat the hamburger I had ordered, still sleep is a great healer. When he woke and stretched himself out at midnight he was a different person, the rest had done him the power of good, during the previous half he could only walk and barely registered a time quicker than 10 minutes for a km, but the first measured lap after the 1.45 hour break was 7.08, where did he get that from? Maybe Kale making a reappearance had something to with it. I try to walk trot with him every few laps, he was certainly in good spirits and lapped Kale at least once. But he began to complain about falling asleep, so I went with him to keep him company. The after the 290th lap he could barely stand, it was time to call it a day, Wednesday in fact. He had given his all, despite us falling short of our target of 294km’s, he still had a magnificent day, the accumulation of fatigue comes on quickly, a micro blink can soon become a loss of balance moment, which in turn could lead to a serious injury. So off to bed Simon, we will fight another day together tomorrow.

Kale too had his problems and is 59km’s behind Simon, we really do want him to succeed and have offered him and his Dad who is crewing for him help and advice, we like them and if Simon does cross the finish line before Kale, we will both be back here to celebrate him finishing, whenever that may be. When you race for this long a close bond develops, so bring it home Kale, of course it will have to be after Simon.

Rise high Mr Bourne.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beunos Notches and it's going to be a long one.

Buenos Notches,
Simon had a long break of just over 2 hours, where he spent most of the time laying down with his feet above head height to promote recovery. We are now in that phase of the competition where getting going again after a rest becomes more and more problematic and takes longer to prepare both physically and mentally.

Simon’s feet are blistered, his shins are bruised ( not from me kicking them), and his quads are like a lump of lead, other than that he’s coping with it by reflecting on what it used to be like in his Pre Para days to just keep pushing on day after day, mile after mile, hill after hill. He is motivated and can see the finish line; he is on the downhill slope metaphorically of course.

But if you can imagine a mountain where all of the difficulties are in the first 75% of the climb, where it is at its steepest and you cover the most technically demanding terrain and your bag is at its heaviest because you still have all the kit and the summit is out of sight. Then all of a sudden you crest the rise in the ridge, the ground eases in its steepness and you can see the top, but it is still miles away and doesn’t seem to get any closer, but you know it’s achievable. Well that’s where Simon is right now, it’s a slog and he’s in it for the long haul, he has that indomitable spirit that drives the best to the top. He needs your thoughts and positivity more than ever now, we are a strong team that supports Simon; let’s carry him to the top on his journey to becoming a Decaman.

On a much lighter note, I was asked about the infamous Red Socks, I suppose they could be the Monterrey Red Sox. The last report I had was they were seen heading for the Mexican/US border, but I can now tell you that that was a ruse, a distraction tactic, because they were seen just a few hours ago trying to get back in favour by kidnapping the Union Flag pair.
Luckily for us the Park Ranger was passing and has taken them into custody. I am sure though that those Red Socks have the same toughness as Simon and will make a break for it at some stage, to get back in the limelight.

Sixth Sense

It's still hot, a much higher temperature than forecast, the part of the track which crosses a car park is particularly stifling even more so with the heat radiating from the concrete either side of the strip of tarmac. Thankfully there are parts of the course which offer shade and a nice breeze has just sprung up.

Simon and Kale have stuck to their task and have continued to tick of lap after lap, Kale is almost at 200km's whilst Simon has just completed his 6th marathon, only 4 to go, whoop whoop and it's only 4.15 race time or 224 hours since the start !

Kale has just past me looking fairly demoralised but he will continue to drive himself forward, that is the neccesary attribute that an Ultra athlete requires, that indomitable spirit that will not be stopped. 
Simon has lapped him several times today, which cannot possibly help with his phyche, but is a massive boost for Simon. The gap is 53km's, but that will change because Simon is about to have a protracted rest until the thermometer drops,
before commencing number SEVEN.

 Relentlessly forwards Simon Bourne.

Plan? What plan ?

Ola Amigo’s,

It’s another blue sky day in Monterrey; Simon completed his fifth marathon at 0315 this morning, which gave us the opportunity to retire to the tents for a good sleep. We decided on 4 hours and set the alarms for 0730, Kale who retired earlier than us was already up and had taken back 10 of Simon’s hard earned kilometres. This is the fascination of Ultra events, sleep too long and your competitors may catch you, sleep too little and you may tire quicker, losing any advantage you may have gained. Working out a strategy that enables sufficient rest but still allows you to remain competitive is a key factor in success and you can transfer this to any walk of life. You must also be able to amend your strategy, as to strive forwards at all costs can be detrimental to accomplishing your aim.

