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Otter

Real Race Day Tips for the Long Course BOP'er

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I make no promisies as to my future race program. Jester (The Cam) has just departed to Europe for two years of waffles, a smoke unt fat Belgium beer halls. Jester, despite the illegal drugs you will no doubt consume, your penchant for the deep fried shoe leather will continue to be your undoing, remember "day four" you miserable saddle sore.

 

I might consider training for Busso (although this goes against my principles).

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WTF- since when did it become 7 laps :lol:

Sorry - it's 5 laps. Is that what it always has been?

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I wish we had a 1000 Otters in every race; would make the day longer; but a whole lot more fun!!!! Heed his words well of those planning to go long; suck up only the experience; listen to the volunteers and heed their encouragement, and make every km marker you pass a major 'milestone' of your day - and HAVE FUN!

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You sure about that? I eat my entry fee in gu from the aid stations. I'm a rolling scorched earth policy. Last long race I did I gained 5kgs, 5!!!!!!! Fully catered nature walks people, get on it.

 

I wish we had a 1000 Otters in every race; would make the day longer; but a whole lot more fun!!!! Heed his words well of those planning to go long; suck up only the experience; listen to the volunteers and heed their encouragement, and make every km marker you pass a major 'milestone' of your day - and HAVE FUN!

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lol. After a messed up 2 weeks of training for my first HIM in Shep (a trip to the US for a conference and killer jet lag after both flights) I needed to re-read this thread. Thanks for the reminder to lighten up Otter and NRM.

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Last long race I did I gained 5kgs, 5!!!!!!! Fully catered nature walks people, get on it.

 

This seems unlikely, or did they apply hot rendered lard through your IV drip?

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Otter,

 

Sheer and utter brilliance!

 

I got a bit teary reading this, my stomach muscles also ache! Never laughed so hard... I think you just got me through the journey that will be my one and only Ironman next year...

 

Thanks mate,

 

Hiltz

 

 

Just had another read of this thread, still as funny as the first time I read it... Well I read through it with a guy that is doing his first triathlon in my shop... Excellent...

 

Now I said above 1 and only ironman, WTF was I thinking? I did two in 4 weeks! Crazy... I always hated the idea of doing an Ironman, but I am planning the third one now. GF decided we should have a holiday together this year :lol: Another Ironman, will be very much the same as the two others... Think more about training than actually do it. Buy all the kit so i look fast. Now the ins and outs of every detail of said kit. Then roll around looking quite chuffed with myself in around 13 hours.

 

Otter has summed up what triathlon should be.

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That was creepily eerie! I was reading this, and having a chuckle and then had this bizarre feeling that Mr Otter was channelling my Port Half experience!

 

Awesome article!

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44 minutes ago, Surfer said:

Brilliant! Thanks for brining that one up. Who is Otter? Where is he now.?

Otter owned a bike shop in Melbourne if I remember correctly...? Besides that I don't know the rest 

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1 hour ago, FFF1077 said:

Otter owned a bike shop in Melbourne if I remember correctly...? Besides that I don't know the rest 

Hooked up with a Shire girl the wonderful Simone, now they live in Coffs 

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Great read - only problem was I’m intrigued about the link FP put in there about a funny blog from a UK triathlete.  the link referenced a rob wilby which is no longer there - I thought once it was on the internet it was there forever 🤔 - anyrate I did a google search and the only rob wilby is a professional triathlon coach - wonder if it’s the same guy.

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1 hour ago, Cat Lady said:

Great read - only problem was I’m intrigued about the link FP put in there about a funny blog from a UK triathlete.  the link referenced a rob wilby which is no longer there - I thought once it was on the internet it was there forever 🤔 - anyrate I did a google search and the only rob wilby is a professional triathlon coach - wonder if it’s the same guy.

It's him. I just searched through 150 pages on TTUK but can't find it anywhere else. Have asked if it exists anywhere else. Stay tuned.....

 

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On 22/09/2018 at 4:11 PM, FatPom said:

It's him. I just searched through 150 pages on TTUK but can't find it anywhere else. Have asked if it exists anywhere else. Stay tuned.....

 

Love your work (Bonus cookie if you find it)

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Found a copy here

Quote

 

Somehow this ridiculous idea had hatched in the pub last Christmas. In a stupor of alcohol, and in a pathetic attempt to make good at least one of the things that I'd said I would do before I turned 30, I had agreed to enter the UK Half-Ironman. This despite the fact that I had never done a triathlon before, didn't own a bike and could barely swim. Some decisions should never be left to the alcohol fairies. Nine months later and the morning of Sunday September 8th found me quietly praying, wishing I had done more swimming and biking and wondering how I ever thought this was a good idea.

 

Race Day. Llanberis Village, North Wales.

State of mind: Petrified.

