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UMUK Ultraman Triathlon - The Night Before..

The squad arrived late afternoon at the Swallow Falls Hotel in Betws y Coed. It was great to see them all because I'd been working away alot last year and with life and busy schedules I hadn't seen any of them for several months. I also finally got to meet the legend Lemmy Pritchard. Lemmy is Matt's springer spaniel and he's just the most handsome, friendly, bouncy boy you ever could meet with facial expressions to rival any human being. Hungry from the drive up we all sat down had some food a couple of beers and a catch up.

Slowly but surely the other competitors started to arrive at the hotel. In total, there were just 5, four men and one lady. I think this says quite alot in itself about this event. You either have to be in the higher echelons of health and fitness or just a bit nuts but probably both!

Shortly afterwards it was time for Adam, Matt and myself to attend the race meeting. Whilst it is always a laugh a minute supporting the boys when they do these events there is a serious side to it.

(L-R) Matt, Annie-mal, Mia, Adam and myself

The main man Lemmy P.

To complete this type of race you have to have a support crew with you, for a variety of reasons. The obvious one being health and safety. Adam would be cycling and running on open roads in the Snowdonia area for the next three days. No roads would be closed so you have a whole list dangers to consider such as other road users, tiredness and fatigue, navigation of the course, food / hydration, bonking (a phrase used by endurance athletes where extreme fatigue sets in and your mind starts to play tricks on you), equipment failure, changes of clothing and the general well being of the athlete.

The organisers of the race Darren, Ben and Claire were great. They all had very respectable experience in ultra-endurance events both as athletes and crewing. They were extremely helpful and friendly throughout the event answering any questions and dealing with any issues promptly. They went through all of the 'need to know' information about the routes for the swim, bike and run and were clear and concise all the way through.

The first day would consist of a 6 mile (10km) open water swim in Lake Bala followed by a 90 mile cycle from there heading back towards Betwys y Coed. Each athlete was given a GPS tracking device which they needed to wear at all times during the race. The device was linked to the headquarters back at the hotel where they would also monitor the progress of the athletes on each day. If any of the athletes went off course or there was an issue with the device the HQ would call the support team to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

The route of the first day, 90 mile cycle.

The route of the run on day 3. Just a little 56 miler!

The Freesoul Project 2019 - Made in Wales