It is that reason that Simon and I have reviewed ‘The Plan’, yesterday’s plan to enable him to finish this mammoth event in one piece. There are a few factors that need to be considered; the first to establish the goal – to finish, secondly at what cost – health (those 2 should be linked), thirdly in what time – WR, PR, or total time allowed, and the fourth is any external factors – the weather and opposition. We have a new plan taking all of the above into account, of course we can’t tell you; ‘the walls have ears’ but we are very confident it will work.

Simon is currently resting having completed a half marathon in just over 3 hours; he has seen the doctor and passed the medical examination even with the state of his feet, burnt face and ginger hair! He has re-fuelled, re-hydrated and enjoyed a laugh and a joke to keep the spirits high. The current leader board reads like this; Simon 231, Kale 186 a lead of 45 kilometres still, by the time Simon is ready to go again that will have been reduced to a marathon distance, which is a margin we are comfortable with.
Both of the boys are suffering now with blisters and muscular fatigue, so it’s our job to keep their spirits up and feel confident that what they are doing is right for them.

One thing is certain; this will live long in the memory. On, on Bourneo.
The red socks were last seen tabbing on their way to the Mexican/US Border; apparently they are going to try a covert crossing tonight!  

Laughter, Giggles and Crying

Well what can I say; it's certainly been a very memorable night so far.
Simon and I have been in fits of laughter over the 'Paula Ratcliffe', which kept us amused lap after lap. Then we have been giggling over Chris Miller's pastie that John Binghams dog, Ben wolfed down, no truer phrase than 'The dinners in the dog'. We were crying over 'spilt coffee' after counting the laps incorrectly, were holding our noses when Simon finally realised jsut how bad his socks were and we have continually taken back any laps that Kale was able to gain and even better by 3.15am race time 2.15 local Simon will have completed the fifth marathon, which will put him on schedule to finish the 10 marathons in 4 days !!!!!!!

 Lets not be too hasty, Wayne Kurtz (Read his book Beyond the Iron) has given us lots of good advice, which we are heading but there are still 210 km's left or 104 miles, caution is the name of the game. Every step forward is a step closer to the finish and Simon's dream.
Dream on Simon it's on it's way.
Simon hunting down Kale
Kale being haunted by Simon

Monday, October 29, 2012

Squelch squelch

Last post for today to celebrate Simon's FOURTH marathon.

He is going really well, hopefully not too well, as he still has a long way to go. Kale is clearly suffering as Simon is consistantly lapping much quicker. Despite having rested for almost 2 hours, giving Kale the opportunity to close the distance between them, 'The Boy Bourne' now has a 43km lead, at Kale's present pace that's about 8 hours. I must keep Simon together and prevent the injuries and muscle fatigue that will come after riding and running such a long way.

Simon is delighted that there are so many folk out there rooting for him, he enjoys the comments and no doubt will giggle and cry in equal amounts once he can absorb them all properly. We reached another milestone today, I finally wrestled the infamous 'Red Socks' of him, I had to hand wash them about 10 times. You can see just how filthy they are from the photo, oh yes and a rather natty blister.
He now sports a natty Union Flag pair of socks.

He has just past through 177km's and reported that he has done a 'Paula Ratcliffee' except not so quickly or as stylish, there was carnage on the dance floor.

Squelch on Simon.

Beunos Tardes

.Buenos tardes from Monterrey,

 "It's hot, damm hot" said Robin Williams in 'Good Morning Vietnam', the forcast told us that today would be around 29 celsius, but it seems much hotter.
Both Simon and Kale have struggled today at various stage...
s, Kale more so than the boy Bourne. Our plan today was to complete marathon number 4 by 1530, but that went by the way side as Simon was falling asleep as he ran. So instead of an admin break at the half point, I got him on the doctors table covered him with my sleeping bag and bang........straight to sleep.
Did I tell you that the main road through Monterrey is 20 metres from where the race HQ is, if not you know now, the traffic noise is incessant but that does not deter a tired athlete from getting their head down. When he woke we fitted in the mandatory doctors check, he is 68 kgs, has a 65 resting pulse rate and 130/80 BP, not bad, not bad. His face is falling apart and the blisters have begun to appear on his face and feet, the worst on his big toe and under the pad at the front of the ball of his left foot which we will keep dressing, and his calf's have swollen, so we get those in the pool as often as practicable.
Despite all that, he still managed to get back some of the laps this morning, taken by Kale whilst we slept well last night and this afternoon before the power nap, he had got back to somewhere near were he was, whilst Kale had to sleep. He is now a marathon in front again and is laping a lot quicker than Kale, we just have to manage his speed and keep his body together.
Rock on Simon we're behind you.
p.s. he completed the marathon at 1640.