6 am

I'm standing in a huge tent with over a thousand half-naked people who are covering themselves in vaseline and pulling on rubber suits. I am more scared than I have ever been during my adult life. The vaseline that I have just rubbed all over my backside and crotch, in a desperate attempt to prevent saddle sores later on, has turned my arse-hair into dreadlocks. I'm going to die here, and I'm going to die with a scrotum that looks like Bob Marley's head.

 

6.45 am

We're standing by the waters edge and it's belting down. Real, proper mountain rain that God sends down to tell you that you should be still in bed. I'm wearing a thick rubber wetsuit and I'm still cold. I haven't even been near the water yet, and I can't feel my feet. 'Come on,' says my mate Ferg. 'We'll be fine when we get in. Lets go for a warm up swim, it's just nerves.' He dives into the water and swims ten yards or so. Come on, I think, look back and tell me it's not cold. He raises his head and looks back at me. 'Bloody hell, it's freezing!' he shouts. Great. As if this wasn't life threatening enough already.

 

6.59 am

I'm in the water, trying to tread water and not hyperventilate with nerves. If you think 600 people sounds like a lot of people in a confined area of water not supported by a boat, you should see them up close, surrounding you like little neoprene sharks in green swim hats. What the hell am I doing here?

 

6.59.30 am

ohmygodohmygodohmygod

 

7 am

This is how it starts.

There's the air horn and we all start swimming. Immediately, I get slapped around the head and kicked in the stomach, and then for good measure my goggles fill with water. All around me, all I can see is a boiling mass of whitewater, legs and arms furiously thrashing the lake, green swim-hats everywhere. It's terrifying. Primordial instinct kicks in. Must fight or die. Adopt attitude last seen when driving in Paris rush hour. Start whirling arms frantically, like a wind-up bath toy on amphetamines, slapping and kicking like my life depends on it. It probably does. No one is more surprised than I am when they make space for me. I'm swimming.

And that's how it starts.

 

7.38 am

Emerge from the water elated to be alive. Foolishly run as fast as I can to my bike, buoyed by adrenaline and driven by long-forgotten competitive instinct. Have borrowed excellent shiny red racing bike from my father, something of a cyclist in his day. A fine, lightweight machine with a saddle like a razor blade, it comes equipped with a pair of special aerodynamic handlebars, a little computer that tells me how fast I'm going, and pedals like ski-bindings that secure my feet with worrying finality. It looks the business. I have no business riding it whatsoever.

 

7.46 am

Race from the transition area past the cheering crowds at a somewhat over-enthusiastic 25mph. Anaesthetic effect of adrenaline means I feel no pain, no fatigue, no sense of shame in my ridiculous new lycra shorts. I am a cycling God. I am Lance Armstrong. I am buggered

if I can work out how you're meant to go round corners on these handlebars.

 

'Take it easy, son, there's a long way to go yet,' yells my father with concern, as I careen like a drunk around the first real corner at top speed, narrowly missing the metal barriers. Foolishly choosing to ignore him, I accelerate even faster, lost in a fantasy of Ironman victory, and head out of Llanberis village at top speed. Oh dear.

 

7.58 am

19mph. It's not even 8 o'clock in the morning and my arse is sore already, and there's a worrying ache in my scrotum. I'm soaking wet and cold. I want a bacon sandwich. Eat banana instead. It makes a poor substitute.

 

8.23 am

16mph. Hmm. The dull ache in my testicles is getting worse. 'Dull' as in 'the blunt blade of an axe', not as is 'bored', obviously. People keep whizzing past me on bikes made of carbon fibre and titanium, possibly incorporating obsolete pieces of the bloody space shuttle for all I know. They make a strange 'whoosh' noise as they go past, and the riders look completely unconcerned with

the availability of bacon sandwiches in the next village. Must eat. Grudgingly force down another

banana.

 

9.21 am

10mph. Hmm. I Can't feel my testicles at all. Or my feet, for that matter. Or my fingers. I seem to have been riding for ever. I'm in the middle of nowhere and all I can see for two straight miles is a road that goes uphill into the clouds. Literally. My mind starts to wander. Adrenaline has worn off and now I realise I'm not actually going to win, I have to try to stay sane. Wonder what's on T4 Sunday about now? ‘Holly Valance’ maybe? The thought at least brings some feeling back to my

groin, but not in a good way.

 

9.32 am

Still can't see the summit of this hill. I can't go on. I'm hot, breathless and sweating like a fat lad in a kebab shop. I really can't go on. My bike agrees and thoughtfully punctures. Make a show of shouting and swearing, but am secretly pleased with genuine excuse for a rest. No worries; have seen Tour De France video. Await arrival of spare wheel from man on motorcycle.

 

9.34 am

Hmm. No sign of him yet. Sit by roadside and get breath back. Passing cyclists give sympathetic looks and words of encouragement.

