In this guest blog things are getting brutal! Matthew Norris took on 'The Brutal Double', which is a double Ultra-distance event, based in Llanberis, North Wales. Here is his story of fundraising for MS-UK...
23 intrepid Double Ultra Triathletes took to Llyn Padarn at the foot of Mount Snowdon earlier this month for the first of 3 events. At 7:30am, we joined other athletes racing half, full and triple distance triathlons. The swim was 8 laps around the course for a total of 4.8 miles. The lake was hovering around 11°C as we entered the water, and 3 hours later, I emerged feeling cold, but relieved to have completed the first event with a smile on my face.
Next up, the bike section. Another 8 laps, on the road around Snowdon. Total distance covered; 231 miles with over 16,000ft of climbing (That’s the same as reaching Everest South Base camp!) What followed was 20 hours in the saddle, with stops for food and drink at the end of each lap. Temperatures dropped to around 4°C during the night, and there were some desperate, dark moments as the night rolled in, including tears, nearly falling asleep on the bike, lots of very lonely times and a near-intimate bike/sheep incident.
Around 6am on Sunday morning, I finished the bike ride and had 30 minutes sleep. Awake (ish) and partly refreshed, I began the ascent of Snowdon with my sister and best mate.
Feeling tired and a little lacking in energy, we made it to the top, got the all-clear from the medic and descended the mountain back to race HQ. I could quite happily have stopped there after 10 miles, but the run section was yet to come.
Another change of clothing into running shorts and trainers and the 8 laps of the lake began at about 11am. Each lap being just over 5 miles on and off road with 600ft of climbing on each lap. (Totalling more than the ascent of Snowdon). The laps wore on, and my support crew continued to provide amazing morale as the darkness once again descended. The last 3 laps were in the dark and to top it off, heavy rain started on the final lap! I didn’t care by then, it was done. I had conquered the Brutal Double.
40 hours 24 minutes. 11th out of 23 starters and my last ever Triathlon.
What a finale.
I can recommend this race to anyone, but make sure you have an amazing support crew. They were priceless.
Thanks to everyone who donated to my nominated charity; MS-UK, for which we raised over £800!