The sock, the socks, my kindom for some socks.

We could have had a disaster this morning, last night as Simon determinedly fought to complete his third marathon in 36 hours both he and I naturally became very tired. We decided that I should start to write the blog rather than when he had finished running, there by speeding my time up in getting to the tent. As it was when I got to the tent at 2.45, we agreed to be back on the road at 7am, so I set the alarm on my phone. My tired brain forgot to take into account that we were running on race clock time and not day light saving hours (yes they do that here too), consequently when my alarm went off earlier it was 8am race time, we had lost an hour.

Simon was out of the tent like a shot, we noticed that Kale and his Dad were not in theirs, how much time had we lost on them, more importantly how many laps. Simon threw his kit on and was on the track in no time. When we got to the start finish and checked the computer screen, it revealed that Kale had been up for 2 hours and had gained 12km’s. Thankfully not much damage has been done, but what if it was a closer race, we could have lost it with just that one mistake; lesson learned, apologies given, time to crack on. In the first hour and a half Simon has already taken 3 of those laps back, he is on fire again, I will have to try and temper his effort again today.

I haven’t told you about Simon’s socks, he likes his red ones, so much so that when he put them on to start the bike leg last Monday I have not been able to get them off him, they are his lucky ones! It’s just as well that we are good friends, because peeling those socks of his feet is not a pleasant task. He won’t let me wash them, nor will he put another pair on, thankfully his feet are still in surprisingly good condition, we check them regularly, but if I left those socks alone for a few minutes they would walk themselves to the finish.

More road pounding today, more ‘Air Bourne’ shuffling, closer to the goal, did you know that there have only ever been 5 British finisher Decaman ?

You do now!

Almost 3 Marathons 1 Km shy !

It’s been another emotional day, watching these Ultra Triathletes compete, not just about Simon and Kale but the others who are completing 1 Ironman a day for 10 days, it was their seventh in a row today. Sergio Cordeiro from Brazil has jus...
t finished his in 17 hours 42 minutes having started the swim late because of a stomach upset. Simon has been running since 5 this morning, completing his second marathon at 5 in the afternoon and starting his 3rd around 6.55 after a little rest on the doctor’s bench by the pool.

 He and Kale have been battling it out physically and mentally, against each other and themselves and at times their crew, not in Simon’s case however. The temperatures have been kind again today, but still hot enough to run in only the race bib. We have come across Kale lying on the tarmac trying to stretch tight muscles several times today, I am sure that all of the fast riding to try and shake of Simon has not helped his cause, neither has the fact that he has almost always been a full marathon behind.
Meanwhile Simon seems to go from strength to strength, all I have had to do for him today is massage his right calf twice, he just pushes on and on. All of these athletes have special qualities, but Simon seems to have more and he has certainly raised the eyebrows of the Ultra Community, especially with the pace of his runs today until the inevitable fatigue set in this evening. He is a fast rising star in these circles and it is a pleasure to be his crew.
The 3rd marathon could have been left for tomorrow or at least part of it, but Simon has been determined to complete the remainder of this enormous challenge as soon as possible, hence him pushing on today, it may also have been the last straw for Kale who no matter what he has tried has not been able to get close to Bourneo. Simon has just had a severe blister problem, so we have decided to leave the last kilometre of this 3rd marathon until we clean it up in the morning, so we are off to the tents now for some well-deserved rest.
More from the Bourne Trilogy tomorrow, he’s staying on top.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hello All,
For those of you that are curious about the pace of ultra running, here's our guide.
Last night Simon was running very comfortably at about 6.30 per kilometer, or roughly 10 minutes per mile, which may seem slow but over 262 it's 
too fast. So if we can temper that to around 12 minute miling (5 hour marathon pace) that would be good. Simon's shuffling/tabbing gate is perfectly suited to efficient ultra running, the only problem we have is getting him to run slowly enough, and to ignore anything that Kale may be doing.
Dominic O'Sullivan is right with the lead that Simon had; Kale would need to run a minute a mile quicker to catch Simon sometime during the last marathon.
But that's a long way off yet, we will monitor Kale's pace today and ensure that we have the right strategy to counter his moves.
One thing is certain, Simon is the right man for the job. 