 

9.37 am

Realise there is no motorcyclist with spare wheels. Commence shouting and swearing with renewed vigour. Passing cyclists moving to other side of road, possibly to avoid eye contact but mainly to avoid being sprayed with spittle from string of profanity being shouted at red-faced volume.

 

9.38 am

Find spare inner tube in little bag under saddle. Also, mini Mars bar and Kendal mint cake. Spirit lifted. Father is all-knowing Cycle God. There's nothing for it. I sit my sore arse down by the Welsh roadside and fix puncture myself. And eat chocolate. And urinate like alcoholic racehorse.

 

10.20 am

Renewed by rest and sugar, I'm away. Approach café in small village advertising bacon sandwiches. Heart races. Cyclists stop for lunch at places like this. Father and his friends spend half their weekends in them. Hurrah! Come to me, deeply-fried pig flesh of the Gods!!

 

10.20.30secs

No-one seems to be stopping. Bugger! Bugger, bugger, BUGGER!

What's wrong with these people? No lie-in and no fry up? This is no way to spend a Sunday. Herculean effort needed to keep on pedalling. Body strikes deal with mind; promise me all day breakfast at finish line, or we stop now.

 

11.11 am

18mph. Approaching Llanberis, pride produces strange increase in speed, fuelled by determination not to be beaten by grey-haired beardy types. The winner is already crossing the finish line and I haven't even started the run yet. Race into the transition with all the control of a 7 year old with stabilisers removed for the first time.

 

11.19 am

Ah, the run. Now we're talking. No fancy carbon machines, no near-drownings, just me and my shoes and 13.1 miles of tarmac. This is where I get my own back on all those swimmers and cyclists. Running I can definitely do. Leave transition tent confident and bouncing with energy.

 

11.20 am

Someone has stolen my legs and replaced them with my Grandmothers. Feet are totally numb, like blocks of ice, and legs feel like I'm giving Jeff Capes a piggy-back. Weave back and forth across road at about two miles per hour with all the style and grace of an incontinent rambler. Backside feels like Black and Decker have been using it to test power sanders. This is not good. This is not good at all.

 

11.29 am

Feed station. Force down banana, somehow still aware that despite legs like two lump hammers, things can still get worse if I run out of glycogen. Bloody bananas. Feel like shaved circus chimp. Grab several mysterious silver foil packets off the table and tear one open excitedly, hoping against hope they contain performance enhancing white powders. They are full of orange jelly. Bizarre. Search table for ice-cream or party hats, but finding none, stagger on.

 

11.52 am

Road heads up Llanberis pass, up the side of Snowdon. Top of road disappears into the clouds. Wonder how I ended up spending Sunday running up a mountain, slurping packets of what appear to be orange flavoured snot. Legs more tired than I can ever remember them. I can actually feel each individual quadricep muscle hurting. Calves feel like rocks, each one totally cramped up, giving the sensation that the skin has shrunk around the muscle. The road ahead is getting steeper.

 

12.21 am

Walking. Everyone is walking. All conviction that my strong suit is the run has been dispelled. I am a walker. To add insult to indignity, Sky have put a TV camera right at the top of the pass. Try to raise jog and happily shout 'Hello, Mum!' to the camera as I go by. All down hill from here.

 

13.21 am

Running into the village, all thoughts of fatigue are gone and I'm carried along on a last wave of adrenaline and the incredible support of the hundreds lining the main street. I've done it. I've bloody well done it. My feet hardly seem to be touching the ground and I can't stop myself from smiling. It's two hours since the winner crossed the line, but there are still hundreds of people clapping and cheering. There it is, the huge finish line archway with 'Ironman' written across the top, and all of a sudden, only one thing matters. Not the blisters or the bleeding toes or the burning calves or the dead thighs or the raw backside. I cross the line and the pain all fades away and for that moment I'm alive and alive and alive.

 

Someone wraps a blanket around me and I go and sit on the kerbside, lost in my own little world of fatigue and head-spinning elation. Never again, I swear to myself. I've never felt this good before in my life, but never again.

 

And that's the last thing I remember before I pass out.

 

Epilogue, 1 week later ...

» 'Ferg?'

» 'Yes mate?'

» 'April 6th 2003. Ironman Australia. The full distance. Do you fancy it?'

» 'Too bloody right I do.'

» 'Two more pints please, barman.'

 

Rob Wilby was raising money for The Make-a-Wish Foundation UK, a charity that provides holidays for children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

 

 

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and if the internet is to be believed, he is now a professional triathlon coach.😃

Edited by Cat Lady

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On 22/09/2018 at 2:11 PM, roxii said:

Hooked up with a Shire girl the wonderful Simone, now they live in Coffs 

He is the town sheriff in Coffs.  Hilarious really. 

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39 minutes ago, Peter said:

He is the town sheriff in Coffs.  Hilarious really. 

I had more of a Dudley Do-right picture in my head...

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