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.

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