 I have been asked to post a photo of Kale, this was taken on the night of the 26th when Enrique Terramoto had just finished his Triple Ironman, he is on my right, Kale is on Simon's left.

And so the run begins.

Phew here we go again, it's 6.03am here and Simon is the only one on the course. The live feed followers will know that Kale finally finished the bike leg around 5am, he took a long time to complete the last 100km's after I went to my sack,... He's in his tent now, whilst the boy Bourne is out there doing it.

 Simon gave so much yesterday that he was falling asleep running, which is why I sent him to bed around 11pm. He has had the best sleep of the trip so far around 5 hours, has showered (at last) and is looking really comfortable after completing 10k so far today.

The plan now, is to complete 2 marathons a day !!!!!!!
Bourneo is focused and has less than 400km's to go, each step takes him closer to his dream, being a Decaman.
Simon being congratulated by Kale's Dad Wes
 on finishing the bike and starting his run

Lets keep him light on his feet, 'Bourne by air, Air Bourne' perhaps !

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Bike leg has finished

Simon crossed the line on his bike at 20.28 local, a stunning performance. Apologies to all for posting 2929 earlier, you may have realised I was not wearing my glasses!

Wow, what a day, no what a week! Two finishes so far only one to go, simple.

I adore my sport and live sport is best of all, therefor I am very lucky to be totally immersed in this event. Sharing the physical ups and downs and the emotional highs and lows with a close friend is an experience that I will never forget. Today has flashed by for me, not so for Simon as there were times when he doubted that a finish today was possible. This battle with Kale has been absorbing and will no doubt continue to be during the run, but to witness two good cyclists trying to out wit each other with early starts, late finishes, fast laps, slow laps, admin breaks and food breaks has been immense. There were times today when both looked completely spent, nay were exhausted but neither would quit. Nursing Simon to the finish line and being able to leave time and energy to be able to begin the run after completing the bike was paramount. There were times when the racing head came on, a firm hand was required to stop him burning energy that he did not have, despite eating as much as the body would accept.

I am very happy to report that Simon came out of this battle far better than Kale, as Simon finished Kale still had 107 laps to go. As Simon took time out to reflect on what he had achieved so far and to decide on the next plan, Kale continued on his bike.

Simon and I chatted about what to do; all of the experts at this sport suggest running as soon as possible to allow the muscle groups to adapt to the change. So we decided to run as soon as we could, I accompanied him on the first two laps to establish a rhythm, we decided to see how far he could go. But by 11.30 he was falling asleep on his feet, hardly surprising after such a monumental effort today, he’s gone to the tent, I will let him sleep and review a start time for tomorrow morning.

A fantastic day my ‘pintsize’ friend, thank you and sleep well you deserve it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Almost there, on the bike at least.

What a day, the weather has turned, it’s now a British summer, thick cloud 64f and some light rain, oh and the wind, not a cyclist friend when it's a head on. Those of you that have been observing the live feed, will know already that Simon is only about an hour away from breaking through 1500km's, which is going to be an important milestone because it means a shorter day on the bike tomorrow and a start on the 252 mile/442km's around this park course.

There have been a few celebrations today, Glenn Hatrick from Northern Ireland and Yves Beauchamp from Canada completed the Quintuple Ironman; 5 Ironman events in 5 days, I must say it’s an emotional experience greeting them as they cross the line for the final time. It’s difficult not to let the celebrations interfere with the other athletes who are still trying to complete their own events, Simon in particular.

He is still churning out the laps on the bike, getting closer and closer to his goal. I am expecting it to be personally extremely emotional when we get there and once tomorrow is out of the way it’s just that simple matter of 10 marathons left. Not an out of reach feat over 10 days but Simon has 8!

As for this afternoon and evenings riding, it’s been epic; Simon has maintained a very respectable distance to Kale who must be so frustrated that he has not been able to make any significant gains, despite him trying many ways of out-manoeuvring us, Simon as ever has responded in every way and has been the complete gentleman with it.

 True grit is required to complete one of these events, everyone who starts them must have, but some slightly more than others, Simon is one of that breed. He has earned the respect of some of the best Ultra Triathletes in the World, and you can’t help but be carried along with their confidence in him. The Ultra Triathlon Community is a close knit one, they have an intense passion and the camaraderie is incredible. If a competitor needs help, it is offered without thought and they are truly concerned when a rival has a problem, Simon has become one of them and he has yet to finish.

We are going to try and get 4 hours sleep before completing the remaining laps through the rest of Saturday, then the real race begins and I don’t say that because I adore running. All of the assembled Ultra’s have told us that these events are won and lost with the run. Strategy, pace and personal admin will all be crucial to success, Simon has that ability in spades.

Turning the pedals again

 Good Afternoon Decaman fans.

Simon is on the bike and I notice from the Facebook page, that the word is spreading faster than I can write now that the life result page is online. After my last post which I wrote in the middle of the night, we re-evaluated ‘The Plan’. Kale went to bed at 1am so I left Simon sleeping, when he woke at 2.30 feeling worse for wear, we decided that just a few more laps would do before getting into the sleeping bags at 5.45, having ensured a 100km lead, we did just that and arranged to be back on the bike for 9, I set my alarm. When I woke I checked on Simon, who was in a deep sleep so I left him to it again, he roused naturally at 9.30, so we took our time getting ready, eating breakfast and got on the track again at 10. In the 4 hours that Kale had been back on the road he only managed to claw back 50km’s, a result for us that really lifted Simon’s spirits.

We have just had lunch, Simon is feeling fairly good and was raring (well perhaps that’s a bit strong) to get back out on it! During the morning session he managed to gain 6 laps and has just passed 1300km’s, hurrah only 500 to go! The plan is to tick as many of those of today as he can, so that at some stage tomorrow (Saturday) he can put his running shoes on. We are told by the Ultra veterans here, that this is one of the slowest tracks they have competed on, which explains the bike times of the one Ironman a day boys who would normally complete the bike an hour quicker, there is approximately 15 meters of climbing on a lap, not much you might think, but after 1800kms, well you do the maths.

Simon has continually impressed all of this die-hard Ultra family with his grit and determination and above all his friendly happy go lucky personality even in the dark times. It’s a privilege being out here to be his crew.

Roll on Bourneo.

Through a bad patch

After I wrote my last post, I came back to the race HQ to find Simon and Kale still feverishly ticking of the laps. Kale needed to take back kilometres from Simon, so increased the pace to attempt to ‘un lap’ himself. As you might expect, our boy refused to allow the invisible chord to snap, but I felt that this tactic was not conducive for either of them, eventually Simon headed my advice and allowed Kale to go. By just decreasing his speed by 10 seconds a lap would enable Simon to conserve vital energy, but Kale would be burning more and more trying to catch his man again.
We have been going for almost 5 days now, during that time Simon has not slept that well (always concerned about mileage), when I stopped him for fuel later, he was clearly tired. He ate as we discussed tactics for the next stage, we decided to allow the opposition to gain back laps whilst Simon had a well-deserved and much needed rest. This gave Kale the opportunity to close within 50 laps whilst, Simon was sleeping on the doctors bed which is under an open gazebo by the pool. Inevitably Kale would have to sleep too, that time came at 0115.
But Simon was sound asleep so I chose not to wake him to let him know. He eventually woke at 0230, despite the 3 blankets I had covered him with, he was cold. More food and a hot drink required, I had to walk him to the loo as his muscles had stiffened up, it also was apparent that he was a bit delirious. He genuinely didn’t know where our tents were, so I took him to the kitchen for hot food and coffee, whilst we decided what to do.

This event is very emotional and tears are common place, not just from the pain but what the mind puts itself through to find coping strategies. Simon and I had an emotionally charged chat, it was good to release it, the longer we talked the better he felt and the more food he consumed the stronger he became. The upshot is he is back on the bike, in a good place, riding past me every few minutes and I check him.

We have a new plan; to get to 1300km’s and then sleep again, but if that’s not feasible we will stop at 9 o’clock regardless. It’s meant to be cooler tomorrow (today, it’s 3.30 in the morning), which will be a relief after the last few scorching days.

Simon is on his way to achieving his dream, being a ‘Decaman’.